Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 100,000
Catalog: KM-110
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $10.92 (12/1/2015)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1893 S S$1 MS obverse 1893 S S$1 MS reverse

NGC MS66 - Norweb
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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The year 1893 brought several events that ultimately influenced this and related issues. The silver purchase clause of the Act of July 14, 1890 was repealed on November 1, 1893, resulting in a drastically reduced need for silver to be converted into coinage. For the next few years, mintages of silver dollars were substantially smaller than in previous years.

An expanded discussion of the Panic of 1893 provides further background for the scarcity of silver dollars from this year and was provided in the December 31, 2007 issue of Coin World:

'The panic was marked by toppling businesses and failing banks, and the infusion of European investors in American concerns did little to stem the downturn as the depression stretched overseas as well. ... Despite the nationwide loss of more than 4 million jobs, President Grover Cleveland had taken a hands-off approach, believing the struggling business climate was cyclical.

'Cleveland was, however, troubled by the nation's dwindling gold reserves, which had been steadily declining during the waning years of the Benjamin Harrison presidency. 'Cleveland blamed the problems on Congress' lavish spending and the impact of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. 'The Sherman Act provided the Treasury with the authority:

--To purchase 4.5 million ounces (or 281,250 pounds) of silver each month at market rates.

--To issue notes redeemable in either gold or silver, these are the Treasury notes, also called coin notes. ...

'The planned government purchases amounted to almost the total monthly output from the mines ...

'The increased supply of silver drove down the price of the metal.

'As the price of silver continued to decline, holders of the government notes understandably redeemed them for gold (whose price wasn't falling) rather than silver.

'The result of the growing disparity between the two metals was the depletion of the U.S. gold reserves.'

It was against this monetary backdrop that silver dollars were produced in 1893. The result was predictably low at not only the San Francisco mint, but also the other three mints at Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Carson City. Only 100,000 dollars were struck in the San Francisco facility. All 100,000 pieces were struck from a single die pairing--the most widely known die characteristic being a diagonal die scratch in the top of the T in LIBERTY.

What happened after these coins were produced remains a mystery. Most likely it is a case of heavy attrition. Most of the production run probably met the same fate as many other silver dollars from this era: They were melted under the terms of the 1918 Pittman Act. Of course, as with many other numismatic rarities, there are always stories about rolls and bags. But these have turned out to be nothing more than numismatic 'old-wives' tales.'

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/23/2015

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

1893 S S$1 MS
Base $ 2200 2950 4400 5500 9450 22750 26500 44000 70000 155000 185000 265000 390000 660000 840000 1250000 - - -
$ 12000 - 31000 52500 - - - - - - - - -
1893 S S$1 MS Prooflike
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 210000 - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1893 S S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 2891
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: F
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 VG Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1227/Lot# 3933
12/6/2015 VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1227/Lot# 3937
12/6/2015 G Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1227/Lot# 3931
12/6/2015 F Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1227/Lot# 3935

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
3/6/1996 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 0821, 821/Lot# 780 $2,889.00
9/14/2008 NGC AU 50   Goldberg September 14-16, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 48/Lot# 1078 $16,675.00
10/15/2009 NGC XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 419, 425/Lot# 7617 $7,302.50
2/3/2011 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2011 February Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction Session(2), 1152/Lot# 3981 $12,650.00
3/31/2011 NGC F 15   Stack's Bowers The March 2011 Baltimore Auction, 83/Lot# 3694 $3,680.00
9/30/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/30/2012, 42/Lot# 75967 $1,485.00
1/9/2013 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(5), 1181/Lot# 6263 $8,812.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1893 S S$1 MS
1893 S S$1 MS Prooflike
1893 S S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 50
Points: 6820
Owner: L & L Coins
Grade: XF 45
Points: 6089
Owner: stOrmbrek
View the Registry Image Gallery

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