US Coins

Toning likely boosted Morgan's price by up to $20K

Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction XVIII took place Sept. 29 in Las Vegas as part of the Professional Coin Grading Service Member’s Only show and, as typical with the auctioneer, toned coins — especially Morgan dollars — captured the attention of bidders.

In a post-auction press release, Legend said that its strong prices were the result of collectors buying for their collections, as opposed to dealers buying for inventory, noting that 90 percent of the lots went directly to collectors or their agents. 

Here is one of three notable lots we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis: 

The Lot:

1881-S Morgan dollar, MS-68, CAC

The Price:


The Story:

Legend’s auctions are well-known for offering some spectacular rainbow toned Morgan silver dollars and the Sept. 29 sale was no exception. The top toned coin in the series was this 1881-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS-68 with a green CAC sticker.

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As collectors know, the 1881-S Morgan dollar is an issue that was nicely produced, and nice Mint State examples up through grade MS-67 are widely available. The population thins at MS-68, though a typical PCGS example in this grade may trade at the $5,500 to $6,500 level.

Morgan dollar history

Morgan dollar: For decades the Morgan dollar has ranked at the top of U.S. coin collectors' favorite coins. Why is the Morgan dollar so popular? The many reasons include its large size, attractive designs, numerous varieties and historical significance. How much are Morgan dollars worth?

Legend writes, “The consignor confirmed to us this coin was in an original burlap bag of Morgans for many years and has not seen the light of day until now,” adding, “We do fully believe that.” The description observes bands of violet/amber/gold/baby blue/rose color as well as small dots on the cheek, indicative of the type of toning that results from coins pressed against bags for years. The beautiful dollar sold for $25,850.

Keep reading analysis of Legend's Regency XVIII auction:

1795 Flowing Hair half dollar   Why this 1795 Flowing Hair half dollar topped Legend auction at $176,250: “The solitary coin nearest to qualifying as a presentation piece for the year ... Though this piece shows no mirror like finish in fields, it was carefully positioned and given two blows in perfect alignment.”
1896-S Morgan dollar   Prooflike Morgan dollar beloved by consignor sells for $111,625: Legend said that it was once graded MS-67 Prooflike by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and that in absence of any certified Deep Mirror Prooflike examples, this is considered the finest Prooflike example.

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