My reflections and observations on the progress of ?Gary?s High-Grade Morgans? and ?Gary?s MS-65 & 66?s?.
Greetings all, three months ago I started a new collection based on MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars at an average cost of $200/coin. My research showed that approximately 22 coins or 20% of all the dates and mints met my criteria. Now that my custom set, ?Gary?s High-Grade Morgans? is 64% complete, it?s a good time to reflect on the progress and quality of the coins I have acquired to date.
Of the 14 coins I purchased, five are graded MS-66. Included within those five coins is a four-coin 1879 to 1882, S-mint short set. One of those coins, the 1882-S, is CAC verified solid for its grade and as such is likely the closest I will get to a MS-67 Morgan. The fifth MS-66 is an 1898-O dollar with beautiful lightly frosted luster. In order to meet my budget constraints, I acquired all these coins for less than Numismedia Fair Market Value with the 1898-O purchased for 35.6 % less than FMV. In fact, I was so encouraged by the 1898-O, that I began to think it possible to buy the other four MS-66?s within my budget. On a side note, all the MS-66 coins except for the 1898-O have risen in FMV the last two months in a row.
Two of my Morgan Dollars, an 1878-S MS-65 and 1880-S MS-66 have semi proof-like surfaces that photograph well with a slight cameo finish. Another coin, the 1885-O, is graded proof-like 65 by NGC and yields 224 more points than the equivalent MS graded coin. I had the 1885-O on my E-Bay watch list for a little less than a week, and with 7 minutes left in the auction noticed that no one had placed a bid. Desiring to obtain at least one proof-like coin for my collection, I placed my bid for the seller?s minimum and won the coin. For a coin that cost slightly more than the FMV for the MS equivalent, it was 17.8% lower than the FMV for the proof-like coin.
Another coin, an 1887 PCGS MS-65+, I acquired through a Teletrade auction. I placed my maximum bid on the coin at just below FMV for a MS-65 example. When the auction began, the bid went right to my maximum, and I thought I would lose the coin. However, it seemed no one else wanted the coin, and I won the auction. With a focus on quality and value, I am getting the best coins possible for the money while staying close to my budget. As far as points are concerned, this coin gets 103 more points than an MS-65.
With no intention to compete with ?Gary?s MS-65 and 66?s?, I am using the points as a measure of quality. I am also populating this set with select MS-64 coins as a place to park odd coins in my collection. For example, it makes no sense to populate a dollar type set with an MS-64, 1885-CC at 171 points when I can place it in ?Gary?s MS-65 and 66?s? for 663 points. Furthermore, the 1885-O proof-like dollar is worth 684 points as a type coin in contrast to 502 points in a complete Morgan Dollar set? go figure!
Because of possible grade-flation over the years, one CS member recommended that I try to get PCGS coins in Old Green Holders. Two of my coins, the 1883 and 1885 are in OGH?s with another two in the older ?small hologram? NGC holders. Soon I may submit the best coins from my collection to CAC in the hope of further accentuating the quality of my set. Whether there is grade-flation or not, the coins in these older holders are attractive coins.
Overall, I am pleased with the progress, quality, and value of my collection to date. Depending on how well I do with my budget, I hope to add one more MS-66 to my set. Below is a picture collage of my two latest acquisitions, an NGC 1885-O, PL-65 and PCGS 1887, MS-65+.
On yet another side note, with all the coins I purchase, I never lose the thrill of finding obsolete coins in circulation. March has been a banner month for finding Wheaties in circulation. After months of not receiving any in change, I found three, the 1940, 1953, and 1955-D Lincoln Cents this month. I know these are not worth much, but that does not diminish the fun of finding coins in circulation that have been around from since before I was born! Happy Collecting All!