Extraordinary 1893-S Dollar, MS65
    The Rarest Business Strike Morgan Dollar

    1893-S $1 MS65 NGC. Only one die pair is known for the 1893-S silver dollars, and it was utilized to coin 100,000 pieces, according to long established records, although recent research suggests that the real mintage was just 77,000 pieces. Either figure places this issue at the top of the list of lowest business strike mintages of the series (discounting the 12,000 1895 dollars supposedly struck but never seen).
    The existence of one die pair, with specific obverse identification features, makes authentication a simple process. In the past, many counterfeit 1893-S dollars have been made by adding an S mintmark to an 1893 dollar, or altering an 1898-S to resemble an 1893-S. The following two obverse die characteristics will distinguish the genuine 1893-S dollars from those counterfeit or altered pieces that lack such characteristics. First, a raised diagonal die line begins at the left top of the upright of T in LIBERTY just below the crossbar, and angles up to the right across the crossbar, meeting the extreme top of that letter nearly above the right upright of the same letter. A continuation of the die line (or a second, nearly parallel die line) can be seen between the left and center leaves above the Y. The die line remains visible on all examples except those with the T worn away. Some examples have dirt filling the letters that must be removed before authentication is possible. Second, a small rust mark or die lump can be seen within the left foot of the R. Like the diagonal die line, this die lump or rust mark can be seen in nearly any grade encountered, as long as the R remains visible.
    Like the 1889-CC and a few other issues, there have never been reports of large quantities of Mint State 1893-S Morgan dollars on the market. Dave Bowers comments: "Apart from 20 Mint State coins said to have been found in a bag in Great Falls, Montana, and reported by Wayne Miller, I do not know of any group of high-grade coins found in the 1950s or later. However, Walter Breen reported that Harry Warner, once active in the bulk sale of silver dollars, had handled a full bag. If so, then we may all be surprised and delighted someday if these appear." Meanwhile, Bowers estimates the total existing population of 1893-S Morgan dollars in all Mint State grades is between 61 and 83 coins. Such figures are consistent with current population data. PCGS records 34 Mint State coins, including five in MS65 and two in MS67. NGC records 29 Mint State pieces, with just two in MS65 and one in MS67. Bowers continues to state that about half of the known Mint State population has some prooflike characteristics, yet only a single PCGS example has received a designation of Prooflike, an MS62 PL coin.
    The present Gem ranks as one of just 10 submissions that NGC and PCGS have certified in MS65 or finer grades, a figure that certainly must includes some resubmissions. Although a specific Census of these coins has never been attempted, so far as we know, it seems reasonable to suggest that the true population includes four or five MS65 coins and two that grade MS67. Both sides have fully brilliant silver-white luster and a faint champagne tint, with satiny fields and frosty devices. The hair over Liberty's ear is a bit indistinct as usual, and the breast feathers are slightly merged, but the remaining detail on both sides is sharp. A few tiny marks are present on Liberty's cheek, but the remaining obverse and reverse surfaces are excellently preserved.
    From The Sanderson Family Collection.
    See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: P10, N14284) (NGC ID# 255U, PCGS# 7226)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Sanderson Family Collection ]

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    ‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 12,101

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