US Coins

1884-S Morgan dollar with rare AU-58+ grade brings $5,500

An 1884-S Morgan dollar graded AU-58+, CAC, is about as nice as an About Uncirculated coin gets. At $5,500, it brought roughly three times what an average AU-58 coin would sell for at auction.

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About Uncirculated 58 is a grade that can be confusing for collectors. It means that a coin does not grade Mint State in that it has some wear on the high points or a bit too much rub in the fields. AU-58 coins can show a wide-range of quality, and many can sell for more than lower-grade Mint State grades such as MS-60, MS-61 and MS-62.

Sometimes particularly nice AU-58 coins are called “AU-62” in that they appear Mint State (even though they aren’t). Dec. 22, 2014, auction of more than 70 coins graded AU-58 and with a green CAC sticker tested the market. 

The coin: 1884-S Morgan dollar, AU-58+, CAC

The price: $5,500

The story: The market considers that an AU-58+ coin with a Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker is about as nice as an AU coin can be. This 1884-S Morgan dollar graded Professional Coin Grading Service AU-58+, CAC, brought $5,500 at the Dec. 21, 2014, auction of the Capuano Morgan dollar set, and was the top coin in the collection. In fact, it was the lone coin that sold for more than $1,000.

Like the 1886-O Morgan dollar, the 1884-S dollar is a rarity in higher Mint State grades. For example, PCGS’s population report records just 49 coins in MS-63, 11 dollars in MS-64 and a single example in MS-65. 

PCGS has certified six in AU-58+ compared to nearly 1,000 in AU-58. A typical AU-58 example might bring between $1,500 and $2,000 as evidenced by recent auctions. 

An MS-60 example sold for nearly $10,000 at a Nov. 6, 2014, Heritage auction. So, with the Capuano coin, a bidder paid nearly three times what one would expect a “basic” AU-58 example to realize, yet paid roughly half of what a base-level Mint State coin would sell for. 

Read the rest of this Market Analysis:

AU-58 1880-S Morgan dollar actually rarer than several Mint State grades

'Tricky' 1886-O Morgan dollar with AU-58 grade solid alternative to Mint State purchase

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