US Coins

Market Analysis: Unexpected luster on an 1893-S dollar

An unusually lustrous 1893-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS-62 with a green CAC sticker sold for $336,000 at Heritage’s April 24 Platinum Night sale.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Although coins grading Mint State 62 are near the bottom of the MS-60 to -70 range, they can improve any collection, as illustrated at Heritage’s recent relocated Central States Numismatic Society auctions.

The 1893-S Morgan dollar is the circulation strike key to the series, its overall rarity challenged only by the Proof-only 1895 Morgan dollar among date and Mint mark collectors of the series.

Any Mint State example is a prize, since nearly all entered circulation and no Mint State bags of coins seem to have survived. Heritage writes, “A Mint State 1893-S dollar is an absolute rarity, not just a comparative one in the Morgan dollar series.”

Combined at Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp., 65 submissions have been graded Mint State. These include duplications, and only five have coveted Certified Acceptance Corp. stickers.

The only significant source of Mint State 1893-S dollars appears to have been around two dozen that turned up in a bag of 1894-S dollars.

While “only” graded PCGS Mint State 62, the offered 1893-S Morgan dollar carries a green CAC sticker and features strong luster, with a vibrant cartwheel effect on both sides. Though scattered light abrasions and contact marks limit the grade, there is no friction that suggests wear.

A look at recent comparables provides little help in pricing, with an NGC MS-63 example selling for $210,000 in January 2019 and a PCGS MS-61 coin bringing $204,000 in September 2019. The coin in the April 24 auction realized $336,000.

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