US Coins

Market Analysis: What’s a Proof 1921 Chapman $1?

This handsome Chapman Proof 1921 Morgan dollar graded Proof 63 by PCGS realized $40,800.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The Morgan dollar went on hiatus at the end of 1904, returning in 1921 with a slightly modified design. Two primary different types of 1921 Morgans are today collected as Proofs: Zerbe and Chapman issues.

Heritage offered from the Carter Jackson Collection a 1921 Chapman Proof graded Proof 63 by Professional Coin Grading Service that was the result of dealer Philadelphia Henry Chapman ordering some mirrored-surface Proof dollars from contacts at the Philadelphia Mint, perhaps George T. Morgan. The catalogers observed, “This Select proof is absolutely razor-sharp with broad, square rims and complete design definition,” noting, “Golden patina delicately drapes each side.” Some slide marks on Liberty’s cheek limit the grade.

The Chapman issues more closely resemble Proof Morgan dollars of the 1878 to 1904 era than the Zerbe issues do. Walter Breen observed multiple characteristics that distinguish the dies used to strike the Chapman Proof dollars, and analysis by auction houses of population reports at major grading services suggest that around 30 exist today.

The one in the Heritage auction sold for $40,800 on Feb. 9.

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