Can you imagine owning 16,000 Morgan Dollars, let alone see that many? I’ve seen a number of dealers at coin shows, but I’m sure if I counted them all, they would not had come anywhere near 16,000. Recently, the National Guaranty Corporation (NGC) received these Morgan Dollars from the heirs of one man. That’s right! One man!
If I had to guess, I would say that Morgan Dollars are the most popular US coins not only here in the United States, but perhaps the world. They were minted from 1878 to 1904 and then again in 1921. Morgans were minted in five different mint branches, Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carson City. A beautiful piece designed by George T. Morgan, in a time when the half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar had the Liberty Seated design. The Morgan set has its share of common and rare dates, making it interesting to collectors as well as investors. Another reason to collect Morgan Dollars is that they contain 90% silver (0.77344 oz. of pure silver). There were rumors of bringing back Morgan Dollars in the 1960s, but never happened. However, there was an attempt to mint over 300,000 Peace Dollars in 1964, but with the government deciding to stop putting silver in coins, they were all melted, or so we think.
Origin of These Morgan Dollars
The story behind this goes back to the early 1960s when many Morgan Dollars were discovered in vaults belonging to the US Treasury. People were able to buy many of these Morgans, up to 50,000 at face value until 1964. One man who worked in New York’s financial district purchased 16 canvas bags. He put them in a 3 ft. X 3 ft. X 4 ft. safe deposit box in a New York bank. They would stay there until recently when his children no longer wanted to pay the $800 annual rental fee. The children asked that they and their father’s names be kept confidential.
Each canvas bag contained 1,000 Morgan Dollars of a certain date and mint mark including 1878-S, 2 bags of 1880-S, 1881-S, 1883-O, 1884-O, 1885, 2 bags of 1885-O, 1886, 4 bags of 1887, 1888 and 1889. Unfortunately, there were none from Carson City. Too bad since “CC” dollars are usually tougher to get.
NGC Grades Them
All 16,000 dollars were viewed between May 28 and 30, 2018 by Jeff Garret, president of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries from Louisville, KY, along with his son and chairman of the Certified Guaranty Corporation (CCG), Mark Salzberg. CCG is the parent company of NGC. The children of the original owner of these dollars hired Garret who will receive a commission for selling these coins. He estimates the value of all of these Morgan Dollars at over one million dollars.
NGC had graded some of these Morgan Dollars that they believe are of higher quality. They claim some of them have beautiful rainbow toning because of being in those canvas bag for such a long period. Out of all of the ones NGC graded, it was determined 118 of them were graded MS-67, a very high grade for coins minted before 1900.
Don’t You Wish You Were One of the Heirs?
Imagine, all of a sudden, you were told you were the owner of 16,000 Morgan Dollars and the owner only paid face value for them. How about owning an MS-67 Silver Dollar from the 1800s? I remember seeing Proof and MS-65 coins at coin show and rarely an MS-66, but I don’t recall seeing a MS-67 from the 19th century.
Morgan Dollar collectors and investors should be interested in this, especially the higher grades that were found. The dates that were included in the 16,000 are all common dates. Any of these in MS-65 would probably be valued between $100 and $300. Higher grades would jump up from there. I own a few Morgans, and though I think they are beautiful coins, I never thought of collecting them personally.
Would you be interested in getting one of these Morgan Dollars? It would almost be like owning a piece of coin history. Who knows? Maybe in the future, we’ll see more of these Morgan Dollars that were bought in the 1960s.