Collectors of Morgan dollars should be aware that GreatCollections is currently auctioning a fine example of the “King” of the series. This 1893-S Morgan dollar, graded as MS-63 by NGC, still has beautiful luster and would make a fine addition to any collection. Bidding for this desirable coin ends on Sunday, June 26, 2022, 06:56:12 PM Pacific Time (9:56 Eastern).
At the time of publication, the highest of 47 bids stands at $26,000 USD.
As the Panic of 1893 raged and the Gold Standard seemed to be in peril, the United States Government repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in an attempt to calm public anxiety. Due to the already massive surpluses of Morgan dollars, as soon as the Sherman Act was repealed, the San Francisco Mint halted production of the coin. Since the Act was repealed in the fall of 1893, the mint has already delivered 100,000 silver dollars in January of that year. Further adding to their rarity, most numismatists believe that many pieces were either melted down as a result of the Pittman Act of 1918 or were released into circulation.
With a mintage of only 100,000 and an estimated 10% survival rate, this is the rarest Morgan dollar. It is quite rare for a piece of this grade to come to auction. In fact, NGC has only certified three pieces in MS-63 with 12 higher, and PCGS has certified nine others in MS-63 and 10 in higher grades. The true number will, of course, be lower, since these figures do not account for the inevitable duplicates and recertifications.
While the auction record for this grade, set in July 2015, is a whopping $282,000, the most recent recorded auction sale for this grade stands in 2019 stands at $210,000. As such, with a current high bid of $26,000, this example is dramatically undervalued.
The obverse exhibits the left-facing Liberty Head motif seen on all issues of this classic dollar series. The central Liberty bust wears a Phrygian cap encircled with a ribbon adorned with the inscription LIBERTY. Miss Liberty also wears a crown of wheat and cotton, which were two of the nation’s most lucrative natural agricultural assets in the 19th century.
E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed along the upper half of the obverse rim, and the date 1893 is centered at the bottom of the obverse adjacent to the rim. Seven stars appear between the left side of the date and the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM, while six stars fill the gap between the date and motto on the lower right side of the coin. In total, the 13 stars represent the 13 colonies that combined to form the original Union of the United States. At the base of Liberty’s neck is the “M” monogram representing engraver George T. Morgan’s initial.
The reverse is dominated by a heraldic eagle, its wings spread across the upper half of the coin. Between the upper tips of the eagle’s wings appears the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The eagle clutches an olive branch in its right claw representing peace and in its left claw are three arrows symbolizing the nation’s ability to defend itself. The central eagle design is partly encircled by a laurel wreath. The “S” mint mark is right beneath the ribbon that ties the two halves of the wreath together.
Along the rim of the upper two-thirds of the reverse is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, with the tip of the eagle’s left wings, which virtually touch the coin’s rim, penetrating the space between UNITED and STATES; the right wing visually divides the words OF and AMERICA. The words ONE DOLLAR, seen at the bottom center of the reverse, are flanked by a single, six-sided star on either side of the denomination inscription.
The edge of the 1893-S Morgan dollar is reeded.
Again, bidding ends on Sunday, June 26, 2022, 06:56:12 PM Pacific Time (9:56 Eastern).
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