Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 450,000
Catalog: KM-110
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $14.35 (9/18/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1895 O S$1 MS obverse 1895 O S$1 MS reverse


  
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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The 1895-O Morgan silver dollar is one of the prime condition rarities in the series. Only a few other dates are similarly rare in higher grades, including issues such as the 1884-S, 1886-O, 1892-S, 1893-S, and 1901 dollars. Although examples of all those dates, including the 1895-O, are frequently available in all circulated grades through AU58, any full Mint State piece is elusive, and Choice or Gem quality coins are extremely rare.

The original mintage totaled just 450,000 coins, all struck between January and May 1895. Mint records show that 200,000 were minted in January, 100,000 in February, 100,000 in April, and 50,000 in May. It appears that many were released into circulation. In A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars, Dave Bowers suggests that about 100,000 were released into circulation near the time of issue. It is believed that the others went into storage, only to be melted years later. It is unknown when this coin from the Clapp and Eliasberg Collections was actually coined, although both sides have light die cracks, suggesting a later die state. It is conceivable that this piece was one of the 50,000 coined in May 1895.

A key to the rarity of this issue in Mint State grades is the status of the 1895-O as the single business strike issue that was not represented in any bag-quantity silver dollar release from the Treasury. Bowers repeats commentary about small quantities being released from the Treasury prior to the 1960s: 'I have heard suggestions that from several dozen to a couple hundred Mint State coins came out of the Treasury Building in the early 1950s, but how they would grade today is anybody's guess. Uncirculated coins of years ago are often classified as AU today. I have found no account or even a rumor of any being a part of the 1862 through 1964 Treasury release.'

Another key to rarity is the typical quality of examples at the time they were struck. 'To say that their workmanship was shoddy would be an understatement, from a numismatic viewpoint, it was terrible,' states Bowers in Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, A Complete Encyclopedia. Mint workers in New Orleans had little reason to create an attractive product. They knew that their coins would end up in storage, as had examples for many years prior to that time. The goal was to produce the largest quantity of coins in the shortest possible time. Die spacing was slightly greater than normal, intended to preserve die life, eliminating die breaks and erosion. With five die pairs available, each individual die only lasted for 90,000 coins, so the little extra space between die faces failed to accomplish the goal. Only an extremely short time in circulation, usually insufficient to actually show wear on a sharp coin, was apt to make a poorly struck coin look like it was just an AU example.

It may be the case that all of the MS64 or finer grade coins were acquired at or near the time of issue in 1895 by coin collectors, and have been carefully preserved since that time. J.M. Clapp acquired the Eliasberg specimen directly from the New Orleans Mint for face value in October 1895. The entry in the Clapp Notebook reads: 'U.S. Mint, Oct 95, 1.00.' In fact, Clapp acquired every one of his Morgan dollars dated between 1894 and 1904 from the Mint at the time of issue. He paid $1.25 each for the Philadelphia Mint proofs, and $1.00 each for every New Orleans and San Francisco issue. In 1942, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. acquired the entire collection from the Clapp estate, and held the coins until his own death in 1976. Twenty years later, all of those 'two owner' coins finally reached the numismatic marketplace.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/9/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1895 O S$1 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 230 310 360 430 625 625 1275 1475 2100 5900 16750 21000 29000 49000 86000 180000 380000 725000 - - -
$ 750 1400 1700 2900 7700 17750 24250 37500 57500 103000 210000 - - -
1895 O S$1 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - 3400 6250 18250 29000 39000 - 105000 225000 - - - - -
$ - - - 3750 8000 - - - - - - - - -
1895 O S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 8500 22750 33500 45000 60000 160000 325000 - - - - -
$ - - - - 10500 - - - - - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 5058
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/20/2003 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2003 Charlotte ANA National Money Signature Sale #316, 316/Lot# 6724 $379.50
12/17/2006 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2300, 2300/Lot# 2291 $672.00
1/22/2007 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 123, 128/Lot# 1811 $1,127.00
9/2/2012 PCGS AU 50   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 1499 $1,035.00
11/29/2012 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2012 November 29 - December 2 US Coin Signature Auction - Houston Session(5), 1177/Lot# 10243 $381.88
4/14/2014 NGC F 15   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20559 $246.75
4/28/2014 PCGS MS 92   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3479, 6028/Lot# 20456 $282.00
7/6/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 199779 $440.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1895 O S$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base59767480283895810281189133331173800457349924992515860078849136061571517208237444483567179
62271681487898110811237192733444057471249925047544169541043414309162121938630774522830
000000123719273344405747124992504754416954104341430916212193863077400
000000128525223572431548524992510257247901120201501216710215653780400
1895 O S$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3333364210361333311738004573499256566089654594151391415826201532746595366134561
333321677311351927334440574712521358006241750110914145511726822590500981084310
000000113519273344405747125213580062417501109141455117268225905009800
000000123425223572431548525434594463938458124141518818710250277273200
1895 O S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base33333642103613333117380045734992608968207651975614619195372746536576118884134561
333321677311351927334440574712535763327097835211377162582217930502640121241090
000000113519273344405747125357633270978352113771625822179305026401200
000000123425223572431548525723657673749054129981789724822335399144800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4573
Owner: GauchoDave
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4573
Owner: Morgan Dollar Dale
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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