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Description

Bright, Contact-Free 1921 Zerbe PR67 Morgan
The Sole Finest Certified

1921 $1 Zerbe PR67 NGC. The Zerbe proof 1921 Morgan dollars are a coin with an interesting back-story, one almost as colorful as the man responsible for their creation. Farran Zerbe was well-connected but not always well-liked in his own day; in fact, more than a few numismatists in the early 20th century appear to have actively despised him. Zerbe (1871-1949) was a numismatic writer, collector of numismatic literature and coins, and an entrepreneur of the first rank in the late 19th-early 20th century.
His overpromotion of the issues was to blame for some collectors' getting "burned" by the commemorative gold dollars of 1903-05 -- the Louisiana Purchase/Lewis and Clark pieces. One of Zerbe's chief detractors was respected coin dealer Thomas L. Elder, who condemned Zerbe's activities as demeaning hucksterism.
Zerbe served as president of the American Numismatic Association from 1908-1910, yet some numismatists were dismayed when he bought The Numismatist from the heirs of George F. Heath, founder of the ANA, upon the occasion of Heath's sudden death.
Zerbe's promotion and influence were responsible for the creation of the five-piece 1915-S Panama-Pacific commemorative sets in gold and silver; yet when the ANA held its annual convention in 1915 in San Francisco, Zerbe's name served to keep away hordes of collectors, creating an all-time record-low attendance for the event, fewer than 20 persons in all.
The Zerbe proof Morgan dollars are another case in point; even today, some numismatists disagree over their status. Zerbe was the driving force behind the introduction of the Peace dollar, and the story is told that the Zerbe proofs were a sort of "consolation prize" to his not being able to have the Peace dollar launched within the calendar year 1921.
This Superb Gem is the nicest Zerbe proof we have ever seen. The fields are the brightest we can recall, with the characteristic die polishing lines visible, and the surfaces are bright throughout, showing light frost over the devices. The full strike is convincingly that of a proof. Unlike most Zerbe proofs, there are no obvious contact marks, but we note the diagnostic light die scratch is also faintly visible above the second U in UNUM. Although there are a handful of examples each at NGC and PCGS in the PR66 (or SP66) grade level, this piece is the sole Superb Gem certified at either service (12/12). As the PR66 examples are now bringing well into the five figures, we expect this piece will spur considerable excitement at auction.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 257A, PCGS# 7341)


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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2013
9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 757

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