Map the U.S. with a Complete Mintmark Set of Silver Morgan Dollars
By Brian Zweig
Assembling a complete date set or mintmark set for numismatic coins is one of the ultimate goals of any numismatic enthusiast. This can become a challenging task when one or more of the coins are uncommon or have a high price tag. These sets become even more difficult to assemble when you are doing it in a high grade, such as MS64 or higher. Few people are lucky enough to get the opportunity to own mintmark sets, as they can often range in price anywhere from $30,000 to over $1 million. Now, however, we have an opportunity for you to own a “complete” mintmark set of MS65 Silver Morgan Dollars at a price you can afford.
MS65 Silver Morgan Dollar
Expansion of the U.S. Mint
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States underwent an incredible geographic expansion. Events like the Louisiana Purchase, the California Gold Rush, and the transcontinental railroad broadened the country’s footprint. Not only did the borders shift, but so too did the economic and population centers. Whereas most Americans lived along the Eastern Seaboard in 1800, cities like New Orleans and San Francisco developed into important hubs later in the century.
Mirroring this trend, the United States Mint established a number of branch facilities between 1838 and 1906. In the U.S., branch locations were usually established close to metal discoveries. A prime example is the San Francisco Mint, which was opened in direct response to the California Gold Rush.
Rarity of Silver Morgan Dollar Mintmark Sets
Each Mint’s output was a direct reflection on the local economic and mining conditions. However, the Silver Morgan Dollar was one of very few U.S. coins to be struck at five different mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, San Francisco, and Denver. There are two main reasons for this. First, the Silver Dollar emerged as a widely popular coin in the late 19th century. It became a centrally important unit of exchange and was in demand throughout the country. However, there was a second reason why so many Morgan Dollars were struck. Powerful Nevada mining companies persuaded Congress to buy a massive amount of silver. The metal was to be converted into coins—and the Silver Dollar was the largest denomination available.
Admittedly, the federal government struck an excessive number of Silver Dollars. In fact, the surplus lasted well into the 20th century! Granted, this was a gross miscalculation for the U.S. Treasury—but a very fortunate one for numismatists. Original bags of Silver Morgan Dollars sat untouched in vaults for decades, only to be discovered by collectors in the 1960s. Many (if not most) pristine Morgan Dollars owe their existence to these dormant bags. Most of these Uncirculated pieces were abraded and “bagmarked,” but a small percentage survived in high grades.
Why do so few Morgan Dollars exist in MS65? It’s mostly a function of the coin’s design. The cheek on Liberty’s portrait is raised and exposed; most coins exhibit numerous marks in this area. Whereas other sections (and the reverse) are shallower and/or protected by the raised rim, the cheek is completely vulnerable to scratches and marks. Many Morgan Dollars have the reverse quality of an MS64 but the obverse of an MS62!
Even if a Morgan Dollar has clean and well-preserved surfaces, it can only grade MS65 if it has excellent luster, a solid strike, and superb eye appeal. Any deficiency in those areas can knock it down a grade. The New Orleans Mint, for example, was notorious for flat, poorly-struck coins. These pieces are often seen with incomplete design details in the center—which ultimately limits its grade. Even if a coin has MS65 surfaces, an extremely weak strike might result in its being held back to MS64.
Own a “Complete” Mintmark Set of Morgan Silver Dollars
Mintmark sets and date sets are one of the most interesting ways to collect a series. However, the Morgan Dollar series has numerous key dates, thus making a complete date set prohibitively expensive. A complete set with every date and mintmark would likely cost $30,000 to $50,000 in lightly circulated grades, $250,000 to $500,000 in low-end Uncirculated, and a whopping $1 million+ in MS64! With this being said, a complete mintmark set of Morgan Dollars—even in Gem MS65—costs under $1,500.
If you’re looking to take advantage of these incredibly priced mintmark sets, we now have 50 5-piece MS65 Silver Morgan Dollar mintmark sets available. These mintmark sets represent an outstanding combination of affordability and numismatic appeal, especially considering the representation you’re getting! Each set contains one representative from the Philadelphia, New Orleans, Denver, Carson City, and San Francisco Mints—each graded MS65 by PCGS or NGC. Granted, all MS65 Morgan Dollars must exhibit strong technical and aesthetic quality, but we specifically chose attractive and high-end specimens for these sets.
We wanted to bring your attention to the Denver component in these mintmark sets. This is the rarest mintmark in the Morgan Dollar series, as the Denver Mint only produced this coin in 1921. The 1921-D Silver Dollar has dual significance as one of the very last Morgan Dollars ever struck (the design was discontinued that year) and the only Morgan Dollar ever produced in Denver. Each of these mintmark sets contains a Gem Uncirculated 1921-D Dollar.
These 5-piece mintmark sets are a great way to own a “complete” Morgan Dollar mintmark collection without spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Plus, they remain extremely affordable in high grade.
This is a truly remarkable value and one of the best ways to own Silver Morgan Dollars. Given their highly attractive price point and numismatic significance, these sets will likely get a swift and enthusiastic response. We encourage you to reserve your set quickly while these sets remain! To buy these incredibly priced Morgan Dollar sets and add one of the most beloved U.S. Silver Dollars to your portfolio, please call us at 800-831-0007 or email us.
*Prices subject to change based on market fluctuation and product availability. Prices reflected are for cash, check, or bank wire. Offer expires Friday, September 15, 2017.