US Coins

'King of Morgan dollars' example sells for nearly $40,000

This unusual Proof 60 Cameo 1895 Morgan dollar brought just under $40,000 at a recent auction, making it a relatively affordable example of a tough issue considered the “King of Morgan dollars.”

Image courtesy Stack’s Bowers Galleries

An oft-repeated phrase is that “Proof is a method of manufacture and not a condition.”

Proof coins without wear are graded Proof 60 to Proof 70. Those that have light circulation may grade lower, in a Proof grade corresponding to the amount of wear, like Proof 58 for a coin with light wear at the high points of the design. Proof 60 represents the “base” of wear-free Proof coins, and a coin in this grade will likely have marks, hairline scratches in the fields, and perhaps a loss of reflectivity.

Here is one of three Morgan dollars Coin World is profiling in this Market Analysis that show the range of the Proof 60 grade in a series.

The Coin

1895 Morgan dollar, Proof 60 Cameo

The Price


The Story

Because of an absence of Philadelphia Mint circulation strike 1895 dollars, there is tremendous pressure on the 880 Proof 1895 Morgan dollars. The issue even has a nickname: “The King of Morgan dollars.” Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has graded only this single example in Proof 60 Cameo. It brought just under $40,000 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Feb. 6 Americana auction.

The description notes, “To be offered an example in Proof-60 with a modicum of eye appeal is nearly a god-send to many collectors who would otherwise go without this important key date.”

The Cameo designation refers to the degree of contrast between the frosted devices and reflective fields.

This example has unusually solid eye appeal for the grade level.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

1897 Proof Morgan dollar's altered surfaces present rare opportunity

1881 Morgan dollar gets Proof 60 grade due to distracting abrasions, hairline scratches

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