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    1893-S Dollar, Magnificent MS64 Example
    Only 21 MS64 or Finer Examples at Both Services

    1893-S $1 MS64 NGC. The rarity of the 1893-S Morgan dollar is without question, with each of the known Uncirculated coins in constant demand as more and more series specialists attempt to secure a Mint State example for collections. Decades of research, frustration, and missed opportunities constantly remind experts to pursue any quality specimen with particular vigor, lest their collection goes wanting yet again.
    Perhaps a brief review of the facts is in order: In this particular grade of Choice Mint State 64, NGC has awarded this grade a scant 10 times. In even finer states of preservation, the Gem classification of Mint State 65 has been found worthy of an additional two coins; none are seen in Mint State 66, and none are finer. There it is, a total of one dozen coins rated the equal of this magnificent coin or finer. One dozen, a mere handful from the meager mintage of 100,000 pieces.
    Without regard to future collectors, the ever-changing whims of government decimated this particular issue virtually to extinction. Only the 1895 Philadelphia coins were more effectively eradicated by the sweeping hand of the April 23, 1918 Pittman Act, which authorized the melting of up to 350 million silver dollars. In the wreckage that followed, a total of 259,121,554 actually were melted, creating numerous rarities from mintages that would otherwise provide a plentiful supply of most dates for collectors. No records were kept of the dates that were melted. Today, collectors have the unbiased truth of the Population Report and the Census Report to guide their purchases of a particular date. This information has greatly enhanced the available knowledge to all collectors and leveled the playing field for numismatists who desire to own such a coin as this. Given the raw numbers and considering the universe of coins of this date at an even dozen for this grade or finer, it would be reasonable to expect that a coin of this caliber would be offered every few years. Assuming the continued strength of this coin market, it would not surprise us if prices continue to escalate for this issue.
    The Depression of 1893 contributed mightily to the rather low mintage of 100,000 pieces for the San Francisco Mint. Demand was low for silver dollars during the period, bank vaults were already stuffed with many bags of unused Uncirculated Morgan dollars, all part of the abundance foisted on public by the influential Senators Richard "Silver Dick" Bland and William Boyd Allison. Under the guidance of the owners of the Comstock and other tremendous silver mines, the U.S. Treasury was required to purchase domestic silver (not foreign or recycled silver from cheaper and similarly abundant sources) and coin all that could be purchased into silver dollars. This denomination was the most desirable as silver dollars contained a slightly greater amount of silver as compared to two silver half dollars, four quarters, or even ten dimes. Legislation authorized the purchase of 2 million to 4 million ounces of silver for coinage per month.
    Years of staggering production finally dwindled as President Grover Cleveland had the Sherman Act repealed after a special session of Congress overcame the opposition of "Silver Dick" Bland. Cleveland would have nothing to do with the many special interests which tried to turn his ear, and called for an immediate end to government waste wherever it was found. Cleveland held the silver promoters at bay, and when he left office in 1897 William McKinley took on the Presidency. McKinley skirted the silver issue as much as possible, preferring the excitement of foreign policy with the little War with Spain over Cuba occupying much of his attention.
    This particular coin has surfaces that are more frosted than usually found and the fields display a slight semireflective glint that is most appealing as well as it is unusual. The slight reflectivity in the fields was created by the faint die striations that one can easily see with magnification. The strike details are exceptionally well-defined, and the surfaces are completely brilliant. Perhaps this coin traces to a small group of 20 pieces that were found mixed in with a bag of 1894-S Morgan dollars, or possibly this coin was simply saved as a memento from the time of issue. Likely we will never know for sure, but here it is, a magnificent example that represents the most coveted and elusive date of the entire Morgan dollar series.(Registry values: P10, N10218) (NGC ID# 255U, PCGS# 7226)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,891

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