Struck at the fabled Carson City Mint, very few of the issue’s documented 1,136,000-coin mintage were known to have survived. That is until the GSA (General Services Administration) sales of the 1970s and ’80s revealed that almost 85% of the entire run was sitting in bags in Treasury Department vaults untouched for nearly one hundred years.
This came as a shock to collectors, to say the least.
Still, while the coin as a type is now one of the more common Morgan dollars (even up to MS-65), it is a condition rarity in higher grades. The example on offer from GreatCollections is one of nine specimens graded by PCGS, with two higher in 68 and one higher in 68+. An estimated value of $6,500 USD is listed on the PCGS CoinFacts page, and in a fairly recent auction from July 2016 an MS-67+ 1884-CC sold for $5,170. NGC 67+ auction results vary a little more, ranging from $4,230 in January 2015 to $7,638 in April of that year.
At the time of writing, the high bid on this condition rarity 1884-CC Morgan dollar is $8,020 after 29 bids, which indicates that demand for this coin may be ramping up.
For more auction results, you can also search through the GreatCollections Auction Archives, with records for over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold over the past seven years.
History of the Morgan Dollar
The Morgan silver dollar was minted between 1878 and 1904, and then once more in 1921. It was the first standard silver dollar to be struck after the Seated Liberty dollar ceased production due to the Coinage Act of 1873 and the end of the free coining of silver.
The Morgan dollar is named after United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty with a wreath of agricultural products important to the United States, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched, influenced by Italian Renaissance designs.
The new dollar was authorized by the Bland–Allison Act. The effort by mining interests to lobby for the restoration of “free silver” started almost immediately once the 1873 coinage act was passed. Five years later, instead of requiring the Mint to accept all silver presented to it and return it in the form of coinage, the Bland–Allison Act required the Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars’ worth of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month.
In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but mandated further silver dollar production for only one more year. This law was repealed in 1893.
Always a popular coin with American collectors, the release of millions of Morgan dollars from Treasury Department vaults in the 1960s and ’70s radically reshaped what we knew about the condition and survival rates of these coins.