Lot 107
  • 107

Silver Dollar, 1893-S, PCGS MS 65 CAC

300,000 - 500,000 USD
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  • silver
A stunning example. A full, remarkably sharp strike in every respect: the hairs over Liberty’s ear are well-delineated, and the eagle’s feathers are full; the beading is crisp and distinct. Struck from dies so fresh that the mint engraver’s original die polish striae can be seen under magnification. Apart from a faint pair of lines in front of Liberty’s profile, both the obverse and reverse fields and devices are effectively unblemished, even under significant magnification. A thin obverse die crack runs from the first U of UNUM through the first three stars on the obverse; on the reverse a similarly thin crack extends from the second T in STATES to the C of AMERICA. There is a halo of faint golden tone at the peripheries, but most noticeable on the obverse. The entire coin exhibits a lovely soft, satiny cream tone, with small clouds of blue in the obverse fields. A virtually un-improvable gem of the first water.


Elliot Goodman Morgan Dollar Collection; Antelope Valley Silver Dollar Collection (via Barry Stuppler), Bowers and Merena (FUN Convention auction), January 7, 1993, lot 128 (illustrated as catalogue frontispiece); Mark Yaffe; Jefferson Coin and Bullion; Ralph Stone Collection (circa 1993); thence by descent.

Catalogue Note

ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE CLASSIC MORGAN DOLLAR RARITY. The 1893-S Morgan dollar is by virtue of its mintage, 100,000, the rarest regular issue coin in the series. It is undoubtedly the key to the Morgan dollar series, and is the one date that in high grade seems to elude even some of the best current registry sets. For example, of the current top ten PCGS registry sets, the finest two examples are graded MS 63 (and none of the other six enumerated on the website are above AU condition). It is one of only two Morgan dollars included in Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth’s, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, 2008 (number 38).

The full provenance of this coin is as yet unknown. It appears that its only appearance at auction was as part of the Antelope Valley Silver Dollar Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7-8 January 1993, lot 128). The collection was consigned to sale “through the offices of Barry Stuppler of the Gold and Silver Emporium, Encino, California, sole representative of the owner” (p.24). In mid-1992 John Highfill’s Encyclopedia described the Elliot Goodman Morgan Dollar Collection, which was begun in August 1990. It was assembled “[u]nder the instructions of Antelope Valley Newspapers Inc.” by Elliot Goodman, of Allstate Coin Co., Tuscon, Arizona. The aim was to assemble the world’s finest collection of Morgan dollars. The listing that followed (pp. 308-309) indicates that many of the goals were met, for the collection contained any number of extraordinary and finest known examples. A comparison of the listing in Highfill to the coins in the auction catalogue leaves no doubt that they were the same. However, the original listing in Highfill only cites an MS 63 example of the 1893-S. The sale catalogue, however, notes specifically that the appearance of two mint state 1893-S dollars in one collection was then unprecedented. This coin, therefore, must have entered the collection shortly before being consigned for sale. However, the catalogue description provided no information as to its prior ownership, and its characteristics do not match any of the descriptions of the superb examples provided by Wayne Miller (pp. 139-140).

There have been few appearances of PCGS MS 65 examples of this classic rarity. Since this example was sold in 1993, the PCGS auction data indicate that there have been only two appearances of comparably graded examples. The Amon Carter example appeared in March 1995 in the Heritage Early Spring ANA sale, lot 5688 ($154,000), and most recently, the Eliasberg example (sold uncertified April, 1997, lot 2294 [$198,000]) was most recently sold by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October, 2014, lot 290 (PCGS MS 65 CAC [$646,250]; according to the PCGS auction data the highest price on record). The most recent appearance of a mint state example was in January 2018 (PCGS MS 61 Secure, non CAC certified, $204,000 [Heritage]).

Certificate number: 3147212 (Generation 3 holder). At the time it was certified PCGS had graded only three MS 65 examples of the date, and one finer (MS 67); the current census is five comparable examples, and a single example finer (MS 67). CAC has certified two examples at this grade, and a single MS 67. (02-18)