From the Feb. 17 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Should Morgan dollars graded "Good" be worth more than melt value?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
In a perfect world, “Good” Morgan dollars would retain some numismatic value and thus price higher than bullion. The reality is different. Morgan dollars in Mint State are readily available. I believe this undercuts the price on the lower end. There are plenty of worn Morgan dollars available, too. Supply and demand once again set the market.
Morgan prices are pretty much determined by the marketplace, Dave. If no one wants to pay more than the melt value, then that is what they are worth, but I do not think that is the case with Morgan dollars.
Julian M. Leidman
Silver Springs, Md.
Yes, I think they should be. The fact that all of them are over a hundred years old adds historic value to them, in my opinion. Of course, if enough of them are melted down for their silver content, that should boost the value of the remaining coins, assuming the law of supply and demand is still valid. But even the idea of melting a lower grade coin for its metal content value seems just wrong to me. If that’s all coin collecting means to some people, I’d prefer that they leave the coins for those of us who truly appreciate them.
The answer seems simple: Yes. Some people collect coins in that grade, so there should be a premium over the equivalent chunk of silver. In my view, the value of a coin should be two components calculated separately: the metal value and the numismatic value. The numismatic value should be based on scarcity, condition and demand.
For many silver rounds the numismatic value is negligible, and for most base metal coins the metal value is negligible. Morgan dollars are in between.
The two components should be mostly independent. The only interaction I can think of: Rising metal prices makes coins more expensive. If some people are priced out of the market, the demand, and therefore numismatic value, goes down. Lower metal prices will increase demand.
Do the words “as common as dirt” ring a bell? I frankly have never understood the recent mania for a coin that laid around in bags for up to 80 years. The Bland-Allison Act artificially created pseudo-demand for a coin that basically had none, favoring western mining interests and sending the bill to the eastern states. Maybe the west still owes us for the whole mess. You’re welcome.
V. Kurt Bellman
Of course, if you have any Morgan Dollar that grades Good, it should be worth more then melt value. If you don’t agree, please let me know, and I will buy every CC Morgan Dollar you have for melt value, or any 1888-S, 1893, 1893-O, 1893-S, 1894, 1895, 1895-O, 1895-S, 1899, 1902-S, 1903-O, or 1903-micro S, just to name a few. In 5 years, there will not be a single Morgan Dollar that’s not over 100 years old, plus the history behind the series itself, should make every Morgan Dollar that grades Good worth more then just melt value. It would be a little different, if the coin did not have a legible date, mint mark (if made anywhere other then Philadelphia), or detail features are so worn out they can hardly be noticed, but those coins wouldn’t grade Good anyway. Morgan Dollars are an integral part of the American history, especially the late 1800’s and well into the 1900’s, as are the Peace dollars. So many of these coins have already been destroyed, and there are no more being produced, so any one you can find, that grades Good or better, you may want to get it, before it gets melted down too, and we loose another piece of American history, one coin at a time.
Of course they should. The government and others have melted so many of them.
I think there are enough collectors to warrant a small premium in good Morgan’s. but I must stress “ small”. Otherwise why not pay a little more for vg.
Name and address withheld
Your question, if I’m hearing you right, is whether or not a Morgan silver dollar, which has been graded as good would be valued more than the melt value of that same coin.
My answer is yes, I believe that any coin that’s been graded must by its grade alone have a higher value than the melt value.
Bob D. Allen
Graded good plus 10% over melt.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
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