An unidentified collector paid nearly $14,000 to acquire in a Sept. 6 online auction a common-date 1879-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS Mint State 65 that carries a published value of $150 to $165.
Why? Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections Coin Auctions in whose auction the coin was sold, cited the coin’s toning.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in bidding activity on toned Morgans over the past 12 to 18 months,” Russell said Sept. 10.
Eight different bidders placed 55 bids for the coin offered in the auction that closed just before 6 a.m. Pacific Time Sept. 6. The top bid was the only one recorded for the winning bidder.
The dollar achieved a closing bid of $12,626; with the 10 percent buyer’s fee added, the total price realized was $13,888.60.
GreatCollections’ auction opened Aug. 26 with an opening bid of $100.
The coin, graded Mint State 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service, is encapsulated in a first-generation PCGS holder.
Its obverse displays shades of gold, pink, lilac and blue toning, predominantly in the fields in front of Liberty’s portrait.
The reverse is predominantly untoned, with light to darker gold toning evidence from the F in OF down past the second A in AMERICA.
Toning is the result of a coin’s reaction to its environment, including how a coins is stored.