VAMs and Dimple Morgan Dollars Reflected in Month-Long Auction

The latest month-long auction of US coins from Heritage Auctions focuses on the ever-popular Morgan Dollar series, with an offering consisting of VAM varieties as well as Prooflike and Deep Mirror Prooflike Morgans. This auction is open for bidding now, with the concluding live session scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at 6 PM CT.

This auction is particularly strong in rarer Prooflike and Deep Mirror Prooflike coins. One of the notable rarities is a 1904-S dollar, graded MS64 Prooflike by PCGS. This date is among the most challenging issues in the Morgan dollar series in Prooflike quality. Such coins are rare, with only 29 reported in all grades at PCGS, and no Deep Mirror Prooflike pieces are listed at that service. This coin displays brilliant, appreciably reflective fields, with satiny luster across the devices. Slight strike softness on the hair above Liberty’s ear is normal, but the eagle’s breast is well defined. To add interest, it is housed in a first-generation “rattler” holder.

Some of the additional outstanding offerings in this auction include:

A World of Money: An Excellent “Long-Whiskered Dragon” Dollar

A type that is as renowned for its extreme rarity as it is for its undeniable artistic prowess, the 1911 Long-Whiskered Dragon Pattern by Luigi Giorgi is among the most instantly recognizable and fiercely sought of late Imperial silver dollars. Stemming from a program by the emperor to unify the national currency that employed an Italian die-cutting firm to work with the Central Mint in designing a new dollar coin, the artistry seen here is nothing short of exquisite—even the scales of the smiling dragon’s coiled body are carefully picked out and painstakingly expressed, while the characters are deeply impressed and just slightly rounded to give a special specimen-like feel.

The June 24-25 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction features one such piece graded MS63 by NGC, a grade near the peak of the NGC census (MS64 being the highest grade awarded by that company). We would note that both the Wa She Wong and Norman Jacobs examples only certified at MS61. Both sides of this coin contain a natural pearl-like coloration, backlit by a champagne hue with mottled notes of blue around the dragon.

While numerous die varieties are known for the issue (mainly characterized by the forms of the leaves and the Manchu in the margins of the obverse), the die style here bears special affinities with that used on the subsequent Short-Whiskered type, the rightmost leaf showing considerably fewer “spines” than either of the two pieces listed by Chang under CH26 and CH27, or the example illustrated in the Chang Foundation collection catalog, owing to a slightly weaker engraving in these features.

Bid on these outstanding coins exclusively at Coins.HA.com.
 

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