Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1882 Morgan Dollar in Copper
    Unique Judd-1703a, PR66 Brown
    Pedigreed Back to the Mint

    1882 $1 Morgan Dollar, Judd-1703a, Pollock-1906, Unique, PR66 Brown PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The regular-issue 1882 Morgan dollar dies. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. When we last offered this coin 28 years ago in August 1992, the piece was sold with an accompanying letter from Jack Collins, dated August 8, 1977. The letter detailed the history of this and 12 other patterns offered by M.H. Bolender in 1936 from the A.M. Smith Collection. We quote the letter here in its entirety:

    "During 1884, A.M. Smith, author and publisher ... visited the mint and obtained directly from Superintendent Colonel Archibald Louden Snowden an all-copper 1884 proof set, which included the quarter, half, both regular and trade dollars, and the gold denominations, together with both regular and trade dollars of 1882 in copper, and an 1883 trade dollar, also in copper. In return for the favor, and because of their close, personal relationship, we may assume that a large part of the purchase price was a strict vow of eternal silence about the very existence of these trial pieces, much less their origin.

    "Obviously, Smith faithfully kept his pledge of secrecy well, as these copper trial pieces managed to elude the most diligent numismatic bloodhounds of the era, such as Edgar H. Adams and William H. Woodin, who were collaborators on the 1913 reference, "U.S. Pattern, Trial, and Experimental Pieces." The group of thirteen copper trial pieces remained quietly sequestered in the A.M. Smith collection, unknown and away from the eyes of the public until long after his death.

    "This extremely rare 'baker's dozen' finally emerged with the rest of the coins in the A.M. Smith estate, making their first appearance in M.H. Bolender's 101st sale, February 8, 1936, where they were individually offered and sold as lots nos. 22 through 34. According to a personal revelation that Mr. Bolender made to Walter Breen at some time during the late 1950's or early 1960's, the entire set of thirteen trial pieces in copper was purchased by some unnamed collector, who kept them intact for nearly a quarter-century after the sale.

    "It is interesting to note here that the highly-respected and astute scholar, Dr. Hewitt Judd, whose name is synonymous today with the entire series of patterns, experimental, and die pieces, inexplicably fails to acknowledge the existence of the 1882 regular and trade dollars in copper anywhere throughout the five editions of his authoritative reference on the subject, although the 1884 trial set in copper is listed, and later editions include the 1883 copper trade dollar. It remains a mystery as to the reason for the oversight; the 1882 regular and trade dollars in copper should rightfully be listed in subsequent revisions as "Judd-1703a" and "Judd-1703b" respectively. Perhaps the best hypothesis regarding the previous omissions of these pieces is that all of the 1882 and 1883 copper dollars had been quietly dispersed during the 1950's, and only the 1884 denominations remained available for Dr. Judd's examination when he was compiling his manuscript on patterns.

    "... I have before me Mr. Bolender's personal working copy of that catalogue, in which lot 22 is described: "1882 standard silver dollar. Regular dies Trial struck in copper. Proof." The lot is checked with red pencil, followed by Mr. Bolender's ink notation, "Unknown to Dr. Judd. Unique!" Absolutely no other auction record whatsoever exists for this trial piece since Bolender's sale over 41 years ago."

    This important rarity weighs 25.95 grams or 400.40 grains. The surfaces are deeply patinated with over a century's accumulation of sea-green and blue toning with an occasional area of brown in the fields or on the device high points.​
    Ex: Presented to A.M. Smith by Mint Superintendent A. Louden Snowden (1884); A.M. Smith Collection / 101st Auction Sale (M.H. Bolender, 2/1936), lot 22; Kagin's Fixed Price List (1950s); Kagin's (1974); Deak-Perera (1979); ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/1992), lot 915; The January 31-February 2, 1993 Auction (Superior Galleries, 1-2/1993), lot 1188, not sold; James A. Stack Collection (Stack's, 3/1995), lot 1405.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 62110)

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

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    22nd Thursday
    Auction Dates
    10th-16th Tuesday-Monday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    265 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 86
    Auction Type
    Signature®:  Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)

    Signature® Floor Sessions
    Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.
    Track Item