US Coins

Market Analysis: Denver Mint’s sole Morgan dollar

With few certified finer, there’s strong competition for a 1921-D Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS-66+ with a green CAC sticker, and this one realized $5,640 at Heritage’s April Central States Numismatic Society auctions, which were relocated to the auctioneer’s Dallas headquarters.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

After a solid run from 1878 to 1904, the Morgan dollar was revived in 1921, and the year's issue included the first Morgan dollars struck at the Denver Mint, which had opened in 1906.

The new dollars were the result of the Pittman Act, which directed dollars to be produced from recently discovered silver.

The 1921 Morgan dollars were struck from redesigned dies with a more shallow relief than seen on the earlier issues.

Choice Mint State survivors of the 1921-D Morgan dollar can be found with no problems, but in MS-66 the coin becomes scarce — though examples can be found for under $500 — and Professional Coin Grading Service has graded 104 in MS-66+. It has graded a dozen in MS-67, including one that brought $31,725 at a May 2019 Legend auction, and the sole MS-67+ that has not sold at auction.

The prohibitive cost of acquiring a higher-graded example places pressure on the handful of CAC-approved MS-66+ examples and this one, “a beautiful, lustrous specimen, brilliant save for a hint of tan toning on the obverse rim,” sold for $5,640 at auction earlier this year.

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