collectible coins

The Top Five Morgan Silver Dollars

Why waste everyone’s time? Let’s skip the appetizers and get to the meaty stuff right now: The Morgan silver dollars poised to increase the most in value in the years ahead are the 1895, 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and the 1883-CC. Pretty bold prediction, eh? At this point, the reader now has three options: (1) Stop reading and act upon this information, (2) Stop reading and get on with life, or (3) Continue on, evaluate the analytical approach to identify the “Top Five” Morgan dollars, and then implement a variation of (1) or (2) above. If you’ve gotten this far, we encourage you to continue on with option (3).

First, a little background info on the Morgan silver dollar…

Morgan Silver Dollar
Photo credit: celticpixl / Foter / CC BY-SA

The Morgan silver dollar is today one of the most popular of all collector coins. First minted in 1878 following the passage of the Bland-Alison Act, the new dollar was named after its designer, George T. Morgan. Political pressure by powerful silver mining companies, in a gambit to stabilize the price of their commodity at artificially high levels, created the impetus driving the legislative action. Bland-Alison led to the overproduction of silver dollars, resulting in millions of these unused “cartwheels” languishing in bank and Treasury vaults. Indeed, few coins have ever been released under more dubious circumstances than Morgan silver dollars. Minting continued until 1904, and then again for one more year in 1921, when the series finally came to a close.

For decades thereafter, Morgan dollars were largely snubbed by hobbyists. Many dates, including those in mint state condition, could be obtained for as little as $1.00. This situation shifted dramatically in 1962, when the US government began selling original 1000-piece silver dollar Treasury bags to the public at face value. Stories of rare dollar finds circulated widely, touching off a veritable Morgan mania. Within a matter of months, all but a small fraction of the federally owned coins were transferred from government vaults to private hands, consequently expanding the Morgan dollar collector base far beyond anything seen previously.

Since then, Morgan silver dollars have proudly perched themselves atop the catbird seat of the numismatic world. Their physical size, availability, beauty, and historical significance have consistently attracted herds of new buyers. Numerous boom-turned-bust cycles have come and gone, sometimes driven by pure speculative motives, but from a long-term perspective, most Morgan dollar prices have trended somewhat positive.

Unlike some controversial promoters in the past, I do not propose purchasing Morgan silver dollars simply as investment vehicles. However, for collectors hoping to satisfy their numismatic yearnings AND acquire coins destined to be worth substantially more in the future, Morgan dollars do present a few opportunities. As noted above, as a whole, Morgans have gained moderately in value over the years. The crucial challenge, then, is to identify which members of this series have enjoyed the best growth patterns in the past. The underlying logic is clear: coins that have demonstrated the strongest gains over a long period of time are the coins best positioned to show similar price advancements with the continued passage of time.

In order to measure past performance and thus visualize Morgans most likely headed toward a bullish future, I developed a systematic approach. First, I researched individual Morgan dollar retail prices as they existed in 1950, for a broad range of conditions, and entered this data on a computer spreadsheet. Moving forward in time, values from the years 1980, 1995, and 2000 were likewise recorded. Finally, estimated selling prices in 2005 were juxtaposed with counterpart data from those earlier years. Because grading terminology has evolved over the 55 year period, certain assumptions were made to progressively track price movements throughout the time spectrum (e.g. an “Uncirculated” value in 1950 is equivalent to the “MS-60” of today).

For each date and condition, compounded annual return rates were computed from 1950 to 2005. [Editorial note: compounded annual return rate is the accepted yardstick for comparing investment performance. Of course, coins do not grow at a guaranteed uniform rate, such as bonds do, but if a coin is purchased at a certain price, and that price is compared with the value of the coin at some later date, the compounded annual return rate can be calculated for the time period in between]. Return rate computations were made from 1980 to 2005, 1995 to 2005, and 2000 to 2005. For each Morgan dollar, the data was placed in tabular format. Next, I calculated a “composite” score for each date by averaging all the compounded return rates computed for that date. I then ranked all the “composite” scores. The Morgan silver dollars with the highest scores are as follows:

Date: Score:
1895 11.37
1892-CC 10.54
1894 10.43
1878-CC 10.28
1883-CC 10.25

So, it would appear, based on past performance over a period of 55 years, the 1895 is the Morgan silver dollar with the best hope of appreciating significantly in the years ahead, followed by the 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and 1883-CC. Not surprisingly, dollars of the Carson City Mint occupy 13 of the top 16 positions, thanks to persistent collectors scrambling for bona fide artifacts of the romantic American West. On the opposite end of the rankings, Morgan silver dollars having the bleakest long term prospects include the 1898, 1899-O, 1884, and the 1888-O, followed by the 1897 coming in dead last with a score of 2.66.

Anyone whose dual objective is to acquire Morgan silver dollars with a bullish future ought to begin looking at the “Top Five” above. Purchase coins in the best condition you can afford, but be sure the coins are clean, problem-free, and CERTIFIED by a reputable grading service. Be prepared to hold for at least five years. Morgan dollars have skyrocketed in value in the last three years, so some cooling off may be in order before the next upward cycle.

If a polling firm were to survey the population of US coin collectors, it is very possible that Morgan silver dollars would win the vote as the most appealing coin in American coinage history. These beautiful coins have been the heartbeat of the hobby for many years, with no retreat in sight. Ironically, these same coins spent the better part of a century hidden away in government vaults, unseen, unwanted, and unloved. My, how times have changed!

Where to Find Rare and Collectible Coins

Coin collecting was started only as a hobby for most people, however you can hear what other people say (or you probably have heard yourself) about news of people cashing in on their old coin; and that encouraged more people to go on a coin-collecting streak. If you are one of those people who want to invest in coins, here are several places to start your collection.

Coin Shops:
Many shop owners are dealers that know a lot of information about coins and are selling coins too. These coin shops are a valuable place to find and gain more information about coins and coin collecting. These coin shops can be costly, though, as they are anticipating selling their coins for a profit. With enough knowledge and/or having someone who know a great deal about coin collecting at your side, you can get great prices for your coins.

Coin Shows:
There are times when your local mall will have an exhibit from several coin dealers and that will let you see all of the collections and allow you to buy some coins for a lower price due to the competition. You will probably also see several new coins that are available and suitable for your collection.

These coins shows are great not only for sellers and buyers but also for coin enthusiasts who want to see rare and hard to find coins.

Mail Orders/Web Sites:
There are thousands of dealers worldwide and most of them have websites that allow buy coins and pay for them through mail order or through any online payment system such as Paypal. You should do your research on these companies and read their terms carefully to make sure that you can get your money back when you have a problem with the coin you purchased and/or received.

For every legitimate web site, there are may be hundreds of fake web sites that are just attempting to get your money. You should always ask for feedback from previous customers before paying anybody online and remember not to give out any password or pin numbers.

Flea Markets:
It would be a surprising place to find rare coins at a flea market, but stranger things have happened. These places have different ideas about pricing which is due to their lack of understanding of how a coin should be priced. You will find overpriced coins but if you are lucky you might find a rare coin somewhere in those stacks of coins that will make it worth your while.

Flea markets sellers are usually looking for a quick sell and would probably give you discounts when you buy their items in bulk. Try to buy other items and get your coins added as a bonus.

Auctions:
If you are looking to invest in really, really rare coins, the best place to go would be an auction. Auctions are the only place where you can find people selling their rarest and most expensive coins. Several of these auctions are happening online at the same time and most of the sellers are looking for the highest bidders. You must be aware and warned that some of these sellers are frauds and will not make the price you pay worthwhile. You should try to learn more about these coins and their worth before trying to buy one from an online auction.

Other Coin Collectors:
Coin collectors usually have duplicate coins that they are willing to sell for a price lower than its market value. The only problem is it is hard to find another coin collector that collects the same coins as you. The best places to look are online groups, forums and (if you have one) local groups.

Other coin collectors are the best people to turn into when you want to start your own collection. They can offer you tips, discounts and some might even be tempted to give you some of their coins to kick-start your collection.

Coin collecting is like any other investment the value will fluctuate: they may depreciate in value and/or gain value at any time. The best way to profit in coin collecting is keep updated with the news and the prices of the coins. This will not only help you in not being fooled by merchants but by learning how to price a coin even without a price list.

Assessing the Benefits in Silver Coin Collecting

We’ve seen over the past five years the collapse and near collapse of financial giants and companies considered too big to fail. Because of this, many people are looking for alternative investment opportunities and quite a number have considered silver coin collecting as possibility. If you are one of the many people who want to try collecting silver coins for profit, there are several things to consider ensuring your efforts will pay off.

Silver Bullion Coins

If you are seriously considering silver coins as part of your investment portfolio, you need to first of all decide if you want to collect silver bullion coins or if you want to buy silver coins that were minted and circulated as legal tender.

Silver bullion coins are generally made of 99.9 percent silver except for the British silver Britannia which has a silver content of 95.8 per cent. Normally, the face value of a silver bullion coin is lower than its actual market value. For example, the Canadian Silver Leaf is a one Troy once silver bullion coin with a face value of five dollars and a market value of over thirty dollars based on the market price of silver.

Silver bullion coins provide good protection against any economic meltdown, but if you are expecting spectacular profits from investing in this coin, you will be disappointed. Financial gains with this particular investment only happen over the course of time, when the bullion coins in your safety deposit box rise in value in consonance with the price of silver.

Investment Coins

Apart from silver bullion coins, you can also go for the other type of silver coins which are sometimes referred to as investment coins. Generally, these are coins are made of at least 90 per cent silver and are, or have been, a legal tender in their country of origin.

In the past five to ten years, increasing silver prices have made these coins a popular choice for collectors. On one hand, there is always a chance to one day sell currency coins for a big margin of profit, but on the other hand, there are bigger risks in this direction because factors such as demand and popularity enter the picture.

On the plus side, silver is cheaper than gold so it is possible to begin acquiring a silver coin collection without breaking the bank. American silver coins that are not categorized as rare have a prize range of two to twenty dollars.

What to Keep in Mind

There are certain things to keep in mind to keep your money safe as you go about silver coin collecting.

  • Always do your research before you make a purchase. If a coin is worth a lot of money, look for official authentication. Find out if the coin has maintained good value over time.
  • Go for high quality coins which are more certain to appreciate in value than oddities. Double check quality and grade by using reliable resources like the official Red Book.
  • Keep clear of TV or internet bargains. Remember that if anything sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Provide good storage for your collection. Good storage does not mean a shoebox hidden away in your closet or in your file cabinet. Get a safety deposit box.
  • If you want to go about silver coin collecting as an investment, be ready to sell when the price is right.

Many resources say that the outlook for silver is good and that the annual demand for this metal exceeds the supply, Moreover with the current economic situation, more and more people are becoming interested in using this metal as a way of keeping their money safe. The side effect of this increased demand would be to further drive prices of silver up, making it a good investment today. However, even with these rosy predictions, it is good to practice due diligence and caution. This way, although you may not make a killing in your investments, you will be better assured of both profit and protection in silver coin collecting.

Finding Collectible Coins

Collecting coins is one of the most universal pastimes known to man. Currently there are millions around the globe that partake in the wonderful world of what has been called, “The Hobby of the Kings”. Lately, you may have heard news of people cashing in on their old gold and silver coins; and that encouraged more people to go on a coin-collecting streak. If you are one of those people who want to invest in coins, here are several places to start your collection.

Coin Shops:

Many coin shop owners are dealers that know a lot of information about coins and are selling coins too. These coin shops are a valuable place to find and gain more information about coins and coin collecting. These coin shops can be costly, though, as they are anticipating selling their coins for a profit. With enough knowledge and/or having someone who knows a great deal about coin collecting at your side, you can get great prices for your coins.

Coin Shows:

There are times when your local mall will have an exhibit from several coin dealers and that will let you see all of the collections and allow you to buy some coins for a lower price due to the competition. You will probably also see several new coins that are available and suitable for your collection.

These coins shows are great not only for sellers and buyers but also for coin enthusiasts who want to see rare and hard to find coins.

Mail Order/Web Sites:

There are thousands of dealers worldwide and most of them have websites that allow buy coins and pay for them through any online payment system such as Paypal. You should do your research on these companies and read their terms carefully to make sure that you can get your money back when you have a problem with the coin you purchased and/or received.

For every legitimate web site, there are may be hundreds of fake web sites that are just attempting to get your money. You should always ask for feedback from previous customers before paying anybody online and remember not to give out any password or pin numbers.

ISN Modern Coins is a trusted premier Modern coins dealer specializing in the sale of high grade modern day graded and certified government struck coins from around the world. Our wide variety of coins include but is not limited to “Mint State” and “Proof” American Silver Eagles, Australian Koala’s, Chinese Pandas, Lunar Series Coins and much more. No matter what your coin desires are, ISN more than likely can fulfill them.

All coins at ISN Modern Coins are certified and graded by either NGC “Numismatic Guarantee Corporation” or PCGS “Professional Coin Grading Service” as these are the only two trusted third party certification companies industry wide with decades of numismatic and coin grading experience.

Flea Markets:

It would be surprising place to find rare coins at a flea market, but stranger things have happened. These places have different ideas about pricing which is due to their lack of understanding of how a coin should be priced. You will find overpriced coins but if you are lucky you might find a rare coin somewhere in those stacks of coins that will make it worth your while.

Flea markets sellers are usually looking for a quick sell and would probably give you discounts when you buy their items in bulk. Try to buy other items and get your coins added as a bonus.

Auctions:

If you are looking to invest in really, really rare coins, the best place to go would be an auction. Auctions are the only place where you can find people selling their rarest and most expensive coins. Several of these auctions are happening online at the same time and most of the sellers are looking for the highest bidders. You must be aware and warned that some of these sellers are frauds and will not make the price you pay worthwhile. You should try to learn more about these coins and their worth before trying to buy one from an online auction.

Other Coin Collectors:

Coin collectors usually have duplicate coins that they are willing to sell for a price lower than its market value. The only problem is it is hard to find another coin collector that collects the same coins as you. The best places to look are online groups, forums and (if you have one) local groups.

Other coin collectors are the best people to turn into when you want to start your own collection. They can offer you tips, discounts and some might even be tempted to give you some of their coins to kick-start your collection.

Coin collecting is like any other investment: the value will fluctuate; they may depreciate in value and/or gain value at any time. The best way to profit in coin collecting is keep updated with the news and the prices of the coins. This will not only help you in not being fooled by merchants but by learning how to price a coin even without a price list.

How to Take Care of Collectible Coins

There are collectors that specifically find classic editions of coins that existed during the period from 1892 to 1954. These coins have marked events or may signify the work of royalty during that period. There are those collectors that prefer the modern series that are very distinct as well.

Many collectible coins are made of copper and a collector may encounter problems in maintaining their features and appearance. A person collecting this type of coin should learn how to maintain and take proper care of these expensive collections. Copper coins should be cleaned correctly and must be preserved the same way professional collectors treat their coins.

Most coin collectors believe that a person should never ever clean their collection because they believe that any product that is applied to the coin will affect the surface.

Professional collectors clean their coins by the process of placing the coins in a container that is airtight. This is a safe way to preserve the features of the coins. Because of the coins’ years of circulation, there is the possibility of a coin accumulating encrustations, coatings, dirt, and other problems on a coin’s face. These accumulations may cause pitting and corrosion to the surface of the copper coin. The corroded portions should be removed properly without making any scratches.

There are products available that are made especially for coin cleaning. You can usually find these products at your local coin dealer or through an online source. One product made for this purpose is MS70 which removes corrosion and other surface dirt. It is advisable to use rubber gloves for the protection of your hands, as MS70 can dry the skin but this should be of little concern because it is not that harsh on the skin. A soft toothbrush may help with cleaning and removing any dirt that is on the surface of the coin. Improvement in the appearance of the coin will be seen after it has been soaked and cleaned. If satisfaction is not met on the cleanliness and appearance of the coin, you may add baking soda to neutralize the MS70 and soak it in warm water.

After a through soaking, you can dry the coin using a Blue Ribbon coin cleaner and preservative; apply a coat and dry it for a couple of days then wipe the damp parts with soft cotton balls and place it on a small cardboard with a space on the center.

If you find discoloring on the coin, you may use Dellars Darkener after the coin has soaked in MS70. Use this product before applying the Blue Ribbon cleaner and preservative until you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the coin. Once satisfied with the new appearance of the coin, return it to its set or collection.

The next step would be maintenance and preservation the collection. A person should know how to preserve their collection and avoid dirt from touching the coins. Here are some tips on how to take care of coin collections:

  • The coin should be protected from exposure to any kind of elements. It is also important not to scratch the coins; they should be handled with care to avoid scratches on the surface of the coins.
  • It is safe to store the coins in plastic cases or pockets that are made specifically for coin collections and sets. These cases and pockets can protect the coins from dirt and scratches.
  • Coins should be cleaned properly using vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia or rubbing alcohol.
  • If there is unwanted dirt that is hard to remove on the surface, chemical products for cleaning like Tarnex may be used. This option may be used if vinegar and lemon juice were not able to remove the dirt.
  • It is very important to remember that the value of the coin may depreciate if the coin has been cleaned. It is recommended to seek the advice of an expert on other ways of preserving a coin.

Tips on How to Avoid Fraud on Collectible Coins

Many people enjoy shopping online where there are great buys of coins that can be found. A person may prefer do his shopping while he is at home because it is convenient and time-saving instead of going out looking for stores that sell collectible coins.

A popular way to shop for a collectible coins online is at a live online auction that can take several days to complete. They entertain bids for the highest price up until the time the auction is about to close. Many people that are bidding online enjoy the experience and they may be familiar with the strategies to use to win an online auction.

There are also online sites where a person can buy any item that may capture his interest. This is where most coin collectors purchase their desired coins. By searching and finding the item that they want, they can actually negotiate and make the payments through the Internet. This can be very risky with a dealer/seller that is unknown to the buyer, yet many people are still making transactions and payments through this method.

Fraud is common even though many Internet sites that do business online contend that the risk of fraud is not something to worry about. They contend that only 0.0025 percent of true cases of fraud occur with online transactions – that means only one out of 40,000 listed Internet transactions would be fraudulent. On the other hand, the FBI has their own investigations, which prove that those figures are not true- they contend that the risk of fraud is much higher according to their statistics.

A person should believe the FBI for his own protection. Even if one can say that the majority of online coin selling transactions are honest and credible, the process used to make the transaction most probably is questionable and uncertain. There are business transactions, which are intentionally committing fraud with their clients and buyers. Aside from flea-market dealers, mail-order sellers, in-person auctions and some coin stores, the Internet has introduced the crime of fraud to many people in the easiest way possible.

One protection that a coin buyer should know is how to get “feedback”; that way, you can see the ratings other bidders give the seller and he may compare his transaction with the transaction of the others. Since there is a great risk of fraud where there is negative feedback, you may withdraw your participation from the auction if you deem that to be necessary.

You can also acquire ideas by looking for those members who have left “positive feedback” and compare it to the reaction of the sellers. A person can make an assessment of what could be possible useful information from those reactions. Be careful and precise about any transaction that is offered by the seller.

There are instances where a person is deceived about the item he purchased. The photo shown on the Internet displayed the coin that a person wants to have but they delivered a totally different item. These cases are fraud. A person must make sure that the item he saw on the photo is the exact item that will be delivered to him. Here are some tips that will help a person prevent fraud during a coin search in the Internet.

  1. You should save the online photo of the coin you want to purchase. Many sellers remove the image and the title of the item once a purchase has been made.
  2. You should get the description and the auction information. It should either be e-mailed to the buyer or sent in writing by mail.
  3. If there are suspicions regarding an auction, you should ask for clarification from the seller. This will avoid misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the buyer.
  4. You have the right to refuse any transaction where you think the price given on the coin is too high. One should be aware of the standard price of the specific coin and compare it to the price that was given during the online transaction.
  5. You can ensure that there will be no fraud by asking the seller, before the auction closes, if there is any available escrow assistance for the bidder.

These are only a few tips that will ensure a person of his safety when making any transactions online. Fraud can happen to anyone, especially those who are interested in purchasing collectible coins online. It is always important to be informed and knowledgeable about the possibilities of encountering fraud.

ISN Modern Coins is a trusted premier Modern coins dealer specializing in the sale of high grade modern day graded and certified government struck coins from around the world. Their wide variety of coins include but is not limited to “Mint State” and “Proof” American Silver Eagles, Australian Koala’s, Chinese Pandas, Lunar Series Coins and much more. No matter your coin need ISN Modern Coins more than likely can fill it.