Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 4,900,000
Catalog: KM-110
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $12.76 (11/22/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1896 O S$1 MS obverse 1896 O S$1 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

While not particularly rare in circulated grades, the 1896-O dollar is elusive in all Mint State grades, and a major rarity in Gem quality. In The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook, Wayne Miller wrote: ?No other Morgan dollar is as consistently deficient in luster, strike, and degree of surface abrasions as the 1896-O. A fully struck piece is rare, an 1896-O with minimum bagmarks is even more unusual. In the author?s opinion, the 1896-O is the rarest of all Morgan dollars in truly Gem condition.?

In 1896, the New Orleans Mint coined 4,900,000 silver dollars, following several years of lean production. This mintage is only a little over 300,000 fewer silver dollars than had been struck in New Orleans during the previous four years combined. It is almost certainly the case that those four years of limited production created this condition rarity as nearly all of these pieces were actually placed in circulation in 1896.

This issue provides an excellent illustration of the often confusing relationship between rarity and mintage. With a production of nearly 5 million coins, the ?96-O has a substantial mintage for Morgan dollar issue. There are nearly 50 different issues that have a lower mintage, including such issues as 1884-CC, 1897, 1898-O, and 1904-O, just to name a few, and none of these dates come even close to the rarity of the ?96-O in high grade. In the Morgan dollar series, rarity is not based on mintage, but on survival. For many dates, substantial portions of the mintage were placed in storage at the Treasury for several decades, until they were released in the 1960s, or even into the 1970s for some of the Carson City issues. Dates that were placed in storage are now the common dates in the series. Other dates, such as the 1896-O, that were released into circulation, are now the rarities or condition rarities of the series. In a few instances, such as the 1893-S, the rarity is explained by a combination of low mintage and release into circulation, and these are the dates that are keys to the series in all grades. The 1889-CC is another example.

The condition rarity status of this date is similar to the 1901 silver dollar. Both are essentially common in circulated grades, but rare in Mint State grades, and when such pieces are found, they are usually at the lowest numerical levels. However, proof examples of 1901 are available to collectors, but not so for the 96-O. Dave Bowers writes: ?Those who are edged out of buying a Gem Mint State 1901 can wink twice and buy a proof quickly, but the collector seeking an 1896-O has no such fallback possibility.?

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: 2/10/2014

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

1896 O S$1 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 33.00 35.00 37.00 42.00 52.00 52.00 130 155 200 600 1350 1900 3100 7400 40750 179000 450000 - - - -
$ 65.00 150 170 245 675 1575 2200 4150 15000 52500 220000 510000 - -
1896 O S$1 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - 400 750 2500 3850 8500 - - - - - - - -
$ - - - 500 900 3250 5000 12500 - - - - - -
1896 O S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 7500 21000 31000 38500 - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - 9500 29000 37500 44000 - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 6002
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/25/2014 XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131447/Lot# 27336
11/25/2014 AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131447/Lot# 27832
11/25/2014 AU 50   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131447/Lot# 27831
11/30/2014 AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 832, 841/Lot# 721


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
11/21/2004 NGC AU 58   Teletrade Auction 1964, 1964/Lot# 1705 $352.00
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 2023 $2,645.00
12/20/2007 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 205, 211/Lot# 9288 $5,750.00
7/9/2009 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2009 July West Palm Beach, FL (Summer FUN) Signature US Coin Auction #1127, 1127/Lot# 8451 $127.65
1/3/2012 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(10), 1166/Lot# 12261 $172.50
12/30/2012 PCGS AU 55   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/30/2012, 55/Lot# 91871 $176.00
6/3/2014 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4419 $387.75
11/6/2014 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 November 6 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(6), 1211/Lot# 8510 $282.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1896 O S$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base127135143151171209255450515620127120092401305745398909147251953720094206622203926750
130138146158184224320472550837151721402620355159961084816329197232028321121236090
00000032047255083715172140262035515996108481632919723202832112100
000000385493585105417632270283840457452127861793319908204732158000
1896 O S$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base729754781809838867896926958990145027543386481750155219543056465869609866618656
7377637908198488779069379691143188529653863488350835289550257205945628673260
0000009069379691143188529653863488350835289550257205945628600
0000009169479791297231931754340494951515360557457956022647300
1896 O S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base355136353721380938983988408141744270436744654565695180588727918096511013910645111691204615096
35793664375038393928401941124206430244004498536073208281887893379814103081082011461130630
0000004112420643024400449853607320828188789337981410308108201146100
0000004143423843354432453261567689850490299494997610476109941175400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3057
Owner: K M Lust
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 2401
Owner: ejonholmes
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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