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Philly 1893 Morgan situation could be worse

Item08021a.jpgThere are no even close-to-available 1893 Morgan dollars, and that includes the Philadelphia 1893. The reason is that the Morgan dollar situation had become out of control.

The vaults of the Treasury were quite literally bulging with too many silver dollars, and the mintages in 1893 began to drop. The silver purchase clause of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed, and that meant that there would be virtually no new silver from which to make additional dollars.

The decreases in mintages were immediate and dramatic. The 1893-S, with a mintage of just 100,000, would be the lowest mintage Morgan.
The delivery figures of 1893 show that 200,000 examples of the 1893 were delivered in January, followed by 150,000 in February and an additional 28,000 in April.

Item08021b.jpgWith a total mintage of 378,000, the 1893 was destined to be a better date. There is very little known about the releases in the first years. There are some worn examples. The logical assumption is that they would have been coins released around 1893, but remember, it?s a Morgan dollar so almost anything is possible. For example, it would be every bit as possible that the worn coins were simply released at a later date and never discovered by collectors or dealers.

The general feeling is that for many years there were examples of the 1893 in circulation, but there were virtually no Morgan dollar collectors. Worn examples would have attracted very little attention.

It appears a number of bags of the 1893 were released in the 1950s and early 1960s. There is no known total, but there were some bags in the Redfield hoard.

By the time of the final significant Treasury releases in 1962-1964, there were apparently very few examples of the 1893 reported.

There were 792 proofs, but the 1893 is a disappointment. These coins were called, ?the most poorly struck Morgan proofs? because they are lightly struck at the center. The business strikes are not consistent. Some are lightly struck while others are nice.

Today?s 1893 $200 G-4 price listing is definitely a reflection of its low mintage. It is the sort of price one would expect given normal circumstances. In MS-60 the 1893 is $750, while an MS-65 is at $7,350.

By Morgan dollar standards, the prices are not that high, especially if you factor in the mintage. The Redfield coins, which included a number of bags, probably helped in giving us a better-than-expected supply.

The 1893 is definitely a low-mintage Morgan, but as the prices suggest, it is a Morgan dollar many can obtain. Considering what could have happened and what prices might have been, today?s situation is a welcome relief.

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