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All Posts Tagged With: "Winning Edge"

US Coins: Those Magical CC Morgans

By Jim Fehr – The Winning Edge

Coins disappearing as collectors and investors buy rarities
Hello, all. This article has be updated with new PCGS and NGC census and pricing information as of September 2010. Hope you enjoy.

There are over one hundred and fifty new purchases in this issue of The Edge, so take a close look at this listing. There should be plenty to choose from whether you’re buying rare dates for your set or just starting out.

The market is good – stable prices and strong demand for rarities along with an expanding collector base. In fact, an 1804 Class 1 Draped Bust Dollar just traded for $3.7 million at the Central States Numismatic Society coin convention in Rosemont, IL. It was a record breaking price for this particular 1804 dollar. It last traded for $475,000 in 1993!

The Carson City Dollars

Politically, the pro-silver factions in this country have always been very strong. The Bland Allison Act and Sherman Act in the late 1800’s required the U.S. Government to purchase large quantities of silver and coin it into silver dollars that, at the time, were not being used in circulation. Therefore, Morgan silver dollars flooded into the treasury vaults. In 1918 the Pittman Act was enacted in part, to sell off the excesses holdings of silver in the treasury vaults, not more than 350 million silver dollar pieces were to be melted. But pro-silver factions helped convolute the Pittman Act.

Due to their influence, one provision of the Pittman Act required the U.S. government to buy domestically one silver ounce for each silver dollar ounce the Pittman Act required be melted and sold. The silver was sold to England at $1 per ounce. In other words, as the government was buying up all the silver dollars in circulation and melting them, along with what was stored in the treasury vaults, they were also forced to replace the melted dollars with domestically bought silver bullion – which they then coined into the new 1921 Morgan silver dollars.

Yet, because of the domestic silver purchase provision in the Pittman Act, many of the silver dollars were never melted and in this way the government unintentionally kept a hoard of about 155 million silver dollars for over 40 years. Since silver dollars during the early 1900’s were used frequently only in Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming, circulating Morgans dried up quickly.

Fast forward to Kennedy. From 1960 to 1964, the government suddenly released over 152 million silver dollars, at face value. The government was the last to learn that many of these coins were worth more than face value because they were prized by collectors. Three years later in 1967, silver prices were up enough to make any silver dollar worth over face value in bullion alone. Afraid to let go of any more too cheaply, the government held back 2.8 million of the lower mintage Carson City dollars.

Sen. Key Pittman – Nevada

On the last day of 1970, President Nixon signed into law the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments. The act authorized the General Services Administration to sell the 2.8 million Carson City dollars in any suitable manner, and thereby created the modern market for Carson City silver dollars. The treasury chose to market the CC dollars via several mail bid sales. There were five sales from 1972 to 1974, then two more in 1980. Minimum bid on 1882-CC, 1883-CC, and 1884-CC was $40-$42; minimum bid was $180 for 1880-CC, 1881-CC, and 1885-CC. (more…)