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Morgans Moving Up: 1878 Varieties in Demand
By Harry Miller, Coins Magazine
September 09, 2013

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine.
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There is a lot of anticipation in the air just prior to an American Numismatic Association convention. This year’s show, in Rosemont, Ill., was no exception. The wavering economy and precious metals declines are also food for thought.

One bellwether I like to use in regard to the ANA event is the deep mirror prooflike Morgan dollar market, which always seems to be very active going into successful major shows and it is active and positive. It is worthy to note that an 1804 dollar was auctioned during the show and this will lead to buzz and publicity.

Precious metals seem to be in a bottoming formation and in fact are slightly positive to last month. Platinum is actually very positive with a gain over 4 percent.

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Perhaps the most positive action of all has been in the overall silver dollar market. While the obvious has occurred to circulated common coins due to a $10 drop in silver bullion, the rest of the market has been undergoing a quiet boom.

First there have been dramatic increases in all 1878 issues, the emphasis on the eight tail feathers and the Carson City issue. This first year lends itself to a lot of interest across all areas of the market because of the interesting five major varieties and over 100 or so minor varieties.

Aside from the serious collector/dealer interest, it is also one of the most popular telemarketer and promotional house items because interesting stories can be wound around the varieties.

This group enjoys greater than normal interest and yet there have been even greater gains in several better-date Carson City issues this year. Such as the MS-64 1893-CC mentioned in another article with over a 50 percent gain. Many of the scarcer San Francisco issues have also done well this year, including the 1895-S and the 1904-S.

There have been some incredible gains in a few MS-67 issues with the 1882-O and 1896-S gaining over $10,000 and the 1921-D nearly tripling in value at $38,500. Of course, only a few of each exist in that grade. Morgans are having a good year.

Updated silver/gold/platinum American Eagle charts are generally steady, but because of the U.S. Mint lowering the proof silver Eagle price to $52.95, the more common proof issues after 2000 have slipped.

This is because they are affected by investor retirement demand and they buy whatever is cheapest for their self-directed accounts. There has been no change in the rarer dates or sets over the past month.



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