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    1893-S Morgan Dollar, MS61
    Sought-After, Low-Mintage Key
    Especially Rare in High Grade

    1893-S $1 MS61 PCGS. The Panic of 1893 had far-reaching economic consequences, including the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which had mandated the production of millions of unneeded silver dollars since it replaced the Bland-Allison Act in 1890, and resulted in the depletion of the nation's gold reserves. Accordingly, silver dollar mintages were drastically reduced at all U.S. mints in 1893 and following years. A modest mintage of Morgan dollars was accomplished at the San Francisco Mint in January of 1893, before the effects of the panic were fully realized, but none were coined in later months, resulting in a series-low business-strike mintage of 100,000 pieces for the issue. All the coins were struck from a single pair of dies that show a diagnostic die line on the cross bar of the T in LIBERTY.

    Most, if not all, of the small mintage was released into circulation near the time of issue and circulated heavily in the hard-money economy of the Western United States. Conventional wisdom suggests the coins were rarely seen in numismatic circles in the first few decades after they were struck, but a few high-quality examples were saved by contemporary collectors at an early date. John M. Clapp purchased one of the finest examples we know about today from Philadelphia numismatist John Colvin Randall in March of 1894. Another Uncirculated example was offered in the William Friesner Collection (Edouard Frossard, 6/1894), lot 696, described tersely in the section of S-mint dollars as, "1893 Uncirculated." The lot realized only $1.10. Similar offerings can be found in two sales by the Chapman brothers in 1904, where the coins realized $1.15 and $1.25 respectively. Likewise, the coin in lot 545 of the Chapman's H.P. Smith Collection (5/1906) brought only $1.30. As late as the B.W. Smith Sale (B. Max Mehl, 5/1915), a Fine specimen in lot 731 realized only $1.85. None of these prominent coin dealers described the 1893-S as rare, and the modest premiums they brought suggests they were not widely sought-after by collectors. It seems the elusive nature of the 1893-S was not recognized in the late 19th or early 20th century.

    Although Augustus Heaton published his landmark treatise on mintmarks in 1893, he did not mention the 1893-S as a key issue. Since the book was published before the end of the year, he had no way of knowing how small the mintage would be. Since they were not considered rare or interesting numismatically, the great majority of the coins circulated freely for several decades before collectors began to cull them from circulation in the 1930s. If a large number of coins was initially held in government storage they must have been melted in 1918, under the provisions of the Pittman Act. Only a few, scattered examples were discovered in the Treasury releases of the 1960s. As might be expected, the 1893-S is very rare in Mint State grades today, and the issue is most often seen in VF grades.

    Today, the 1893-S is recognized as the rarest issue in the Morgan dollar series in high grade. This attractive MS61 specimen offers sharply detailed design elements and vibrant mint luster, under attractive shades of lavender, gray, and golden-brown toning. The pleasing surfaces show the minimum number of minor contact marks for the grade and overall eye appeal is quite strong. Population: 9 in 61, 26 finer (4/17).(Registry values: P10, N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 255U, PCGS# 7226)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,835

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

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