Morgans in Sotheby’s auction dazzling

Quick.

What are the key dates of the Morgan series?

Did you answer with the proof 1895?

How about the 1889-CC?

Both are good answers.

In the case of a May 21 auction that will be conducted by Sotheby’s in New York City, you would be wrong.

I have been paging through the catalog “Featuring Magnificent Morgan silver dollars from the collection of Ralph and Lois Stone.”

There truly are magnificent cartwheels among these 100 or so pieces.

Certainly, there is an 1895 proof in the offering.

This particular piece is graded Numismatic Guaranty Corporation Proof-66 with Certified Acceptance Corporation Gold sticker.

Estimate is $ 70,000-$ 100,000.

However, the 1884-S is graded Professional Coin Grading Service MS-67 CAC.

Care to guess the pre-sale estimate?

It is $ 300,000 to $ 500,000.

Whoa.

That clearly beats out the 1895 proof.

How about the 1889-CC?

It is graded PCGS MS-63 DMPL CAC.

Estimate for this rarity is $ 30,000 to $ 40,000.

There is another coin that ties the 1884-S for highest pre-sale estimate.

It is the 1893-S. It is graded PCGS MS-65.

This coin has seen huge price gains since the late 1960s when I first began to look at Morgan silver dollars.

I probably could have purchased it with my paper route earnings.

If not the 1893-S, certainly the 1884-S.

All it would have taken was an encounter with it and an educated eye, or great good luck.

Suffice it to say I never encountered either coin.

There are other rarities in the sale.

There are also some high-grade common coins.

A 1900-O graded PCGS MS-66 CAC has an estimate of $ 200-$ 300.

Back in 1968, it was probably $ 2 or less.

Morgans have long been the place to be.

Results of this sale will tell us if they still are.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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