US Coins

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

To find a very lightly circulated 1880-S Morgan dollar is a greater challenge than locating a Mint State example. This one graded AU-58, CAC, sold for $42.66.

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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. 

Here is one of three AU-58 Morgan dollars Coin World is profiling in this week's Market Analysis:

The coin: 1880-S Morgan dollar, AU-58, CAC

The price: $42.66

The story: More than half of the 71 AU-58 Morgan dollars offered in the Capuano Collection sold for less than $100. There is a market for certified common coins in AU-58 grades, in large part due to the Professional Coin Grading Service “Everyman” category of registry sets in which no coins graded higher than AU-58 may be included. 

An 1880-S Morgan dollar graded AU-58 with Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker is an unusual coin (the one in the auction sold for $42.66). To find a lightly circulated 1880-S and 1881-S Morgan dollar is a greater challenge than finding a nice MS-63, MS-64 or even MS-65 coin, as these two coin issues were saved in huge quantities in government vaults. 

Both of these dates are usually selected as type coins as they were well-produced and survive in large numbers in high grades. While PCGS has graded 222 examples in AU-58, its population reports show 34,124 in MS-65, 9,929 in MS-66, and 1,961 in MS-67.

At $42.66, this piece sold right around the retail level for an MS-61 coin. The AU-58 CAC 1881-S Morgan dollar in the auction sold for $38.

Read the rest of this Market Analysis:

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

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

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