US Coins

San Francisco Mint Morgan dollars considered best-produced

The Coronet Collection’s 1880-S MS-68+ CAC Morgan dollar sold for $25,850 at Legend’s June 25 auction.

Image courtesy of Legend Rare Coin Auctions

Most Morgan silver dollars produced for circulation have had a tough life. They were stored in massive bags, often traveled long distances, and frequently were banged around. Add to that the design of the coin: Liberty’s flat cheeks, and broad fields that show all marks fairly clearly.

Thankfully, there are plenty of Mint State 65 and even MS-66 Morgan dollars. Mint State 67 examples are tougher to find, but a solid one can be found for $700 or so. In MS-68 the herd thins, and these survivors are rare.

The three included in this week's Market Analysis series are in MS-68+ and were sold in Legend’s June 25 Regency XII sale in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Coin

1880-S Morgan dollar, MS-68+ CAC

The Price 


The Story 

The San Francisco Mint Morgan dollars from 1880 through 1882 are generally considered the best-produced from the series and are often seen in high grades, with bold strikes, booming luster and overall terrific eye appeal.

The Coronet Collection’s 1880-S Morgan dollar is in a Professional Coin Grading Service MS-68+ holder with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker and sold for $25,850. A different, brilliant and untoned example in PCGS MS-68+ CAC sold for exactly the same amount at Heritage’s April 23 Central States Numismatic Society auction. 

PCGS has graded more than 2,000 MS-67 coins (including 150 in MS-67+), with an additional 198 in MS-68, eight in MS-68+ and five more in MS-69. Still, given the strong demand from Morgan dollar and type collectors, MS-68 examples bring strong prices when they cross the auction block. The near total unavailability of MS-69 examples places pressure on the handful of MS-68+ representatives

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