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thatcoinguy's Blog

14 Dec 2021

The Most Expensive Morgan Dollar: The 1893-S

Coins-United States | thatcoinguy

Hello fellow YNs and YNH!


The Morgan Dollar is one of the highest collected series in numismatics. These old west dollars were unpopular at the time of mintage, but know are mainstays in coin shops and shows everywhere. The key date is definitely the most expensive. Let's learn some more about the king of kings of Morgan Dollars, the key date, 1893-S!


One of my favorite 1893-S Morgan Dollar stories was one I heard from Q. David Bowers, which goes like this: in the late 1980s, he had the chance to purchase a lot of 250 1893-S dollars in circulated grades. He did not purchase the lots, but it taught him a valuable lesson. Just because people say something is rare, doesn't mean it is. He told this story after being asked why the 1893-S mintage was so low. Experts estimate that 10,000 1893-S Morgan Dollars exist from all grades. When you see a mint state example, it probably came from the Great Falls bank in Minnesota, which came across a high grade original mint bag in the 1960s. There were multiple mint state 1893-S dollars found there.


As I stated before, the 1893-S is the key date. This means that it is the most expensive date and mintmark combination in a series, this one being the Morgan Dollar series. It is pricy because of it's low mintage, and is called a "stopper" because seeing the price of this coin may make you not want to collect Morgan Dollars due to the high price of the key date.


The finest known 1893-S Morgan Dollar (pictured) is graded MS-67 by PCGS. It was recently sold by Great Collections for an astounding $1,855,000 ($2,086,875 with the buyer's fee). With 25,036 page views and 127 bids, there was certainly some excitement surrounding this key date to end all other key dates.


Keep collecting (even Morgans),

Thatcoinguy

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