Tag Archives: Slabbed

1886-P Morgan Dollar MS63

This coin is in MS63 condition. It was slabbed by PCGS… the slab is a bit scratched up, but it took the scratches so the coin wouldn’t.

The Morgan Dollar is one of the most widely collected coins in the world – it was minted from 1878 to 1921 and represented a fairly large amount of money when it was in circulation (but not so much that it was out of reach of common laborers or collectors). The obverse shows Liberty facing to the left, with the legend “E Pluribus Unum” from 7:00 to 3:00. The date is at 6:00, and there are 13 six-sided stars also around the rim – 7 to the left of the date, 6 to the right. It is named the Morgan Dollar after its engraver: George T. Morgan (his initial “M” is visible at liberties neckline).

1886-P US Dollar in MS63 PCGS slab Obverse

1886-P US Dollar in MS63 PCGS slab Obverse

The reverse shows an eagle perched above a wreath, with wings thrust upward at 45 degree angles. The legend around the rim from 8:00 to 4:00 reads “United States of America” and “One Dollar” from 7:00 to 5:00. The motto “In god we trust” is placed above the eagle, and the mint mark is at 6:00 under the wreath (if present – Morgan Dollars struck in Philadelphia have no mint mark). The eagle holds arrows and an olive branch in its talons – representing the potential for both war and peace.

1886-P US Dollar in MS63 PCGS slab Reverse

1886-P US Dollar in MS63 PCGS slab Reverse

Date: 1886

Mint Mark: n/a (Philadelphia)

Mintage: 19,963,000, not counting the 886 proofs (63.5281% of the 31,423,886 minted at various mints that year)

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper

Size: 38.1 mm

Weight: 26.73 grams (0.77344 oz ASW)

Other details: I won this coin in a raffle from the Dallas Coin Club. Not bad for $20, is it?

1886 Morgan Silver Dollar Obverse

1886 Morgan Silver Dollar Obverse

There are several varieties of this coin that have a nice collectible premium. For example, there’s the VAM-21 with a neat little die glitch on the designer’s initial on Liberty’s neck.

1886 Morgan Silver Dollar Reverse

1886 Morgan Silver Dollar Reverse

Estimated Value: $50-60

1964 Proof Cent slabbed PF68 * RD

This penny is a proof, slabbed in an NGC holder. It has a beautiful red sheen and a highly reflective surface that captures the light, softens it, and then bounces it back like a sun on the horizon. It’s a penny, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away there.

1968 US Penny PF68 Obverse

1964 US Penny PF68 Obverse

The obverse shows President Abraham Lincoln in profile to the right. The legend “In god we trust” is written in raised letters from 10:00 to 2:00. The motto “Liberty” is to the left of Lincoln, in line with the back of his neck and his beard. The date is to the right of Lincoln’s bowtie and the mint mark (when present) is under the date.

1968 US Penny PF68 Reverse

1964 US Penny PF68 Reverse

The reverse shows the Lincoln Memorial under the country of origin “United States of America” written from 6:00 to 3:00 The legend “E Pluribus Unum” is written above the monument but below the inscription (that is Latin for “Out of many, one”). The denomination “One Cent” is written from 8:00 to 4:00.

Date: 1964

Mint Mark: n/a (Philadelphia)

Mintage: 03,950,762 (0.1489% of the 2,652,525,762 minted that year)

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin & zinc

Size: 19 mm

Weight: 3.11 grams (0.1097 oz)

Other details: Due to hoarding issues caused by the switch from silver to clad coinage, the minting of proof pennies was suspended from 1965 to 1967.

Slabbed 1968 Proof Cent in PF68

Slabbed 1968 Proof Cent in PF68

Slabbed 1968 Proof Cent in PF68 Reverse

Slabbed 1968 Proof Cent in PF68 Reverse

Estimated Value: $1-2 (although the slabbing does add another $4 or more, IMO)

1882 Morgan Dollar from Carson City GSA Hoard Slabbed MS64

This coin is in MS64 condition. It was packaged in a GSA slab, and graded by NGC with a special “GSA Hoard” label.

The Morgan Dollar is one of the most widely collected coins in the world – it was minted from 1878 to 1921 and represented a fairly large amount of money when it was in circulation (but not so much that it was out of reach of common laborers or collectors). The obverse shows Liberty facing to the left, with the legend “E Pluribus Unum” from 7:00 to 3:00. The date is at 6:00, and there are 13 six-sided stars also around the rim – 7 to the left of the date, 6 to the right. It is named the Morgan Dollar after its engraver: George T. Morgan (his initial “M” is visible at liberties neckline).

Coin - 1882 CC Morgan Dollar Obverse

Coin - 1882 CC Morgan Dollar Obverse

The reverse shows an eagle perched above a wreath, with wings thrust upward at 45 degree angles. The legend around the rim from 8:00 to 4:00 reads “United States of America” and “One Dollar” from 7:00 to 5:00. The motto “In god we trust” is placed above the eagle, and the mint mark is at 6:00 under the wreath (if present – Morgan Dollars struck in Philadelphia have no mint mark). The eagle holds arrows and an olive branch in its talons – representing the potential for both war and peace.

Coin - 1882 CC Morgan Dollar Reverse

Coin - 1882 CC Morgan Dollar Reverse

Date: 1882

Mint Mark: CC (Carson City)

Mintage: 1,133,000

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper

Size: 38.1 mm

Weight: 26.73 grams (0.77344 oz ASW)

Other details: This coin is enclosed in a GSA “Uncirculated” holder – it was likely kept in a bank vault for nearly a century after being minted. Since the Morgan Dollar was minted far in excess of demand (it was a fairly bulky coin that wasn’t very convenient for day to day transactions), there were millions of the coins that never saw circulation.

These coins were kept in storage by the United States government to back up the more convenient paper money (silver certificates). For decades, anyone could go to a treasury vault and exchange their paper money for an equivalent amount of silver coinage.

However, silver prices began to spike in the 1960’s, and there was massive demand on the treasury vaults. In November of 1962, collectors noticed that there were some rare and valuable dates still sealed in their original mint bags. This ignited even more demand, and lines stretched for blocks around the Treasury Department headquarters in Washington DC. Many people sought to trade in paper money for sealed $1000 canvas bags of silver cartwheels.

The Treasury saw potential profit in selling these to collectors at marked up prices, and set the bags aside. Instead, the window began redeeming silver certificates with silver bars or granules. On June 24th, 1968, even that option was taken off the table and silver certificates were no longer backed by any precious metal (although they still remain monetized).

Uncirculated Silver Dollar in a slabbed GSA holder

Uncirculated Silver Dollar in a slabbed GSA holder

The Treasury inventoried its remaining stock of dollar coins, and found approximately 3,000 bags containing 3 million coins. Many of the remaining coins were rare Carson City mint dollars. These coins were turned over to The General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA sorted the coins into several categories, and then marketed them to the public from 1973 to 1980. Coins in GSA holders carry a slight premium, and many of them exhibit unusual toning from long storage in burlap sacks.

Morgan Dollar in a slabbed GSA holder

Morgan Dollar in a slabbed GSA holder

Estimated Value: $350-450

Swiss 1 Franc 1957 B Silver Coin

The Swiss 1 Franc is a flashy coin, and this one is in great shape. It is slabbed in an NGC slab, so I apologize for the blurry scans.

On the obverse of the coin is an allegorical figure holding a spear and a shield, under a pattern of stars. The stars represent the 25 cantons, and the figure is Helvetia. Confœderatio Helvetica is the personification of the Swiss Confederacy, and she is shown in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag (a simple cross on a solid field). She has braided hair and wears a wreath.

The reverse shows a large laurel wreath, enclosing the legend “1 Fr. * 1957”. The mint mark is below the wreath on the reverse.

Swiss 1 Franc Coin 1957 B : Obverse

Swiss 1 Franc Coin 1957 B : Obverse

Swiss 1 Franc Coin 1957 B : Reverse

Swiss 1 Franc Coin 1957 B : Reverse

Identification code: KM-24

Date: 1957

Mint Mark: B (Bern)

Mintage: 6,420,000 (100% of the 1 francs minted that year)

Country of origin: Switzerland

Composition: 83.5% silver

Size: 24mm

Weight: 5g (0.1342 oz ASW)

Other details: The Swiss Franc is pretty remarkable – it’s one of the longest running currency patterns, and the same symbol is used for the half franc, franc, and 2 franc coins. This design has been constant for about 150 years, with only minor changes in composition.

That’s particularly impressive because the Swiss financial scene was a mess before 1850. There were about 75 entities making coins in Switzerland, including 25 cantons and half-cantons, abbeys, and 16 cities, resulting in more than 850 different coins in circulation, with different values, compositions, sizes, and denominations. As a result, when the Swiss Confederation was formed in 1848, about 85% of the currency in circulation had been produced in other countries (notably France, Spain, and German states).

Helvetia is a relatively modern invention. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest, and the allegorical figure first appears around 1670.

Estimated value: $25-30

US Philippine Peso – 1905 S Silver Trade Dollar

This silver peso is an unusual coin that is gaining attention among the US numismatic community. It was minted for the US Philippines, and the peso was the largest denomination made. American pesos circulated widely throughout Asia as trade coinage, and they are one of my favorite patterns among all US coins.

On the obverse, Liberty is shown pounding on the forge of freedom. It was designed by Melecio Figueroa and there is some speculation that the young Filipina woman shown on the coin was based on his daughter. She is wearing a flowing dress, similar to the garb of Liberty on other period coinage. The obverse of the coin shows Liberty in the act of one-handedly striking an anvil with a hammer while her other  hand holds an olive branch. In the background is Mt. Mayon, an active volcano with smoke billowing from the crater. On the upper edge of the coin is the denomination “One Peso” and on the lower perimeter is the word “Filipinas”.

The reverse design features an eagle perched on a shield with symbols from the American flag. At the upper rim are the words “United States of America” and at the bottom is the year of issue. To the left of the year is the mint mark (“S” for San Francisco). Coin with no mint marks were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Obverse, showing a scantily clad woman pounding on a forge

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Obverse

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Reverse, with an eagle sitting atop the American Territorial crest

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Reverse

Identification code: KM 168

Date: 1905

Mint Mark: S (San Francisco)

Mintage: 6,056,000 (more than 99.99% of the pesos issued in 1905 were minted in San Francisco – there were only 471 proofs issued in Philadelphia without a mint mark)

Country of origin: United States / US Philippines Territory

Composition: 90% silver

Weight: 26.9568 grams (0.78 oz ASW)

Size: 38mm

Other details: This coin is encapsulated in a sealed myler flip from ICCS and graded VF-30.

This coin was minted in 2 varieties. The 1905 curved serif peso (which this is an example of) is far more common than the 1905 straight serif peso.

How do you tell them apart? In 1906, the tip of the number 1 in the date was changed. One, or at most two of the sixty dies that were being used to produce 1905 pesos was punched with this changed pattern in the short window when both types of coin punches were in use. So, around November of 1905, some pesos were punched with a sharp edged number 1. This is a tricky variety to identify, but if you look closely at the tip of the number one, you’ll see a slight concave curve pointing up and to the left.

This is a Type-I peso (KM 168): it was minted from 1903-1906 and had a higher silver content. The Type-II peso (KM 172) was minted from 1907-1912 and had only 80% silver (for a total silver weight of 0.5144 ounces).

I think conventional wisdom has it backwards about which side of these coins is the front and which is the back. It seems odd to me that the date is on the reverse… the side with the date is almost always the obverse in other coins. Can you think of any other coins where the date is on the reverse?

While pesos were in circulation (1903-1945), they could be redeemed at any time for US dollars at a fixed conversion rate of 2:1. That meant 1 peso was worth 50 cents. Which would you rather have – this crown sized silver coin, or a 1905 Barber half dollar?

Estimated value: $50-65, with some consideration given to the encapsulation due to the number of counterfeits on the market. Ungraded examples are available in the $40-55 price range.

Here is a well written page describing the similar 1906-S US Philippine peso.