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HomeUS CoinsCarson City Morgan Dollars Book Released in Updated Third Edition

Carson City Morgan Dollars Book Released in Updated Third Edition

Whitman Publishing announces the release of the updated and revised third edition of Carson City Morgan Dollars, by Adam Crum, Selby Ungar, and Jeff Oxman. The new 136-page hardcover book debuted at the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show in Atlanta, Georgia, March 1, 2014. It is available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online or you can contact Monaco Rare Coins to learn how to receive a copy. The book can also be borrowed for free as a benefit of membership in the ANA, through the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.

The third edition has been updated with new historical photographs; revisions from ongoing research; current coin values and certified-coin populations; and fresh market commentary. A new appendix gives current certification populations of Carson City Morgan dollars as graded by NGC. “This gives the collector and investor a real-world snapshot of the relative rarities of different dates and more than a dozen VAM varieties,” said coauthor Adam Crum.

crum_carson_bookCarson City Morgan Dollars begins with the accidental discovery of gold in California in 1848. Crum, Ungar, and Oxman describe the challenges faced by adventurers in the Gold Rush; the Nevada silver boom of the late 1800s; the birth and struggles of the Carson City Mint; and other rich historical topics.

“Old West history buffs strike it rich with this book,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker, “and collectors and investors benefit from its detailed coin-by-coin study of every Morgan dollar ever struck at the famous CC Mint, including selected VAM (Van Allen–Mallis) varieties.”

The General Services Administration hoard—millions of Treasury-bagged Carson City silver dollars brought out of storage in the 1970s and sold to collectors—is a fascinating “main character” in this story. The authors describe the government’s sales of these coins, and their effect on the hobby. Then they share detailed advice on ways to collect Carson City Morgan dollars.

  • Each coin-by-coin entry has a chart of values in Mint State grades, listing prooflike (PL) and deep-mirror prooflike (DMPL) values separately.
  • Each “generic” (non-VAM variety) coin has a “By the Numbers” chart, which gives its original mintage, Leroy Van Allen’s published estimate of the quantity in the GSA hoard, rarity rankings for GSA and non-GSA examples, and other useful facts. “Overall Rarity” is the total number of coins estimated to exist for the issue, based on the number found in the GSA hoard, the number graded by PCGS and NGC, the authors’ personal observations of the market, insider information, and auction records.
  • A “Condition Census” provides the most reasonable acquisition grade for most collectors. (“Though it isn’t always possible to acquire the highest-graded coins in GSA holders,” the authors note, “it’s still desirable, and fun, to attempt to do so.”)
  • “Collector Insights” summarize useful background information on each coin.
  • “Variety Notes” supply valuable information on the many die varieties known to exist for Carson City Morgan dollars in GSA holders.
  • A “Collector’s Checklist” includes space for collectors to record their purchases and write notes about their coins.
  • An index allows the reader to quickly search for terms—from Adams Brick Works to Brigham Young—relating to the Carson City Mint and its silver dollars.

Hobby legend Q. David Bowers, the “Dean of American Numismatics,” calls Carson City Morgan Dollars “a necessary volume in your silver-dollar library.”

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