Choice 1895-O Morgan Dollar
1895-O $1 MS64 PCGS. CAC. From a small mintage of 450,000
pieces, the 1895-O Morgan dollar is one of the most elusive issues
of the series in high grade. As Q. David Bowers says in his series
Low-Mintage Condition Rarity
Only Seven Finer Coins at PCGS
"The rarity and importance of the 1895-O in Mint State cannot be overemphasized. As a dealer I know full well that only rarely does a specialized collection of Morgan dollars contain a specimen in any Uncirculated grade. Over the years, the 1895-O has received very little publicity, as virtually no one has had a vested interest (i.e. inventory)."
Bowers goes on to estimate a surviving population of 30-50 examples in MS64 condition, but even this small number is almost certainly too high. PCGS and NGC have combined to certify only 24 Choice examples between them, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (1/13).
From a quality standpoint, the typical 1895-O had two strikes against it from the time it was struck. The dies were deliberately spaced at a wider-than-optimal distance, in an ineffectual effort to prevent breakage and prolong die life. This resulted in coins that were softly struck and lackluster. A large number of these coins was released into circulation at the time of issue, and circulated examples are not difficult to locate in today's market. Many more coins were stored in Treasury vaults, and most of these were probably melted in 1918, under the provisions of the Pittman Act. That the 1895-O is the only Morgan dollar issue that was not represented in the great Treasury releases of the 1960s goes far to explain the rarity of this issue in high grade today.
The present coin is an attractive Choice example, with satiny mint luster under shades of lavender-gray, magenta, and sea-green toning. The strike is better-than-average, with just a touch of the typical softness on the hair above Liberty's ear. Only a few minor contact marks can be detected on both sides. This coin should find a home in a fine collection or Registry Set. Population: 11 in 64, 7 finer (1/13).(Registry values: P9, N10218) (NGC ID# 255Y, PCGS# 7236)
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