?Hockey Stick Valuation? is a trend where a coin steadily increases in value through its grades before reaching a point at which its cost skyrockets. This abrupt and sharp increase in price resembles a ?Hockey Stick? when it is plotted on a graph.
There are numerous numbers of coins that display a hockey stick rise in valuation. Among the common date Morgan Dollars, this typically occurs when a coin moves from MS-65 to 66 or MS-66 to 67. Population reports can be a good indicator as to which step this will most likely occur for a particular coin. For instance, the NGC population report lists an MS-65 1898-O Morgan Dollar at 11,433 coins, MS-66 at 1,742 coins, and MS-67 at 168 coins. The FMV for these coins is $238, $500, and $1,630 respectively. Since there is a good supply of MS-65 and 66 coins in the marketplace, there is only a somewhat modest rise in valuation from MS-65 to 66. However, the population of this coin in MS-67 is not only significantly lower, but it is also at a level that makes it scarce in the marketplace as reflected by its cost. With a population of one coin in MS-68, this coin is worth $28,130!
Never have I found this trend more profound than in circulation grade Eisenhower Dollars. Each date and mint of this series appears to have a point at which the value of the coin steeply rises. Furthermore, because of poor production this occurs at lower MS levels, especially among copper-nickel Eisenhower Dollars. For Eisenhower Dollars grading MS-67, NGC lists just 94 coins and PCGS 70 in their respective population reports. Additionally, there are no MS-68 coins from either grading service. Silver-clad Eisenhower Dollars fare much better because of superior production and handling at the mint. Most silver-clad Eisenhower dollars can be purchased for a reasonable price in MS-68 condition. However, in MS-69 these coins are extremely rare with just 24 coins combined between NGC and PCGS. At this population level, they are worth thousands of dollars, with the 1972-S being the least valuable at $2,160 FMV.
Among the silver IKEs, the 1971-S is somewhat of an anomaly. First off, this coin was struck in lower relief than the other silver dates. Furthermore, rather than shipping the coins to their distribution centers in tubes like every other year, they were shipped in 1,000 coin bags. This poor handling subjected them to numerous bag marks. Consequently, there are only three of these coins graded at MS-68 between NGC and PCGS giving the 1971-S MS-68 Eisenhower Dollar a FMV of $5,000! Fortunately, they are much more numerous in MS-67 condition thus allowing me to purchase a PCGS example for my collection. Even so, this coin is by far the most valuable coin of all the silver issues in MS-67 condition.
I was also able to purchase a copper-nickel NGC MS-66 1978-D, Eisenhower Dollar through E-Bay and a NGC MS-64 1972 Type 2, Eisenhower Dollar through Teletrade. With an NGC population of 181, the 1978-D MS-66 dollar is worth $138 and with a population of two, the MS-67 dollar is worth $5,560! The 1972 Type 2 has a two-step increase. At MS-64 with a NGC population of 117 coins the 1972 Type 2 has a FMV of $275. At MS-65 and a population of 18 coins, the FMV increases to $1,880. Finally, at MS-66 with no NGC graded coins and just five PCGS graded coins the FMV chimes in at $15,630! Clearly, the 1972 Type 2 Eisenhower Dollar is the key coin in this series, and I am very happy to be able to own an MS-64 example.
My goal for collecting Eisenhower Dollars is simple, and that is to tap my head gently on the glass ceiling without breaking through. In other words, I intend to collect the entire series one grade lower than the steep rise. In the end, this will still give me a high quality, somewhat affordable set. Then, after I finish this set, I may decide to upgrade my MS-67 1976-S to MS-68. Currently, an MS-67 coin is worth $47.50 and a MS-68 is worth $400. Otherwise, so far, so good! Until next time, happy collecting!