By Christopher Maisano – Numismatist, Stack’s Bower Galleries ……
Proof Morgan dollars as a whole are highly desirable but rarely does one stand out from the rest like this beauty. The untoned surfaces allow full appreciation of the predominantly brilliant finish for which this late-date Proof Morgan dollar issue is known. There is, however, some field-to-device contrast – a rarity for the date. The striking detail is razor sharp, as expected for a Proof, and the surfaces border on pristine.
In the autumn of 1901, the Philadelphia Mint relocated some of its equipment and all of its personnel to a new building. It seems that in 1902 someone new was in charge of preparing Proof dies, as he polished the portraits instead of keeping them frosty and matte. All 1903 Proof coins are of this format, most noticeable on the larger denominations such as the Morgan dollar and the double eagle. Polished portraits continued to be used intermittently for several years after that.
Proof dollar coinage in 1903 amounted to 755 pieces, most of which have survived. On the other hand, few were produced with enough contrast to secure a Cameo designation from PCGS or NGC and even fewer qualify for a Superb Gem grade. This is a strike and condition rarity fit for the finest collection. This ultra-gem is of beautiful registry quality and is expected to receive much attention when it crosses the auction block in the upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries Rarities Night session.
For more information about the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter 2022 Expo, visit StacksBowers.com To consign your coins or paper money to one of our Showcase auctions or to our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].