The latest Showcase auction of US coins from Heritage Auctions covers the Justine Collection of Morgan Dollars, an extensive, near-complete collection of Morgan Dollars by date and mintmark – including several Proofs and a selection of GSA and Redfield dollars. Morgan Dollars are popular with US coin collectors everywhere because of their size and connections with the “Old West”, and of the 113 coins in this offering, fully 107 boast a numerical grade of 60 or higher. These Morgan dollars are open for bidding right now at Coins.HA.com, with the concluding Live session scheduled for 6 pm CT on Monday, July 17.
One of the major stoppers for anyone collecting a set of Morgan Dollars is the 1895, a coin known only in Proof format and eagerly collected as such. This collection boasts an example graded PR64+ Cameo by PCGS. This coin is a spectacular Plus-graded Choice Proof that exhibits sharply detailed design elements and deeply mirrored fields that contrast boldly with the frosty devices. The well-preserved surfaces are blanketed in vivid shades of cobalt-blue and orange-red toning. The overall eye appeal is terrific and the high quality within the grade is confirmed by CAC. The 1895 Morgan dollar is listed among the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins.
An average-size mintage of 880 Proof Morgan dollars occurred at the Philadelphia Mint in 1895, with the coins delivered in four batches throughout the year. Records show that a tiny business-strike mintage of 12,000 examples was also produced, but no regular-issue coins have ever turned up in any collection. The fate of the 1895 business-strike Morgan dollars is one of the greatest mysteries in American numismatics. Prominent researchers, from Q. David Bowers to Roger W. Burdette, have offered ingenious theories about the missing coins, but conclusive evidence remains elusive. One theory suggests the circulation-strike coins were never actually struck and the mintage figures represent some kind of clerical error in the records. Another theory indicates the coins were struck, but all were subsequently melted, perhaps under the provisions of the Pittman Act in 1918. Whatever the truth may be, no business-strike 1895 Morgan dollars are known to collectors today, leaving the small supply of Proofs alone to satisfy collector demand. Accordingly, the 1895 Morgan dollar is the rarest, most sought-after issue in this incredibly popular series.
The Justine Collection is full of other high-quality coins, including:
- 1879 $1 MS65 Deep Mirror Prooflike PCGS
- 1889-CC $1 MS63 Prooflike PCGS. VAM-2
- 1893-CC $1 MS64 PCGS. VAM-4
- 1893-S $1 XF45 NGC. CAC. VAM-1
- 1903-S $1 MS63+ PCGS. CAC
- 1921-D $1 MS67 NGC
- 1894 $1 PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC
- 1899 $1 PR66+ Cameo PCGS. CAC
Bidding on the coins in this auction continues through July 17, exclusively at Coins.HA.com.