Important Mint State 1893-S Morgan Dollar MS62 PCGS1893-S $1 MS62 PCGS. For the year 1893, The Annual Report of the Director of the Mint mentioned the recent repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act: "The Act of July 14, 1890, authorized the secretary of the Treasury to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver monthly, or so much thereof as might be offered, at the market price...". This important event occurred at a time of monetary instability in the United States, and was seen by investors as an indication that the American government was "...putting its financial house in order...", according to Q. David Bowers, "...and confidence returned. By 1895 the economy had basically recovered." For three years, however, the coinage of silver dollars was greatly reduced, after a period when massive quantities of silver were purchased by the federal government, and tons of silver coins, especially dollars, went into essentially permanent storage at several of the U.S. Mint facilities.
The brief reduced-mintage years for Morgan Dollars, from 1893 to 1895, are replete with issues from the four active mints that carry varying degrees of scarcity at the Uncirculated level. However, towering above the others and difficult at all grade levels is the 1893-S, a legendary issue that has been known to even the most casual coin collector for decades. Its value in circulated condition can be attributed to the immense popularity of the series, but any collector serious enough to consider an example in AU or better condition must not only have the means, but also the patience. Only a few dozen Mint State pieces are known, and they are among the most prized silver dollars of any date and any type.
Writing in 1982, Morgan dollar expert Wayne Miller had this to say about the 1893-S: "The typical 1893-S dollar is well struck, with good luster. Uncirculated specimens are not usually heavily bagmarked. Many BU 1893-S dollars can be traced to a hoard of twenty pieces found in a BU bag of 1894-S dollars in Great Falls, Montana in the early 1950's. These dollars were dispersed over a twenty year period, one or two at a time. ... The 1893-S is the rarest and most expensive regular issue Morgan dollar in any condition, with the lowest mintage. The tremendous increase in the price of this coin (BU specimens leapt from $5,000 to $75,000 each from 1972 to 1980), failed to coax more than a dozen or so mint state 1893-S dollars into the market. Most of the mint state 1893-S dollars which have appeared in the past five years have been unappealing specimens. ... Unlike the 1892-S, the 1893-S is rare in all grades, and resale value is good. However, over-grading and counterfeiting of the 1893-S make it imperative that such a piece by (sic) purchased from a reputable dealer. If possible, try to obtain a letter of authenticity. There are no 'bargain' 1893-S dollars."
Walter Breen, in his Encyclopedia, also had cautionary words regarding the authenticity of the '93-S: "Many forgeries exist, most made by affixing S mintmark to genuine 1893 Philadelphia dollars; authentication is mandatory. All genuine specimens to date show raised line up from upper l. edge of T(Y) through crossbar." (This example clearly shows the raised line mentioned by Breen, under low magnification.)
Here is a shimmering, Uncirculated '93-S that is essentially brilliant and has escaped from any mentionable abrasions. The striking details on the piece are excellent, although a touch of typical minor weakness is noted, for the sake of accuracy, in the hair above Liberty's ear. The coin has a very natural, essentially untoned appearance, and the fields display a distinctly semi-prooflike quality, particularly when the piece is held and rotated beneath a lamp. A few wispy slide marks on the cheek of Liberty are not particularly detrimental to the appeal of this important Morgan dollar, but do take something away from its technical rating. Any opportunity to acquire a solid Mint State example of this rarity is an event of importance to the countless collectors of this widely saved series. Population: 7 in 62, 19 finer (6/06).
From The New York Eye Appeal Collection.(Registry values: P10, N7079) (NGC ID# 255U, PCGS# 7226)
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