Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1893-S Morgan Dollar, MS61
    Key Absolute and Condition Rarity

    1893-S $1 MS61 PCGS. "The 1895 Proof may be popularly referred to as the King of the Morgan Dollars, but it's more steward than heir to the throne. The true king is the Mint State 1893-S." -- Thus begins Michael Standish's description of the 1893-S in Morgan Dollar. Published estimates of the San Francisco key's rarity in Mint State include Q. David Bowers' 63 to 83 pieces, and Standish's "fewer than 100." Both estimates may be generous. PCGS and NGC combined list only 66 grading events for Uncirculated pieces, and we have seen possible as few as half that many pieces in our auctions over the past two decades. Standish relates that dealer John Love believes most Uncirculated 1893-S dollars known came out of a group of 28 coins discovered in a bag of 1894-S dollars in a Great Falls, Montana bank in the 1960s. This is consistent with the rarity of the issue today.

    Unimpaired Mint State coins are the objects of great desire among Morgan dollar collectors and headline numismatic auctions. Recently, an MS61 PCGS in lot 3771 of our June 2017 Long Beach Signature sale garnered an impressive $176,250. The present coin is at least as fine visually, and every bit that coin's equal on a technical basis. A tiny mark near Liberty's ear lobe is a reliable pedigree marker that confirms this is a fresh example in our auctions. Satiny luster shows no major abrasions and only has minor marks on Liberty's cheek. Delicate lavender toning graces each side. When tilted beneath a light, there is the faintest hint of reflectivity in the fields.

    The rarity of this issue in Mint State is largely attributed to the low mintage of 100,000 coins. Other factors contributing to its low high-grade survival rate -- extensive 19th century circulation, governmental melting in 1918, and general attrition -- affected most issues in the Morgan dollar series. What makes the 1893-S different is the incredibly small population with which it started. In A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars, fifth edition, Bowers writes: "Mint state coins exist. However, among the great Treasury release coins of 1962 through 1964, no bag or even small group was found, although many stray pieces were identified, nearly all in the ... VF grade." Collectors can expect intense competition when bidding on a Mint State coin at auction. Population: 10 in 61, 25 finer (11/17).
    From The Douglas Knight Collection. (Registry values: P10, N7079) (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 Douglas Knight Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 36
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,638

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 21 days left to consign to the 2020 June 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your individual dedication to the hobby, and that of Heritage.
    David C.,
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search