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Community Voice Response: March 17, 2020

From the Feb. 21, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter

The Morgan dollar is one of the most popular coins to collect. What role has it played in your collecting journey?

Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.

My grandfather gave me several Morgan dollars back in 1955 when I turned seven. It really got me interested in coin collecting and history. I’m now 72, still collecting coins and recently retired after 48 years of teaching history. So, I would say that the Morgan dollar was quite instrumental in my life.

Chuck Chinici
via Facebook

I’ve only started actively collecting coins and have yet to add any Morgan silver dollars to my collection, but I will be studying and learning about them. They are a favorite of mine because of our affinity for the old American West. I truly believe all of the best quality Morgans will continue to increase in price.

Have a Great Day!

Daniel Surles
Coolidge, Ga.

I collect early American copper coins. Although I have over 1,400 Morgan dollars my father got years ago from the bank.

Paul Price
Ocean City, Md.

The Morgan silver dollar is the one coin that I keep in my collection. I carry one in my wallet and I think they are a beautiful coin.

James Osendorf
Address Withheld

Now being 40 and a collector my whole life, I can’t believe I still remember my first few coins. My grandmother and grandfather received 25 silver dollars for their 25th “silver” anniversary from her parents.

When I was 9-years-old, they gave me a 1904 silver dollar first, then a little bit later they gave me three Indian head cents: 1899, 1901, and 1902. It still amazes me that I remember the exact dates! One funny thing to note is my grandma cleaned all of them so I wasn’t holding dirty coins. I still thank them from the bottom of my heart for starting me on this collecting journey. I love them so very much. Rest in peace.

Brad Keefe
Boca Raton, Fla.

Morgan dollars have had very little influence on my collecting journey. When I was a kid, we took some family trips out west, and I came home with a bunch of silver dollars from change. They went into folders. When the price of silver went nuts a number of years ago, I sold them for about $40 each. So, you could say that my greatest percentage profit on coins has come from Morgan and Peace dollars that I got in circulation.

Bill Eckberg
West Palm Beach, Fla.

I bought one 1859-S MS-62 under $1,000 years ago and made a profit. I bought some uncirculated rolls (maybe there was one coin truly mint state worthy per roll) another time. I am still waiting for the value to reflect my purchase price.

Horst Seeley
Manchester, N.H.

When I was 12 or 13, 1963-1964 silver Morgan and Peace dollars were in circulation. At one time in 1981, I had bid on and acquired several GSA auction CC silver dollars including 1881-CC MS-63+ but sold them when pressed for cash in the early 1990s when the market happened to be falling (just my luck) but still gained over what I paid.

Wesley Ellis
Portland, Ore.

Silver dollars played a key role in my early collecting experience. After trying to plug holes in the blue folders with cents and nickels through half dollars from circulation, silver dollars were among the first nice coins I bought. In the 1960s, the bags of Morgan dollars had recently hit the market from the bags released to the public. I had a paper route with a net income of about $5 a week. I hit the coin shop weekly and bought nice uncirculated Morgan dollars for $3 to $5 each. A few years later I visited local coin shows and acquired more dollars as my means grew. In the 1970s just about every Morgan dollar was labeled Gem or Gem Proof-like. There were no third-party grading services to help. The Silver dollar boom hit in the late 70s and made acquiring more dollars difficult so I stopped buying dollars. 

I went into type collecting. In the 90s, I had my 50 or so cherished Morgan dollars slabbed. Not one of them came back Proof-like as claimed years ago. Most were in the lower MS or high AU grades. A few were MS-63 and above. I kept a few for my type set of the tail feather varieties and reverse types and traded the rest for a nice Type one $20 gold piece. No more uncirculated dollars for me.Too many VAM varieties and ultra-grades to ever complete a satisfactory collection. If I ever look at dollars again, it will be circulated grades, unslabbed for fun with minimum risk.

Rich Vatovec
Birmingham, Ala.