Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 880
Catalog: KM-110
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $14.62 (8/29/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1895 S$1 PF obverse 1895 S$1 PF reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Among proof Morgan dollars, the 1895 is the date with the most cachet, and more than a century of numismatic scholarship has justified its position as the "King of the Morgan Dollars." Ownership of an example, even a worn or impaired piece, is a sign of numismatic connoisseurship, and it is hardly a surprise that so outstanding a set as the Morgan dollars of the Jackson Hole Collection would have an example. The exquisite preservation and contrast of this specimen practically assure that it will become the cornerstone of another great set.

Several 19th century proof issues in American numismatics benefit from their association with key-date business strikes from Philadelphia. Coins such as the 1877 cent and 1885 and 1886 nickels command a dramatic premium in proof format, even though their rarity as proofs may be equal to that of specimens from nearby years. By contrast, certain proof-only issues attract the attention of fewer buyers, and they may trade for comparatively less. In fact, a number of proof-only dates in less popular series, coins such as the 1886 three cent nickel, exhibit only a modest spike in price.

The 1895 Morgan dollar intersects with these two classes in fascinating ways, and certain collectors choose not to obtain an example, since they consider it a proof-only issue. Mint records report 880 proofs, and many authorities believe the coins have a high rate of survival, with typical estimates between 600 and 700 specimens. The 12,000 regular-issue pieces listed for the year, however, are considerably more controversial. Among the sweeping retrospectives of Walter Breen's essential Complete Encyclopedia is his assessment of the 1895 dollars: "No business strikes known, though they were struck from at least one of the 5 obvs. and 4 revs. made for this mintage."

Few of Breen's statements have gone unchallenged, however, and in his 1993 work Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia, Volume Two, Q. David Bowers questioned the existence of circulation-strike examples, not just in the present, but in the past as well: "It is presumed that the entire mintage, if indeed it ever existed, consisting of only 12 mint bags, went to the melting pot under the provisions of the Pittman Act of 1918." He concluded that there was significant evidence that the 12,000 circulation-strike 1895 dollars listed in the Mint's ledger were something else entirely. Roger W. Burdette (2006) has re-established the idea that the 12,000 pieces were struck but never left government vaults.

Yet generations of numismatists have held out hope for 1895 business strikes, through mass meltings and fruitless searches of bags released by the Treasury, and countless empty holes in as many cardboard folders save space for one. In many ways, what actually happened does not matter so much as what so many collectors have assumed, and even if absolutely conclusive evidence came to light that the 1895 dollar was a proof-only issue all along, enthusiasm for specimens would continue undiminished.

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.

1895 S$1 PF
Base $ 26000 32500 35500 37500 39500 40500 42500 44000 45000 47000 49000 52500 56500 66000 80000 105000 120000 155000
$ - - - - - - - - 61000 72000 95000 115000 140000 -
1895 S$1 PF Cameo
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 54000 59000 67500 77500 99500 125000 150000 175000
$ - - - - - - - - 87500 108500 135000 - -
1895 S$1 PF Ultra Cameo
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 80000 95000 110000 150000 170000 215000
$ - - - - - 90000 105000 120000 160000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 364
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 69

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/23/1998 NGC PF 63   Teletrade Auction 1026, 1026/Lot# 1857 $19,950.00
10/22/2007 NGC PF 64   Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 188, 194/Lot# 8713 $49,285.55
5/25/2008 NGC PF 66   Cameo Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 4133 $103,500.00
8/7/2010 NGC PF 68   Cameo Stack's Bowers The August 2010 Boston Rarities Sale, 34/Lot# 1283 $89,125.00
6/24/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/24/2012, 28/Lot# 58620 $24,750.00
2/9/2014 NGC PF 60   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 141777 $41,250.00
2/27/2014 PCGS PF 64   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(2), 1203/Lot# 4062 $64,625.00
6/4/2014 NGC PF 66   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1206/Lot# 4724 $82,250.00
8/5/2014 PCGS PF 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1208/Lot# 5613 $52,875.00
4/22/2015 NGC Details Proof Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1219/Lot# 5187 $37,600.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1895 S$1 PF
1895 S$1 PF Cameo
1895 S$1 PF Ultra Cameo
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 67 UC
Points: 15181
Owner: BChap
Grade: PF 68 CA
Points: 14751
Owner: Benchmark Ventures LP
View the Registry Image Gallery

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