US Coins

1897 Morgan dollar starred at Central States

As a general rule collectors of Morgan silver dollars fall into two groups: those that like their coins colorful and toned, and those that prefer their dollars brilliant and frosty. Heritage’s recent April 28 afternoon auction session at the Central States Numismatic Society convention in metropolitan Chicago included several standout dollars that were recognized by bidders at being premium for the grade. When it comes to Morgan dollars that are at the top of their grade — especially when numerically finer examples are unknown — collectors are willing to open their checkbook to pay exceptionally strong prices in their quest for the best. 

Here is one of three examples of premium Morgan dollars from the CSNS convention's Heritage sale that prove that point:

The Lot:

1897 Morgan dollar, MS-67+, green CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

Despite its relatively low mintage of 2,822,000, the 1897 Morgan dollar is today considered a common issue in most grades, but that wasn’t always the case. In the early 20th century it was a rarity as most examples of this date remained hidden away in vaults. By the 1950s it was considered a common issue by both collectors and dealers, and bags continued to be released through the 1970s.

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It becomes scarce in MS-66 and the population drops substantially in MS-67, with PCGS recording just 37 submissions in this grade, with only two graded MS-67+ and none finer. This MS-67+ 1897 Morgan dollar has a green CAC sticker and sold for $23,500 on April 28.

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Two days later Heritage sold a similarly brilliant MS-67 example, with CAC sticker, of this issue for $9,400 and a PCGS MS-67 dollar that lacked a CAC sticker for $4,700.

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