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Morgans vs. Seated Dollars Availability

I have noticed over the years that availability of Morgan dollars compared with Seated Liberty seems to be skewed based on production. If I have calculated correctly, there were roughly 100 Morgans minted for every Seated Dollar. Yet, the availability at a given coin show seems to run more like 400 to 1 or even higher. This is not scientific, just a general observation.
Pittman Act melted mostly Seated? Collectors hold Seated and flip Morgans? I doubt any Seated Dollars have been melted in the last 75 years, so it just seems they are less common than they should be. What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 582 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the Seateds actually circulated where the Morgan’s went into bags.
    Morgan’s are known for being shiny and bright and are easily attainable in MS. If it’s 400-1 total availability at shows, it’s probably 4000-1 or worse for MS availability (someone can research and tell for real, but you get the point).
    Morgan’s are collected/owned by almost everyone, Seateds are viewed more as a type coin. More buyers, more sellers...those are my late night thoughts on this :smile:

  • HashTagHashTag Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 7,698 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll say it's a draw!

  • mcarney1173mcarney1173 Posts: 770 ✭✭✭✭

    Based on the PCGS pop report they have certified a total of 3.5 Million Morgan Dollars and just under 18,000 Seated Dollars. So there are 200 times more certified Morgans that Seated.

    I bought an 1842 raw as AU Details. Sent it in to PCGS and it came back authenticity unverifiable. These are hard enough to get into plastic let alone find a problem-free attractive example. I have been looking for a nice AU58 for years.

  • 1peter12231peter1223 Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020 6:55AM

    Many of MS/Proof Seated Dollars i have seen have unattractive toning . I guess that is why i never really collected them .

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,804 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tradedollarnut said:

    @HashTag said:
    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

    Gonna be looking a lot longer than that for an MS66 1879 seated dollar. ;)

    Why not be DIRECT? There ARE no 1879 Seated Dollars :D:p

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 17,334 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @HashTag said:
    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

    This is where you say, "I meant Trade Dollar." Nice set, by the way.

  • kazkaz Posts: 7,739 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @HashTag said:
    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

    This is where you say, "I meant Trade Dollar." Nice set, by the way.

    In which case HashTag would be looking for a PR 66

  • chesterbchesterb Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020 9:29AM

    @numismapiddler said:

    Pittman Act melted mostly Seated? Collectors hold Seated and flip Morgans? I doubt any Seated Dollars have been melted in the last 75 years, so it just seems they are less common than they should be. What are your thoughts?

    Many Seated Dollars, including the ones with high mintages, were minted for export to China where they were subsequently melted. Plus the silver dollar wasn't popular, especially in the west, where it was all about gold. When a dollar was meant to be spent and circulate, people preferred the gold dollar over a silver dollar. BTW, good observations and question by the OP!

  • CaptainBluntCaptainBlunt Posts: 115 ✭✭✭

    I got to see TD’s great collection of Seated dollars at the ANA in Anaheim....since sold

    In September of 1873, the SF Mint Superintendent when answering a question about silver bullion being exported to China, stated that considerable amounts of American (silver) Dollars had gone forward too. In the next paragraph he stated that the Trade Dollar was now coming in great demand with a fair prospect of competing with the Mexican coin..

    Some Seated dollars were melted at home too...At the NNP site I saw a receipt for $49,478 Silver One Dollar pieces sent for Re-Coinage from the Assistant Treasurer at New Orleans to the P Mint dated September 7th
    1876. No dates or mintmark’s were given.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 17,334 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @kaz said:

    @messydesk said:

    @HashTag said:
    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

    This is where you say, "I meant Trade Dollar." Nice set, by the way.

    In which case HashTag would be looking for a PR 66

    Indeed, but go look at the set if you haven't.

  • ElmerFusterpuckElmerFusterpuck Posts: 3,588 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ditto to what has been said above. Seated dollars are far, far tougher to find nice - circulated or uncirculated. So many have been cleaned up and made lifeless.

    That being said, I'm getting a nice XF 1843 dollar - with a hole. I plan to make another coin necklace out of it.

  • ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 6,776 ✭✭✭✭

    When I've been at Long Beach Shows over the years, it seems that there are thousands of Unc. Morgans being offered on any given day. If you want a with motto Seated Dollar, your best bet is finding an 1871. If you want a no motto Seated Dollar in Unc., look for a 59 O or 60 O without too many bagmarks (good luck with that as well). If you want one in MS 65, you'll have to look for awhile. I haven't checked pricing on them, but it's in the five figures, more for the scarcer dates.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 19,996 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Originals graded 35 (depending on the date) and higher are worth buying at the right price... However I rarely see Seated Dollars worth buying.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • TitusFlaviusTitusFlavius Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    Seated dollars were also affected by the bimetallic crisis in the early 1850's. As the supply of gold rapidly increased from the gold rush in California, the price of silver rose to the point it became profitable to melt US silver coins. The Type I silver Three Cent was Congress's initial half measure to fill in the gap that developed between the cent and gold dollar in circulation. It took them until 1853 to enact the obvious solution of reducing the weights of our silver coins (though the dollar was exempted, leaving it undervalued at face).

    The Civil War made the relative values of gold and silver moot, as coins of both metals disappeared from circulation. By the 1870's, increasing silver production, and wider adoption of the gold standard, caused the price of silver to fall, a trend that would continue into the 20th Century. This happened too late to save the Seated Dollar, though. The Morgan was produced in far greater numbers than were actually needed for commerce, and was not profitable to melt in its time, although unusual events such as the 1918 Pittman Act, and the Manhattan Project, claimed a portion of the government's ample stock. The two series' history contributes to the greater difference in availability than their mintages might suggest.

    "Render therfore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." Matthew 22: 21
  • HashTagHashTag Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    I learned a long time ago on other boards “ don’t feed the trolls”. We ALL misspeak/ misspell. As for the adult replies, thanks even though the info was depressing.

  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 19,286 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @HashTag said:
    I learned a long time ago on other boards “ don’t feed the trolls”. We ALL misspeak/ misspell. As for the adult replies, thanks even though the info was depressing.

    I’m not sure who you think was trolling, nor am I certain exactly what coin you are looking for to place in your set - but I can emphatically state (as one who has collected both) that there’s a world of difference in availability between an MS66 seated dollar and a PR66 trade dollar.

  • winestevenwinesteven Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!
  • ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 582 ✭✭✭✭

    At shows there’s also a cost/customer base issue. There’s way more people roaming the bourse floor with 1 or 2 hundred bucks for a really nice looking Morgan than there are with $500 for one of the cheapest XF Seateds. If you’ve got a booth full of seated dollars, that’s awesome, but if you’re trying to move product, you’ve got to have more M

  • Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

  • SoldiSoldi Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭

    @ShaunBC5 said:
    I think the Seateds actually circulated where the Morgan’s went into bags.
    Morgan’s are known for being shiny and bright and are easily attainable in MS. If it’s 400-1 total availability at shows, it’s probably 4000-1 or worse for MS availability (someone can research and tell for real, but you get the point).
    Morgan’s are collected/owned by almost everyone, Seateds are viewed more as a type coin. More buyers, more sellers...those are my late night thoughts on this :smile:

    Start with the "coinage act of 1873" and work your way through, the silver lobby, mining er over mining get a Bowers book on the subject ....Silver Dollars and trade dollars of the United States. This is fun reading, a little dry here and there, but the books should still be available.

    A very good post by ShaunBC5

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 1, 2020 6:40AM

    @tradedollarnut said:

    @HashTag said:
    I learned a long time ago on other boards “ don’t feed the trolls”. We ALL misspeak/ misspell. As for the adult replies, thanks even though the info was depressing.

    I’m not sure who you think was trolling, nor am I certain exactly what coin you are looking for to place in your set - but I can emphatically state (as one who has collected both) that there’s a world of difference in availability between an MS66 seated dollar and a PR66 trade dollar.

    Maybe the thought is they both have seated liberty figures?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Inspired70 said:
    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

    There were a few nice ones in the Pogue sale :)

  • Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @Inspired70 said:
    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

    There were a few nice ones in the Pogue sale :)

    Those two(one no motto 1863 and one motto 1866) were both stunning! DL Hanson got the 1863, but unsure who ended up the 1866. To find such large coins without damage or having been messed with over that many years reflect true treasures.

  • Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    @roadrunner said:

    @Inspired70 said:
    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

    Or a number of collectors and dealers just putting away EVERY problem-free seated dollar they've been running across for the past 10-30 yrs. My very first seated dollar was back in 1975....a perfect fully original XF+ 1867 for $135....out of a Coin World ad. I had done some research and figured out a number of the P mints from 1853 to 1868 were quite "worth" in circulated grades. Mintages were quite low on many of them. The goal was to find nice circs of 1854 and 1855....never did.

    Quality 1854's and 1855's are really difficult to find, as you already know/found out. For that matter the whole 1850's decade is extremely difficult.

    I agree that many have been hidden away in strong hands given rarity and strong demand. Personally, I especially like seated dollars with original colorful toning. They are a rare find indeed.

    Would be nice to see another collection outside of Morelan/Hanson collection come up for sale sometime.

  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 6,877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I presently own three examples of the SL dollar, an EF 1842, a heavily circulated 1859-O and a proof 1860. Crazily enough the favourite is the 1859-O, it looks like the war got the better of it - but it is a historical piece with a connection to New Orleans in the antebellum era. I don't have much interest in the series, but a lot more interest in what I have than the whole Morgan series from 1878-1921.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 1, 2020 5:48PM

    @Inspired70 said:

    @Zoins said:

    @Inspired70 said:
    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

    There were a few nice ones in the Pogue sale :)

    Those two(one no motto 1863 and one motto 1866) were both stunning! DL Hanson got the 1863, but unsure who ended up the 1866. To find such large coins without damage or having been messed with over that many years reflect true treasures.

    Here they are. The realized prices are interesting. The 63 sold for less than the high estimate while the 66 sold for 47% more.

    1863 Liberty Seated Dollar - No Motto - PCGS MS67 POP 1/0 - Pogue-Hansen Specimen

    1866 Liberty Seated Dollar, Repunched Date, DDR - PCGS MS66+ POP 1/2 CAC - Pogue Specimen

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 5,126 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very tough to find the better dates; once sold a nice original 1843 to HA's buyer at Baltimore in XF45 who clearly wanted to buy it as it was a nice coin. Also had some Unc. pieces that Gary Adkins told me collectors liked as flashy Unc.s and not toned which one I had was. AUs are readily available in the common dates.

    Sometimes I wonder if the general public were relieved by a new era of coinage as was inaugurated in 1878, and then in 1891, "out with the old and in with the new", Morgan designs and later the Barbers,etc., with less being saved as a result.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 1, 2020 7:51PM

    @logger7 said:
    Very tough to find the better dates; once sold a nice original 1843 to HA's buyer at Baltimore in XF45 who clearly wanted to buy it as it was a nice coin. Also had some Unc. pieces that Gary Adkins told me collectors liked as flashy Unc.s and not toned which one I had was. AUs are readily available in the common dates.

    There aren't very many LSDs compared to Morgans but there still seem to be quite a bit on eBay, at least for type collectors. However, nice condition coins seem rare.

    Sometimes I wonder if the general public were relieved by a new era of coinage as was inaugurated in 1878, and then in 1891, "out with the old and in with the new", Morgan designs and later the Barbers,etc., with less being saved as a result.

    From my understanding, people were not crazy about the Morgan Dollar and called it the "Buzzard Dollar" when it was introduced. They probably thought of it as ModernCrap™ ;)

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 5,126 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seated designs are more aesthetic in a lot of ways, more graceful according to classical standards. Morgans have their own charm and seem to me a more serious workhorse of commerce during the gilded age.

  • Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @Inspired70 said:

    @Zoins said:

    @Inspired70 said:
    Seated dollars in PQ Form are next to impossible to find these days. MS Seated Dollars seem to have disappeared with any frequency or regularity from auctions in the last several years. Must be some big collections building.

    There were a few nice ones in the Pogue sale :)

    Those two(one no motto 1863 and one motto 1866) were both stunning! DL Hanson got the 1863, but unsure who ended up the 1866. To find such large coins without damage or having been messed with over that many years reflect true treasures.

    Here they are. The realized prices are interesting. The 63 sold for less than the high estimate while the 66 sold for 47% more.

    1863 Liberty Seated Dollar - No Motto - PCGS MS67 POP 1/0 - Pogue-Hansen Specimen

    1866 Liberty Seated Dollar, Repunched Date, DDR - PCGS MS66+ POP 1/2 CAC - Pogue Specimen

    Very good point Zoins about the auction price difference versus estimates on the two coins. Ironically, the 1863 is more scare and difficult to find in high grades than the 1866.

    Frankly, I would take either as both are stunningly beautiful! Finding a MS67 in no motto is amazing.

  • NSPNSP Posts: 220 ✭✭✭✭

    When I started my 7070 album, I knew from the start that the two Seated Liberty dollars would be the hardest holes to fill. Hopefully I’ll find nice heavily circulated examples, but even those seem to be in short supply.

  • Surprised that there are no really high grade seated dollars in many of multi-million dollar collections that have or are coming on the market soon.

  • CryptoCrypto Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Morgan have lower attrition levels. They were never really used. Seated dollars were used and collected and whittled down. Really that simple

  • @chesterb said:

    @numismapiddler said:

    Pittman Act melted mostly Seated? Collectors hold Seated and flip Morgans? I doubt any Seated Dollars have been melted in the last 75 years, so it just seems they are less common than they should be. What are your thoughts?

    Many Seated Dollars, including the ones with high mintages, were minted for export to China where they were subsequently melted. Plus the silver dollar wasn't popular, especially in the west, where it was all about gold. When a dollar was meant to be spent and circulate, people preferred the gold dollar over a silver dollar. BTW, good observations and question by the OP!

    The 1859-S Seated Dollar was minted almost exclusively for that purpose, and might be considered the first de facto international trade coin minted by the US as a result. However, despite the likely thousands that were likely sent, no more than a small handful have been found with chopmarks indicating survival; I've seen three or four examples that that are likely genuine, and only a couple of other dates (an 1843-P from the Rose collection, and an 1872-S shared previously on the Boards). The survival rates among examples of the type sent to China were very small, the vast majority likely ended up as bullion.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 20, 2020 7:52AM

    @numismapiddler said:
    I have noticed over the years that availability of Morgan dollars compared with Seated Liberty seems to be skewed based on production. If I have calculated correctly, there were roughly 100 Morgans minted for every Seated Dollar. Yet, the availability at a given coin show seems to run more like 400 to 1 or even higher. This is not scientific, just a general observation.

    Pittman Act melted mostly Seated? Collectors hold Seated and flip Morgans? I doubt any Seated Dollars have been melted in the last 75 years, so it just seems they are less common than they should be. What are your thoughts?

    Some specific pop numbers have been mentioned but I wonder how they compare overall.

    One thought is to compare the survivorship to collector ratio.

  • kruegerkrueger Posts: 509 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been looking for a NICE seated liberty dollar for my 1879 showcase set and the best I can find is a 64! Whose hoarding the high end seated dollars? They DO exist as evidenced by the Hansen set and others. Yes I’ve seen the two at US coins (65’s) but I need a 66 to match my set. Seriously, TWO years?

    I have looked for an any grade UNC 10 centavo coin for my U.S. philippine collection for ** 20 YEARS !!!**
    from 1975 to 1995, found one on a list for $100! Would have paid over a $1000. for it back then.
    And I am always aggressively looking every day and at most large shows!!

    good luck
    Krueger
    10 top #1 or #2 registry sets.

  • TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 1,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @krueger said:
    I have looked for an any grade UNC 10 centavo coin for my U.S. philippine collection for ** 20 YEARS !!!**

    Not to derail the thread more than a little bit... what year are you looking for in a 10c US-PHIL?

  • @Smudge said:
    Seated Dollars were made to be used. Morgan’s were made to satisfy the silver lobby. Seated Dollars suffered attrition while Morgan’s sat in bags.

    Seated's were almost all melted in China.

  • kruegerkrueger Posts: 509 ✭✭✭

    an UNC 1903-S Phil-Am 10 centavo.
    A very key date in the whole series
    Nice low grade Uncs now about Two grand.
    maybe saw three uncs 61 and 64 last year. Banner year for them.
    compare pops numbers to 1916-D dime

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2020 5:06PM

    @CalifornianKing said:

    @Smudge said:
    Seated Dollars were made to be used. Morgan’s were made to satisfy the silver lobby. Seated Dollars suffered attrition while Morgan’s sat in bags.

    Seated's were almost all melted in China.

    I didn't realize so many were sent over, but it would make some sense that the ones that did were melted as they did not have the same silver content as other coins being circulated, hence the creation of the Trade Dollar.

  • @Zoins said:

    @CalifornianKing said:

    @Smudge said:
    Seated Dollars were made to be used. Morgan’s were made to satisfy the silver lobby. Seated Dollars suffered attrition while Morgan’s sat in bags.

    Seated's were almost all melted in China.

    I didn't realize so many were sent over, but it would make some sense that the ones that did were melted as they did not have the same silver content as other coins being circulated, hence the creation of the Trade Dollar.

    They cost (after like 1850 or so) $1.03 to mint, so they were all sold through exchange brokers (kinda like pre-1834 gold) and were mainly send to Asia/Europe, from China they were sent to India as part of the Opium Triangle, (where they were melted). Or in Europe to be made into their coins.

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