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Coveted 1895 Morgan Dollar, PR66 Deep Cameo
An Essentially Perfect Example

1895 $1 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. Proofs = 880 coined. Business strikes = 12,000 minted -- or not?
Those are the essential equations that characterize the 1895 Morgan dollar. All else is conjecture, speculation, hypothesis.
The story encapsulated above has been told and retold at great length over the decades. Assume for a moment that business strikes did exist at one time. What other American coinage issues are there where the proofs greatly outnumber the business strikes? (There are many proof-only issues in U.S. numismatics, and they are an interesting and valuable subset in and of themselves.)
For proofs outnumbering business strikes, there are several issues toward the end of the three cent nickel series that qualify, according to the Guide Book mintage figures: The 1883, 1884, and 1885 three cent nickels each have larger proof productions than circulation strikes. However, the example lacks validity: Not only are three cent nickels far less popular as a series than Morgan dollars, but business strikes are known for those issues. Actually, many modern-issue commemorative coins are in the same boat as the three cent nickels, where collectors tend to prefer and order proofs over business strikes.
However, there is no other U.S. coinage issue where business strikes are supposed to have been made, yet none have ever been found. The proof 1895 Morgan dollar is thus in a class all its own, an issue that will likely forever be considered "proof-only with a footnote." The proof 1895 Morgan dollars, in and of themselves, are neither more nor less rare than their sibling proofs from other years. Rather, it is the incredible popularity of the Morgan dollar series -- and the aforementioned lack of business strikes -- that make the 1895 so valued and in-demand from legions of collectors.
The present Premium Gem Deep Cameo PCGS example is an essentially perfect specimen. The strike is close to full, save for trivial softness over the ear and on the eagle feathers. The deeply mirrored fields supply strong contrast against the devices, and the centers are brilliant with a faint gold accent around the margins. For the collector seeking an eye-appealing Deep Cameo example that is close to unimprovable, the hunt ends here. Population: 7 in 66 Deep Cameo, 5 finer (11/11).(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 27ZR, PCGS# 97330)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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