Help a newbie....looking to continue a legacy

Hi all,

Coin collecting newbie here. I am a long time member on the sports card side of CU with several sets on the registry. However, coins are completely new to me.

I am doing this mainly to give my Dad and myself something to enjoy in his twilight of life. He has been a coin collector since the early 60s. I never took up the hobby. He is now retired, 75 years old and his body is starting to turn on him. I thought I would start collecting something he and myself could have conversations about. I bought 2 Morgan's off of Ebay, took them over to him to look at and his eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. He went down to his basement where he keeps his coin stuff, grabbed a blue book and a red book (I have no idea what they are) and started looking up the dates, what he thought they would grade, how many were made, etc., etc......I know how much of a rabbit hole you can run down with collecting stuff, so I have decided that I will just focus on these silver dollar coins. They seem to be plentiful, are nice looking and have enough variation to enjoy collecting. With that being said.....I am looking for some direction on what would be the best route to go, what to look for, what is a decent price to pay and best place to find stuff. I know there are literally hundreds of on-line publications, but I like the community here at CU and feel collectors, that have no vested interest in click traffic, are a better resource for honest information. And from my experience on the PSA side of the pond, there knowledge base here is vast and, usually, friendly and helpful.

So with that.....any Morgan collectors out there that can help a brother out?


  • clarkbar04clarkbar04 Posts: 3,834 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They are one of the most widely available US coins, and certainly from the 19th century.

    Based on your questions, it would be best to buy coins certified by a major third party grader. (PCGS or NGC). MS63 and 64 common dates are going to run somewhere in the $40-$60 range and are available in any quantity you want. Most raw coins in this grade range are not worth the additional fees to have graded unless you can pay somewhere around melt.

    MS66 taste on an MS63 budget.
  • jedmjedm Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2019 10:57AM

    I've accumulated a few of them - like around 40 or so over the years. I have some in plastic some raw, some are pretty toners and some that are "circ-cam"- mostly I buy what I like the look of and a clean cheek is a big plus. I am trying to not buy duplicate years as of late; however I do have a few years where pretty examples abound ,1886 and '96 seem to be where I have the dupes. Have fun with them, I sure do! Edited to add: WELCOME.

  • GreedoguyGreedoguy Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Well, getting Daddy to sit at a computer is like asking him to get a root canal without novocaine. So....if I wanted to grab "raw" coins to put in one of these blue Whitman books for him, what price do I look to pay? I may grab a few slabbed coins to see if he likes those. Great idea to get some of those to study and familiarize myself with the characteristics of the grade. I do know the 2 I purchased earlier and put in one of his old folders he about had a duck when I touched the thing with my bare hands. It was pretty comical. Of course, I am the exact same way with an embossed or "chrome" sportscards because of fingerprints. Thanks for the input....every little bit helps.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 5,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not sure I have any worthwhile advice, but that sounds like a great project.

  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 11,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also, I don't presume to know your budget but there are several dealers here on the forum who would likely be able to throw a roll of circulated Morgans together and ship them to you.
    Your Dad would lose it

  • AlexinPAAlexinPA Posts: 806 ✭✭✭✭

    Welcome! There are a few Morgan dollar experts here so ask questions.

  • EdtheloraxEdthelorax Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    @Greedoguy said:
    Well, getting Daddy to sit at a computer is like asking him to get a root canal without novocaine. So....if I wanted to grab "raw" coins to put in one of these blue Whitman books for him, what price do I look to pay? I may grab a few slabbed coins to see if he likes those. Great idea to get some of those to study and familiarize myself with the characteristics of the grade. I do know the 2 I purchased earlier and put in one of his old folders he about had a duck when I touched the thing with my bare hands. It was pretty comical. Of course, I am the exact same way with an embossed or "chrome" sportscards because of fingerprints. Thanks for the input....every little bit helps.

    I would recommend finding a Local Coin Shop and get to know the owner. My LCS are both very knowledgeable, honest and willing to take the time to answer questions. Buying coins here would be similar. Unfortunately you can't look at a wide variety of coins, in your hand, online.

    Buying raw coins on ebay is very risky for a newer collector to say the least.
    Other sites retail are worse. The amount of counterfeits is sickening.

    TPG's are the easiest way to protect against counterfeits, especially until one can gain some experience.

    Ask your dad what HE thinks would be the best coins (Morgans) to collect or how to collect them. I think being able to give his opinion to you will mean as much as the coins. I am glad I had the chance to enjoy coins with my dad as a child, then again when I was an adult and he didn't have much to offer besides his knowledge and opinion.

    It's nice to hear you are making the most of the opportunity of sharing time together. I sure am glad I did. It's about the time spent, not the money. You always can make the money back.....................
    Anyone can PM me Any Time about Any thing.

  • ParadisefoundParadisefound Posts: 7,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What a wonderful family story and you are definitely a good son to think about your DAD that way <3
    There are a few Morgan collectors as well as experts here who would be more then happy to advise you.
    Have fun in US coin forum and send my warmest regards to your Dad B) <3

  • rickoricko Posts: 67,841 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Greedoguy.... Welcome aboard.... This is a great thing you are doing... both for your Dad and for you...Making memories is important... and, you will learn some things along the way. Good idea to get both raw and slabbed coins... the raw are less expensive and fun to study... the slabbed coins can be used to compare the grades to raw coins too...Good luck and keep us posted on how the hobby progresses. Cheers, RickO

  • Raybob15239Raybob15239 Posts: 1,240 ✭✭✭

    Want to really go down a rabbit hole? Go to learn all about Morgans and die varieties. 😉 Nice that you are doing this to connect with your Dad.

    Successful B/S/T transactions: As Seller: PascoWA (June 2008); MsMorrisine (April 2009); ECHOES (July 2009) As Buyer: bfjohnson (July 2008); robkool (Dec 2010); itsnotjustme (Dec 2010) TwoSides2aCoin (Dec 2018) PrivateCoin Jan 2019
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another idea is to put together a 1944 type set (assuming this is his birth year).

    I think it is great what you are doing and I wish my Dad was still alive to do the same. Bravo to you!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 6,940 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Sounds like your dad has found his coin collecting spark again and a new found drive for the hobby and life. This is great!

    Looking forward to any future updates.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 4,002 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like dad knows more than you gave him credit for. Best wishes, you sound like a good son.

  • EdtheloraxEdthelorax Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    @Greedoguy said:
    1 month update. We now have approx 60 Morgans. 21 raw and 39 in MS63 or better. Daddy is really digging it. I have now started having the coins shipped to his PO box. He now drives to the post office every day to get the shipments. I don't get to visit everyday, but when I do get over there, he has them laid out with his others. He has actually ordered himself and I a coin from the U.S Mint from this year. Mom says he hasn't bought any coins in years.

    That is so awesome!!! <3

    It is very important for those we love (or anyone for that matter) to have something to do, something to look forward to, something they can share and connect with those they care about.

    That's the way to do it.

    We all should make the most of every moment and every opportunity we have, every single day.
    Anyone can PM me Any Time about Any thing.

  • GreedoguyGreedoguy Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Been 2 months now. Our Morgan $ collection has slowed considerably. 43 slabbed and 30 raw. The cost of the remaining slabbed increase exponentially once we got out of the common dates. Daddy and I are taking our 1st trip to a local coin dealer this weekend. Not sure what he is even looking for, but him wanting to go is pretty big, as he normally wants to just stay close to his house. I am wondering if it is worth getting some of his coins submitted for grading. He has mint sets from a long way back. Not sure if taking them out of the plastic is the best idea though. Thoughts?

  • AMRCAMRC Posts: 3,980 ✭✭✭✭

    We do shows all over the country and we are big into Morgans. You are welcome to come talk to us at any of these shows. I suggest you and your father (if he is able) find some shows you can go to. He will love that!

    Armen Moloian Rare Coins (AMRC)
    eBay Store
    AMRC WebSite
    Numismatics: "The greatest hobby in the world!"
  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 6,940 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 9, 2019 12:30PM


    Sounds like fun with your dad, coin shop and... recommend your dad make list.

    Make three columns.
    Wants, needs, and moon money.

    Or, just make a list and put the coins order.

    Or, just make a list. :) The visit to the coin shop should be fun and hopefully stress-free.

    What are the dates of the mint sets?

  • MarkMark Posts: 3,293 ✭✭✭✭


    If your Dad is into reading, perhaps you could buy him a book or two? I'd suggest books by Q. David Bowers. He has a lot of books dealing with particular coin series (eg, Morgan dollars) but I was thinking maybe a bit more general to help your Dad remember what collecting was like when he first started (which is probably about the time I first started). Amazon has Coins and Collectors ($24.52), Adventures with Rare Coins ($3.50!), and Abe Kossoff: Dean of Numismatics ($20.00). If your Dad likes reading, he may well enjoy any (or all) of these books. Bowers is a smooth writer and these books are especially good because he wrote them before he became so prolific that I think his writing went down hill a tad.


  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 3,773 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:
    Hobbies are fun, but a lot more fun when we can share with someone. After all, isn't that why some of us participate in this forum?

    bob :)

    Perfect point, Bob.


    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • DBSTrader2DBSTrader2 Posts: 2,997 ✭✭✭

    Have you & your Dad gone thru the jugs of IHC's & Buffalo's yet? What I'd give to have that opportunity! Congrats on enjoying this hobby with your Dad!

  • GreedoguyGreedoguy Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Ha...I wish I had a picture. He has Maxwell House coffee jugs full of both of those.

  • derrybderryb Posts: 27,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would avoid raw Morgans on ebay. Buy them graded.

    All debt-based consumption steals from the future to gratify the present. It is tomorrow’s consumption pulled forward. It signs a perpetual check against an overdrawn future.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 7,980 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 13, 2019 2:39PM

    Morgans are a great series to collect. Each contains 0.774 oz of silver, most dates are readily available, and there are a few rarities to keep things interesting. These are counterfeited, but usually only when there is sufficient motive to justify it (high grades, rare issues).

    As others have said, many have been improperly cleaned which kills the numismatic value but not the bullion value. They’re not hard to find already certified in slabs and that eliminates most of those concerns. Stick to PCGS, NGC, and maybe ANACS or IGC and you’ll be OK.

    Welcome, but be careful. As you become more immersed you might get hooked. :)

    Oops. Edited to add: I didn’t notice this was an older thread. After going through it more carefully it sounds like a great project. As with all series there are easy parts and more difficult part. Picking up the easy dates at a rapid pace is fun, but focusing in on a few key dates and hunting for that perfect coin at a certain grade & price point can also be fun.

    Whatever you do, keep enjoying it. :)

  • TopoftheHillTopoftheHill Posts: 176 ✭✭✭

    Great post from the original poster. I wish I had taken up coin collecting with my dad before he died. tears
    He had an old box of coins...this was long before slabs existed, and loved looking through them.

    I suggest you buy the new "mega" red book...I bet he has one of the old hardcover books. And go to a coin least a state show, not a super local small show. You can join a club together and visit this forum.

    Your father is fortunate to have you as a son....sounds like he did a great job of parenting.

  • GreedoguyGreedoguy Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Quick update....we have accumulated roughly 100 morgans....about 50/50 on the graded and ungraded. We have visited two in Nashville and one in Clarksville. Both were super nice and very helpful. I have become fond of the shops vs Ebay just for the peace of mind that what you are buying is real. That, and, if you flash can get a whale of a deal. I have moved into buying silver bullion now, mostly as a diversification of my sports card hoard. I sold off a couple thousand $s in cards and replaced it with Silver Eagles. Good, bad or indifferent, I feel as though I have a truly tangible asset. Again, thanks for the encouragement and all of the help.

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 5,838 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the update @Greedoguy :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • PQueuePQueue Posts: 738 ✭✭✭

    Your timing may turn out to be perfect.

  • ARCOARCO Posts: 3,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me it sounds like getting raw (not in the plastic) Morgans might be the way to go. Morgans are so totally plentiful that you can buy beautiful coins in the $30-$40 range. Best part is you get to hold those big chunks of silver in your hand, heft them around and really enjoy them.

    Your pops must be thrilled. He gets to go find a little treasure every so often at the P.O.

    Morgans are the backbone of US numismatics.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 5,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, this is a great story and I missed it before. I wish I had the opportunity to do with my dad what you are doing with yours. It sounds like you are a terrific son and will give him many great years of memories to come. Having something to look forward to daily will make him feel like a kid again regardless of his age.

    Morgan's raw and graded was definitely a great way to collect. It will help you learn as you go.

    Great progress so far.

    Happy collecting. Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Nolan Ryan Master Set ---- Nolan Ryan Topps Master Set
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