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I started collecting Morgans... Oh boy!

dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

Those of you know know me, probably know that I specialize in Liberty V nickels mostly, and my registry set is nearing completion, so I decided to start another set and decided on MS Morgans in the 63-65 range. I know there are a few keys and semi keys that will be out of my budget range, so I will just buy the best coins I can for those.
For reasons that I cannot explain, I find myself most attracted to rim toned coins like the ones below which I recently purchased - but I enjoy bright "white" examples are well.

Anyway, any tips or pointers on what distinguishes an average coin from a superior one are appreciated. I can read several books on any given series, but inevitably learn more from forum members than anything! Have a great weekend all!

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    justindanjustindan Posts: 697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love the rim toned Morgan coins!

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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,512 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:
    I cannot say about anyone else, but I like a clean and full cheek for the obv and well defined breast feathers for the rev. And like you I tend to prefer lightly rim toned or white coins over the cartoonish looking coins that some are drawn to.

    Best of luck with your collection, it is a lengthy series.

    This I like 👍

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    kirkminkkirkmink Posts: 172 ✭✭✭✭

    I'll echo what has been said above, at the 64/65 level the cheek should be mostly clean with only a minor mark perhaps. There may be a little light chatter in the fields. If targeting any dates from the New Orleans mint, pay particular attention to the hair above the ear and the chest feathers on the reverse as the O mint mark coins can be notorious for soft strikes.

    If you decide to dabble in the PL, or DMPL coins, expect the grading services to be a bet more lenient with chatter in the fields for these grades. Not sure why that is, but just something I have noticed.

    "Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?"- Calvin and Hobbes

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 20, 2023 2:46PM

    @lilolme said:

    Now the 1884 CC from the photo appears off. The CC in general can have strong and frosty luster. That one appears softer on the luster. Perhaps it is the photo. Also sometimes the toning can have a thin layer over the coin and impact the appearance of the luster. The hair over the ear is typical with only slight softness but perhaps a little more than normal softness on the eagle feathers and down into the eagles left legs. Again could be photo.

    The 1887 is an MS65 (CAC too!), while the 1884CC is MS63, so that's likely a reflection on the weaknesses that you pointed out. I do appreciate your knowledge of Morgans in general, and thank you for that! Your advice about not to get into a hurry is especially helpful, as I tend to NOT take my time in finding just the right example. I already have a duplicate in my collection because I had forgotten what I had purchased already - and I bought them less than two weeks apart! LOL

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    david3142david3142 Posts: 3,421 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Morgans are awesome! I’ve been collecting them for 20 years and recently completed my set. Feel free to send me a message here about the striking characteristics or availability of any coin in the series and I can try to help. I also collect coins with rainbow toning if you are interested in learning more about that (or seeing examples). Good luck with your set!

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @david3142 said:
    Morgans are awesome! I’ve been collecting them for 20 years and recently completed my set. Feel free to send me a message here about the striking characteristics or availability of any coin in the series and I can try to help. I also collect coins with rainbow toning if you are interested in learning more about that (or seeing examples). Good luck with your set!

    Thank you David! I may just ask for your help sometime. I am not new to numismatics, just new to the peculiarities of this series. Have a great weekend!

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,512 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Morgan's are a diverse beast... As others have said getting a clean cheek, and full chest feathers. The new Orleans series ("O") are notoriously soft struck so finding full features will be tough. Some ms o series look au but are actually soft struck.

    Unfortunately pictures often won't help too much... Seeing in hand to distinguish soft struck vs wear is the the best way. Studying coinfacts images on o series coins will help too.

    As for the look that's the preference of each person. I personally like the moon and bullseye type toning as well but a super clean look can be great too! It all comes down to what you like!

    Have fun!

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh boy, indeed! I'm thinking that's a major undertaking. Congrats for taking on this project!

    Do you have a link to your V Nickel registry set?

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:
    Oh boy, indeed! I'm thinking that's a major undertaking. Congrats for taking on this project!

    Do you have a link to your V Nickel registry set?

    Yes sir, I do!

    https://pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset/71874

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @david3142 Morgan set is SUPER nice. Luckily I am his long lost son and heir to his coins :naughty:

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dsessom said:

    @OAKSTAR said:
    Oh boy, indeed! I'm thinking that's a major undertaking. Congrats for taking on this project!

    Do you have a link to your V Nickel registry set?

    Yes sir, I do!

    https://pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset/71874

    Thank you. I can see the work you are putting into this set! 👍🏻

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well-matching clean cheek dove gray toned XF problem-free Morgans are attractive when displayed as a set.

    peacockcoins

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,309 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I truly hope you enjoy your endeavor, but I can't afford Morgans of most grades and MM because they all would have to have clean cheeks and field with no scars(other than vams) lol.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Catbert said:
    I read the news today, oh boy
    About a lucky man who made the grade
    And though the news was rather sad
    Well, I just had to laugh
    I saw the photograph

    I love that song!! 👍🏻

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Okay, thanks. You can have it back now.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice set to work on.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,512 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerguy21D said:
    Best of luck with your set!
    I’m not much of a Morgan fan myself, but I do like ‘em frosty with rim toning:

    Very nice cc!

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    david3142david3142 Posts: 3,421 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said:
    @david3142 Morgan set is SUPER nice. Luckily I am his long lost son and heir to his coins :naughty:

    Thank you for the kind words. Now finish your homework before you can watch TV!

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have always liked the Morgan dollars... Big, silver, lot of history. Fortunately there are millions and millions out there. My preference is no tarnish, clean fields, clean cheek and defined breast feathers. That being said, they can be expensive. Or - depending on what type of Morgan collection you are building, quite reasonably priced. Good luck, Cheers, RickO

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    kazkaz Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭✭✭

    dsessom that is quite an undertaking! I recommend reading all of david3142's threads about his collection.. it's practically a complete course on the series! Good luck with the hunt!

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    Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the Morgan’s but have no intention to build a complete set (did that with the peace dollars) except for the CC mint Morgan’s - I’m working to finish the CC set (some dates are out of range in mint state, like that pesky 1889 cc).
    I always thought rim toning was a result of the coin being in a coin book, but perhaps there are other reasons. For MS coins I prefer blast white, no toning, I like the high luster, deep silver color as close to how they looked on the day they were minted the better… I even prefer a strong frost layer over a PL or DMPL unless the device is really clean. I just like robust cartwheels on silver dollars…

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    nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, quite an undertaking!
    But, it doesn’t have to be. Of course, one might embark on this endeavor to whatever extent your desire and budget dictates. After all, I think there’s a lot of truth in that old saying “variety is the spice of life.”
    Though Morgans may not be the most beautiful design (IMO), they make up for that in other attributes.
    I don’t need to list the possibilities but they are endless and already known here.
    Best of luck and fun times ahead for you!

    Happy, humble, honored and proud recipient of the “You Suck” award 10/22/2014

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Che_Grapes said:
    I like the Morgan’s but have no intention to build a complete set (did that with the peace dollars) except for the CC mint Morgan’s - I’m working to finish the CC set (some dates are out of range in mint state, like that pesky 1889 cc).
    I always thought rim toning was a result of the coin being in a coin book, but perhaps there are other reasons. For MS coins I prefer blast white, no toning, I like the high luster, deep silver color as close to how they looked on the day they were minted the better… I even prefer a strong frost layer over a PL or DMPL unless the device is really clean. I just like robust cartwheels on silver dollars…

    Yeah for the luster.

    On the "I always thought rim toning was a result of the coin being in a coin book, but perhaps there are other reasons."

    True about the coin book or album toning. However, also true about other reasons. It just depends on how the sulfur or the toning agent (I guess that is a correct wording) is reacting with the coin. The below (beat up) coin has just been sitting out on a wooden shelf for some time (I don't know maybe 2 plus years). It started out as rim toning but has advanced toward the center of the coin. But others sitting on the shelf will tone more evenly across the coin. Still other turn to ugly face. Then some rim toning can be the result of a quick dip.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @asheland said:
    I don’t particularly collect Morgans, but I just buy them when I see ones that I like:
    MS65 and love the FROST:

    And that was my favorite until this 82-S came along.

    I doubt I’ll ever top this one:

    It’s a great series, my advice only buy them if you really like them, don’t just pick up “dates and grades”

    That is good advice. This is what I do for the V nickels, so I will slow down and take my time.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,711 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    I have collected a few B) ...

    Working towards a six pack?

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2023 8:41PM

    Other than the Schoolgirl pattern, here's my favorite Morgan:

    image

    Funny stuff aside, have fun. The biggest issue with Morgan Dollars is finding one that you like. There are plenty of them out there to sort through. A clean cheek and left obverse field is key, just like with Peace dollars.

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    MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    @asheland said:

    I doubt I’ll ever top this one:

    That's essentially a perfect coin imho.
    Something for everyone !

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    TorinoCobra71TorinoCobra71 Posts: 8,023 ✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    I have always liked the Morgan dollars... Big, silver, lot of history. Fortunately there are millions and millions out there. My preference is no tarnish, clean fields, clean cheek and defined breast feathers. That being said, they can be expensive. Or - depending on what type of Morgan collection you are building, quite reasonably priced. Good luck, Cheers, RickO

    RickO, President of the "I LIKE my coin BLAST WHITE" club...... :pensive:

    image
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    Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can always go for peace dollars instead:

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    Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here’s one I sent in raw and came back MS64

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    justindanjustindan Posts: 697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22, 2023 1:10PM

    @burfle23 said:
    I have collected a few B) ...

    I was under the impression only the 1921 Morgan Dollar coins had the "Morgan" label on the PCGS insert. The cert #'s don't appear to match Morgan dollar coins.

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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dsessom said:
    ...

    Anyway, any tips or pointers on what distinguishes an average coin from a superior one are appreciated.

    I did a write-up on this forum a while back about what to look for on New Orleans mint Morgans because someone was asking about them. I'll see if I can find it.

    In the grades you are looking for, there are going to be lots of opportunities to buy something. Look at a lot of coins and get the one that grabs your attention the most for whatever (positive) reason.

    Wayne Miller's Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook is a good read if you can find it (not hard). The Morgan Dollar Red Book is also OK.

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll second the recommendation to pick up Miller's book. I had the opportunity to spend some time with him over the phone a few years back. Smart fellow.

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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @dsessom said:
    ...

    Anyway, any tips or pointers on what distinguishes an average coin from a superior one are appreciated.

    I did a write-up on this forum a while back about what to look for on New Orleans mint Morgans because someone was asking about them. I'll see if I can find it.

    Found it. Linky

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @justindan said:

    @burfle23 said:
    I have collected a few B) ...

    I was under the impression only the 1921 Morgan Dollar coins had the "Morgan" label on the PCGS insert. The cert #'s don't appear to match Morgan dollar coins.

    Yes, these are counterfeits in counterfeit holders...

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,711 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:

    @justindan said:

    @burfle23 said:
    I have collected a few B) ...

    I was under the impression only the 1921 Morgan Dollar coins had the "Morgan" label on the PCGS insert. The cert #'s don't appear to match Morgan dollar coins.

    Yes, these are counterfeits in counterfeit holders...

    Sneaky! Trying to see if anyone would catch this. Now that it has been confirmed, I see the bar codes are BAD. Actually, all four look the same.

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    justindanjustindan Posts: 697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2023 4:23AM

    I had a friend that just purchased a counterfeit NGC 1916 D Whizzed coin. Holder looks better than most but the coin is a cast coin and doesn't match the die characteristics.

    So fakes are fresh on the mind!

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been attracted to the Morgan Dollar series a couple of times, but my goal was limited to a one a year set instead of all mint marks. I never finished and sold coins when I was a dealer. I love the history of the series, but find the set to be a bit long.

    I built a couple of sets for customers. The 1895-P was a PR-63, I handled the same coin twice, and the best 1893-S I handed was an AU-58 which easily fit into an otherwise Choice Unc. set. The sets only included the Red Book varieties, no VAMs.

    Price is the only barrier to finding any of the dates and mint marks. The coins are always available, or at least they were when I was a dealer.

    I think the idea of collecting original surface coins with a little toning around the edge is great. “Toners” can cost you a fortune, even for the common pieces, and pieces with a little color on the edge can be very attractive.

    Good luck. It will be a fun ride.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @justindan said:
    I had a friend that just purchased a counterfeit NGC 1916 D Whizzed coin. Holder looks better than most but the coin is a cast coin and doesn't match the die characteristics.

    So fakes are fresh on the mind!

    I am a bit of a PCGS snob, so I do not even look at coins that are not in PCGS slabs anymore. I also try to stick to 3 or 4 trusted sources, and check PCGS Certification before I buy anything. Good advice though!

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @dsessom said:
    ...

    Anyway, any tips or pointers on what distinguishes an average coin from a superior one are appreciated.

    I did a write-up on this forum a while back about what to look for on New Orleans mint Morgans because someone was asking about them. I'll see if I can find it.

    In the grades you are looking for, there are going to be lots of opportunities to buy something. Look at a lot of coins and get the one that grabs your attention the most for whatever (positive) reason.

    Wayne Miller's Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook is a good read if you can find it (not hard). The Morgan Dollar Red Book is also OK.

    I bookmarked it. Thank you! Good info!

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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I’ve started and stopped several times.  I wish you well and post this in good humor. Your nickels are very nice and I’m sure you will have a nice collection. Big undertaking.  
    

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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