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All Posts Tagged With: "Proof Morgan Dollars"

One of the finest 1895 Morgan dollars known headlines Heritage Houston U.S. Coin Auction

Early U.S. coins and classic proofs to provide holiday cheer to numismatists at the Money Show of the Southwest, Dec. 2-3

Early U.S. coinage and classic proofs, among them one of the finest known 1895 Morgan dollars, are the twin strengths of the Heritage Auction Galleries December 2010 U.S. Coin Auction, to be held in conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest in Houston, TX. Floor sessions are Dec. 2-3.

“With Featured Collections such as The W. Philip Keller Collection of U.S. Colonials and The Eagle Harbor Collection, Part Two lined up, we knew this auction was going to be heavy on early U.S. coinage,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “The many great proof coins we’re going to offer were more of a surprise, though definitely a welcome one.”

Perhaps the most surprising lot of them all is an 1895 Morgan dollar graded PR68 Ultra Cameo by NGC. This example from what is arguably the most famous Morgan dollar issue combines great condition with immense popular demand. It is estimated at $90,000+.

“For many years, collectors believed that there were business strike 1895 Morgan dollars out there waiting to be discovered, and in the meantime, they collected proof examples to fill the gap,” said Rohan. “Today, there is growing acceptance that the business strikes may never be found, but this has hardly dampened enthusiasm for the proofs.”

Just 880 proof Morgan dollars were struck in 1895 for inclusion in the year’s silver proof sets. Perhaps half that number survive today, but only a handful of those coins are in a condition approaching the PR68 Ultra Cameo level.

On the early coinage side, the most prestigious pedigree belongs to a 1793 Wreath cent with Vine and Bars edge, S-5, B-6, graded MS61 Brown by PCGS. It is estimated at $50,000+.

“This coin has been well-recognized and important to collectors for more than a century,” said Rohan. “It was first highlighted in the auction catalog for the Dr. Charles Clay Collection, sold all the way back in 1871. After that, it passed through a series of famous hands, including W. Eliot Woodward, Lorin G. Parmelee, and Wayte Raymond. We expect another name with plenty of future appeal to add this prestigious and carefully preserved coin to his or her collection.”

In addition to proof silver, proof gold is also well-represented in this auction by an 1876 three dollar gold piece graded PR63 by PCGS, a proof-only issue with an official mintage of just 45 pieces, among the most elusive Philadelphia dates in the series. This Select example was certified early in the history of PCGS, and no mention is made on the holder of the coin’s obvious cameo contrast. It is estimated at $40,000+. (more…)

Bowers and Merena to Offer 1879-O Class I Branch Mint Proof Morgan Dollar In Baltimore

The Second Finest of Only Four Specimens Known to Exist

Easily the rarest and also among the most popular Morgan Dollars with advanced collectors are the branch mint proofs–coins that are so rare, in fact, that many numismatists have never even seen one of these specimens, let alone been confronted with the opportunity to add one to their holdings.

Writing in the 1982 book The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook, Wayne Miller enumerates five classes of branch Mint proof Morgan Dollars. The claim that an individual issue has to branch mint status decreases as the class # increases; the Class V pieces, in fact, being described by Miller as, “coins rumored to be branch mint proofs which the author has seen and which are definitely not proofs.”

On the other end of the scale are the Class I branch mint proofs, which Wayne Miller describes as, “authorized, definite branch mint proofs. These are the…dates for which proofs were authorized and subsequently issued [emphasis author’s].” Only four branch mint proof Morgan Dollars qualify as Class I: 1879-O; 1883-O; 1893-CC; and 1921-S.

The 1879-O is perhaps the best known Class I branch mint proof Morgan Dollar, and it is also among the most instantly recognizable of all branch mint proof coins regardless of type or issue. Considerable documentation exists for the creation of these coins, according to which a mere 12 specimens were struck on February 20, 1879 to commemorate the reopening of the New Orleans Mint (the facility had ceased production in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War). Of the original 12 coins struck, only four specimens are known to exist. (more…)