1892-S $1 MS (PCGS# 7218)

2011 November 8-10 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills #1161

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1892-S $1 MS61 PCGS. Few issues in the Morgan dollar series have benefited so much from the certification-service era as the 1892-S. Before the advent of certified grading, the 1892-S was subject to considerable debate as to the true condition of any given example, with the so-called "sliders" consuming much of the attention. An atmosphere of mutual mistrust between collectors and dealers, as detailed in contemporary references such as Wayne Miller's The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook from 1982, led to depressed volume and depressed prices, even for coins of indisputably Mint State quality. This was a pity, as it was well-known even then that the 1892-S was a condition rarity in Mint State. The certified grading services, once they had encapsulated enough coins to put relative populations into focus, proved it once and for all: of the 1.2 million pieces struck, the vast majority were either lost or worn. The combined certified figures list just 96 pieces in MS61 or better (9/11), a startling bit of hard data for an issue that is not an obvious rarity based on population alone. At first glance, this 1892-S Morgan dollar in MS61 appears to be a much finer coin, especially if the viewer takes in the reverse alone. On the other side, while the warm luster under light gold-to-gray toning remains the same, the condition does not. Numerous fine abrasions are present on the portrait, and a narrow but lengthy vertical defect descends from close to the corner of Liberty's mouth into the field below. Nonetheless, this is an important survivor that commands respect. Population: 5 in 61, 52 finer (9/11).
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