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1895 PR63 Morgan Dollar
Key, Proof-Only Issue to the Series

1895 $1 PR63 PCGS. The Mint reported coinage of 12,000 business strike silver dollars in 1895. Nonetheless Q. David Bowers, in his Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, reports considerable contemporary evidence -- dating from the 1890s, shortly after the issue was struck -- indicating knowledge among collectors that the 1895 was a proof-only affair.
For example, Bowers points to the December 1898 issue of The Curio, where Lancaster, Pennsylvania, dealer Charles Steigerwalt writes, "Dollars of 1895 from the Philadelphia Mint are only found in the Proof sets." Bowers also cites the study "Die Varieties of Current United States Standard Dollars," written by George W. Rice and published in the June 1898 The Numismatist. Rice wrote, "In 1895, Proofs only numbering less than 1,000, were struck." Bowers quite reasonably concludes:

"It seems to me that it was prevailing knowledge as early as 1898, perhaps even before, that no business strikes of the 1895 dollar were made. Presumably, this information must have come from the Mint itself. The Mint was in constant contact with collectors and dealers and, of course, was actively marketing Proof sets at the time."

The issue of the "phantom 1895 business strikes" is one that ensuing decades have deepened rather than clarified. This is a deeply reflective proof with absolutely no resemblance to one of the phantom business strikes. The devices are nicely frosted and present noticeable contrast against the mirrored fields, making one wonder why this coin was not accorded a Cameo designation. Each side has light golden-brown toning, but the dazzling surfaces beneath are not subdued in any way by the light color. Light hairlines explain the PR63 grade. Population: 69 in 63, 94 finer (9/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 27ZR, PCGS# 7330)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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