1896-S $1 MS (PCGS# 7244)

2005 November Dallas, TX Signature Auction Platinum Night #388

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1896-S $1 MS69 PCGS. Of the many remarkable Morgan Dollars in the current offering of coins from the Jack Lee Collection, this single coin is the most amazing example. It is essentially perfect. The only blemish we can find, and this requires extremely careful examination, is a tiny mark between star 11 and the border. Over the years, PCGS has certified 1.7 million Morgan Silver Dollars in all the different grades, yet only nine coins have been certified as MS69. These include six 1880-S Morgans, 2 dated 1881-S, and this 1896-S dollar. Wayne Miller had the following comments about this issue: "Despite a mintage of five million pieces, the 1896-S is very scarce in uncirculated condition. Although original rolls of this date have appeared as recently as 1973, they appear to have been widely dispersed. Most BU specimens evidence average luster, very heavy surface abrasions (particularly about Liberty's face), and much weakness on the high points. The latter does not appear to be the result of worn dies, but is more probably due to inadequate striking pressure or improper basining of the dies." Miller continued, suggesting the Gem Morgan Dollars are among the most underrated of all dates in the series. Like certain other issues in the Morgan Dollar series, the 1896-S Dollar is relatively common and easily obtainable in circulated, well-worn grade, but becomes elusive in Very Fine or higher grades. The mintage of this issue totaled 5 million coins, and apparently many of them quickly entered circulation. Bag quantities of Mint State coins were available and paid out at the mint as recently as the early 1950s, but no bag quantities were available later than that time. Apparently very few, if any, were included in the early 1960s Treasury release. Today, most want lists of Morgan dollars from all except the most advanced collectors include this date. It has been called one of the "Most Wanted" of all Morgan dollar issues. Miss Anna Willess Williams, whose profile was used
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