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PR65 Cameo 1895 Morgan Dollar
The Legendary Proof-Only Issue

1895 $1 PR65 Cameo NGC. In his article "Philly 1895 Morgan Dollars" for the September 2006 edition of Coin Values, Roger Burdette's meticulous research turned up an intriguing set of facts about the dies used to strike the Morgan dollars of 1895. Referencing Mint Engraver Charles Barber's annual report of the dies provided to the coiner of the Philadelphia Mint, Burdette writes:

"There is nothing unusual until we get to dies provided for circulation dollars, where there are none listed, and the Proof silver dollars -- five obverse and four reverse. The report suggests that not only were no dollar dies allocated for circulation production, but that it took four die sets plus an additional obverse to strike just 880 usable Proof dollars. Proof coins were struck at higher than normal pressure and carefully inspected for defects. The increased pressure caused dies to fail prematurely, and rigorous inspection resulted in as many as half of all Proofs struck being rejected by the coiner. In previous years, only one or two pairs of dies had been used to strike a similar number of Proof dollars. Clearly, more may have occurred than the raw numbers indicate."

Still, there is no definitive proof that any more 1895 Morgan dollars were made than 880 specimens struck for inclusion in proof sets. Of those coins, this is a remarkable Gem Cameo survivor, amply mirrored with just a few splashes of cloud-gray toning set against the white frost over the center devices. The faintest hint of green-gold visits the peripheral zones, and a small dot of milky patina off Liberty's lower right curls may prove useful as a pedigree marker in the future. Census: 19 in 65 Cameo, 32 finer (3/11).
From The Slotkin Family Trust Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 27ZR, PCGS# 87330)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
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