As Silver Slides Morgans Surge - Internet Action Heats Up

Posted on 5/19/2011

Demand for numismatic quality coins, especially Mint State Morgan dollars, intensifies.

Although metals prices have all taken a hit since Central States, the demand for both silver and gold within numismatic circles continues to cater to that arena at virtually unprecedented levels. Frenzied demand for numismatic quality coins, especially Mint State Morgan dollars, can be seen quite readily.

An in-depth assessment of the major electronic networks weekly trade figures reveals intensified demand for the proud silver cartwheel. Seemingly the combination of world and financial events which was responsible for the nearly 30% drop in silver spot price has done virtually nothing to deter the demand for one of the numismatic staples- the Morgan dollar. Since this most recent “correction,” demand for untoned Morgan dollars in MS 63 through MS 66 has been enormous. For the 1st two weeks of May, each grade, choice (MS 63) through ultra-gem (MS 66) has reported in with the largest dollar volume and quantity traded since the inception of the Big Generic Market back in 2007. Take a look at the NGC Coin Price Guide and you’ll see common date Morgan dollars have each escalated by double digits in MS 64 through MS 66 since April! Leading the assault are MS 66 examples, charging ahead by nearly 37% in the last month. During the first 10 trading days of this month alone nearly $800,000 worth of NGC coins has already exchanged hands on CCE. Just two weeks into the month of May, certified MS 65 Morgan dollars have already eclipsed five times the dollar volume of the previous month, MS 64’s nearly 3 ½ times that of the previous month. Dealers are certainly doing their part, posting bids, keeping long hours attempting to secure coins which are desperately needed for their inventory as well as to satisfy the insatiable demand of the ravenous collector base.

Competition remains “very energetic” for any fresh coins or deals that surface at local regional shows or which literally walk through the door at a brick & mortar establishment . Now through the Memorial Day holiday, dealers and collectors will each be strategizing, anxious to liquidate stale numismatic holdings in order to have the cash to acquire fresh deals and place bids on the many top-tier NGC offerings at the Goldberg’s pre-Long Beach United States coins and currency sale on May 29 and 30. The auction will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Beverly Hills, California, and features a veritable treasure trove of classic and highly collectible NGC offerings including desirable high grade minor coins as well as a stunning array of originally toned Capped Bust halves. A superb listing of Bust dollars pedigreed to Dr. Hesselgesser and fantastic rare Gold from all series abound. Listed below are many of the sales noteworthy items:

  • 1862 Indian Cent NGC PF 67 Cameo
  • 1877 Indian Cent NGC MS 65 RB
  • 1886 Type 1 Indian Cent NGC MS 66 RD
  • 1923-S Lincoln Cent NGC MS 65 RD
  • 1918-S Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 65
  • 1801 JR-1 Draped Bust Dime NGC MS 61
  • 1802 JR-3 Draped Bust Dime NGC MS 61
  • 1838 Large Stars Seated Dime NGC MS 68
  • 1925-D Mercury Dime NGC MS 67 FB
  • 1832 Capped Bust Quarter NGC MS 64
  • 1795/95 Flowing Hair Half Dollar NGC AU 58
  • 1822 Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 65
  • 1834 Small Date, Small Letters Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 66 PL
  • 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half NGC SP 63
  • 1873 Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar NGC PF 66 Cameo
  • 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1891-S Morgan Dollar NGC MS 65 DPL
  • 1856-S Type II Gold Dollar NGC MS 63
  • 1863 Gold Dollar NGC PF 67 Cameo
  • 1885 Gold Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo
  • 1796 Draped Bust Quarter Eagle stars NGC MS 61
  • 1839-D Classic Head Quarter Eagle NGC MS 61
  • 1906 Liberty Quarter Eagle NGC PF 67 Cameo
  • 1911-D Indian Quarter Eagle NGC MS 65
  • 1804 Crosslet 4 Draped Bust Eagle NGC MS 63
  • 1907 High Relief Wire Rim Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 67
  • 1922-S Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65
  • 1925-D Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65
  • 1925-S Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65

With no major auctions on the docket since CSNS, collectors and dealers have been looking to the internet in order to secure high-grade key dates and the increasingly difficult true collector grade coins. There are several options for the astute buyer and internet-only auctions seem to be either starting or closing nearly every day of the week. This is a great opportunity for both the dealer and collector, giving them each a bit of a reprieve from the hectic road show which is now a fixture of the numismatic landscape. Surprisingly high quality, good value, collector-friendly keys are listed amongst the various companies’ highlights.

Ian Russell of Great Collections advised that they are busy updating user-friendly features on their website and posting new consignments almost daily. Ian advised that they had a great Central States show: “we really have three purposes attending shows….To meet clients, show off highlights and collect consignments; we succeeded in all fronts at Rosemont.” Assessing the results of their most recent sale which concluded Sunday, May 15, Russell noted strength for silver eagles and common date Morgan dollars, despite the weakness in the spot prices. Also, a nice selection of U.S.-Philippines issues and mint errors were all sold after spirited bidding. Below is a listing of recent NGC collector coins meeting the internet hammer that are ideal for novice-to-advanced collectors.

  • 1806 Small 6, No Stems Draped Bust Half Cent NGC MS 61 BN $1,046
  • 1931-S Lincoln Cent NGC MS 64 RD $368
  • 1958 Lincoln Cent NGC MS 67 RD $330
  • 1968-S Jefferson Nickel NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo $165
  • 1970-S Washington Quarter NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo $550
  • 1926-S Oregon Trail Half Dollar NGC MS 68 $3,300
  • 1878-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 64 $1,155
  • 1882-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 66 $865
  • 1846-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC AU 58 $1,705
  • 1847-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC XF 45 $1,936
  • 1851-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle NGC AU 58 $1,320
  • 1874 Three Dollar Indian NGC AU 58 $1,540
  • 1858-D Liberty Half Eagle NGC VF 30 $1,540
  • 1891-CC Liberty Head Half Eagle NGC MS 61 $1,323
  • 1886-S Liberty Head Half Eagle NGC MS 64 $1,221
  • 1910-D Indian Half Eagle NGC MS 63 $2,860
  • 1845-O Liberty Eagle NGC AU 55 $3,850
  • 1932 Indian Eagle NGC MS 64 $1,842

As always, David Lawrence internet-only auctions have been the scene for brisk action, spiced with numerous collector coins, key dates, and esoteric offerings. One of the many notable appearances from this firm was a buttery gold 1866-S Type II (With Motto) Liberty $20 that raced to a new home at $7,935. Other enticing examples include:

  • 1909 S VDB NGC MS 65 BN $2,415
  • 1891 Liberty Nickel NGC MS 66 $1,495
  • 1937 Buffalo Nickel NGC PF 67 $2,300
  • 1860 Half Dime NGC MS 67 $2,125
  • 1895-O Barber Dime NGC AU 53 $3,565
  • 1912 Barber Dime NGC PF 66 $1,676
  • 1919 Mercury Dime NGC MS 65 FB $604
  • 1880 Liberty Seated Quarter NGC PF 67 $3,709
  • 1900 Barber Quarter NGC PF 66 $2,128
  • 1827 Square 2 Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 64 $2,990
  • 1943-S Walking Liberty Half NGC MS 65 $334
  • 1878-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 65 $1,785
  • 1880-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 66 $1,955
  • 1937-S Boone Half Dollar NGC MS 65 $472
  • 1921 Missouri Half Dollar NGC MS 65 $2,760
  • 1922 Grant With Star Half Dollar NGC MS 65 $5,118
  • 1910 Indian Quarter Eagle NGC MS 65 $5365
  • 1914 Indian Quarter Eagle NGC MS 61 $736

Teletrade also featured some popular key dates and condition rarities, including a Mint State 1919-D Walking Liberty half dollar. This lustrous, untoned NGC MS 62 specimen captured $9,660. Only 49 examples of this issue have been certified in this grade by NGC. Another scarce coin, a 1904-S Morgan dollar with attractive mauve and amber peripheral toning and graded MS 64 by NGC, was sold by Teletrade for $4,025. Teletrade’s May 12 sale featured the following NGC prizes:

  • 1910-S Lincoln Cent NGC MS 65 RD $834
  • 1853 Silver Three Cent Piece NGC 64 $437
  • 1883 No Cents Liberty Nickel NGC 66 $368
  • 1934-D Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 65 $368
  • 1904 Barber Dime NGC MS 64 $345
  • 1937 Antietam Half Dollar NGC MS 66 $1,265
  • 1938 New Rochelle Half Dollar NGC MS 66 $748
  • 1936-D Texas Half Dollar NGC MS 67 $719
  • 1936 York Half Dollar NGC MS 66 $391
  • 1881-O Morgan Dollar NGC 64 DPL $1,553
  • 1897-S Morgan Dollar NGC 64 PL $265
  • 1927 Indian Quarter Eagle NGC MS 63 $661

Jim Bisognani has written extensively on US coin market trends and values and was the market analyst and writer for a major pricing guide for many years. He currently resides in Southern California and frequently attends major coin shows and auctions.

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