1893-S $1 MS (PCGS# 7226)

2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York #1191

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1893-S $1 MS64 NGC. With a reported mintage of 100,000 pieces, the 1893-S silver dollar has the lowest mintage of any regular issue Morgan, making it the key date of the series (the supposed mintage of 12,000 circulation strike 1895 Morgan dollars, according to the Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, turned out to be an accounting-error entry as those pieces were of earlier date). The low mintage of the 1893-S Morgan dollar was the result of several factors. First, the year 1893 saw a financial panic of a magnitude previously unrecorded in U.S. history engulf the country, causing financial institutions to fail, the plight of farmers to worsen, and labor unrest to increase. Second, there was an oversupply of silver dollars in Treasury vaults, resulting from the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, a stepchild of the late 19th century Free Silver Movement. This act, a successor to the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, required the government to purchase $4.5 million of silver bullion a month to be turned into Morgan dollars, which piled up in vaults. Third, the new president, Grover Cleveland, a gold-standard Democrat who opposed the silver interests, called for repeal of the Sherman Act. All the above, plus silver mine closings and dwindling silver supplies from Nevada's Comstock Lode resulted in fewer Morgan dollars being struck between 1893 and 1895. While the record-low production at the San Francisco Mint helps explain the 1893-S Morgan dollar's scarcity today, particularly in Mint State, it is possible that they became rarer when tens of thousands of the coins were melted under the terms of the 1918 Pittman Act, according to Q. David Bowers in Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia. This act permitted the melting of up to 350 million silver dollars for conversion into bullion and shipment to Great Britain during World War I and for use in the production of subsidiary U.S. coins.
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