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Crazy item walked into a local B&M today. One of those first struck, hand engraved 1921-D Morgans

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 25, 2023 4:16PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Local owner didn't even begin to know where to touch it but was understandably suspicious.
I know our own @dcarr made an overstruck version, and I remembered seeing one offered at HA several years ago.

This seems pretty real? But that price sticker!
There is a lot of strange going on with this seller and the really disparate and incongruous mix of other coins he was looking to sell (modern proofs with outrageous pricing, a little of that late night telemarketing stuff).

NGC's cert lookup seems to give it a thumbs up:
https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/1736122-001/64/

Thoughts? Strange, real, fake, run Forrest?

We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
--Severian the Lame

Comments

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    stolen?

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:
    stolen?

    But do you print out an outrageous (or maybe not?) price sticker and slap it on a very rare Morgan if you've stolen it?

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Now that is a strange one to walk into a store.

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

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see anything suspicious other than the price. Not sure being the 4th Coin struck will pull that kind of premium? I'd say real but also strange.

    I would certainly stay away. If I did have the money to buy, and really wanted it and could come to a reasonable arrangement I would immediately send it in for validation from ngc. I'd also get a written warranty from the dealer that he will take it back if it comes back fake.

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    MarkKelleyMarkKelley Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How can these coins straight grade with the engraving?

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MarkKelley said:
    How can these coins straight grade with the engraving?

    Note the error on the label : D

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    MarkKelleyMarkKelley Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Obviously, they weren't using spell check.

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just think when a bunch of random stuff shows up at a local shop, it's a little odd. The way you described the interaction would make me wonder. But, the hobby includes a few people who aren't exactly mainstream in their mannerisms.

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    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,676 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Might there be a ledger entry by the superintendent, explaining these alterations?

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2023 6:15PM

    Here’s a brief reference to the coin which started off as the subject of this thread:
    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v11n32a12.html

    And here’s the description of coin #3, when auctioned by Heritage in 2014:

    https://coins.ha.com/itm/morgan-dollars/silver-and-related-dollars/1921-d-1-3rd-dollar-released-from-the-denver-mint-presentation-piece-ngc-ms61-pcgs-7298-/a/1206-4715.s?ic4=ListView-ShortDescription-071515

    “Presentation 1921-D Dollar, MS61
    '3rd Dollar Released From the Denver Mint'
    From 1923 Mehl Auction

    1921-D $1 -- 3rd Dollar Released From the Denver Mint, Presentation Piece -- NGC MS61. This left obverse field is carefully engraved "3RD DOLLAR RELEASED FROM 1ST 100 / EVER COINED AT DENVER MINT / THOMAS ANNEAR SUPT." In May 1921, Morgan dollars were struck for the first time in the Denver mint. While no special ceremonies were held for the striking of these coins, the first two pieces were sent to State Senator L.C. Phipps, who gave one to the Colorado School of Mines and the other to the Colorado Historical Society. Both pieces were not engraved as were coins 3 through 12, and both were subsequently stolen. Coins 3 through 12 have the above inscription engraved. Numbers 3 through 12 appeared in a B. Max Mehl sale in December 1923 as lots 1040 through 1049. The lot 1040 description includes a quote from a May 22, 1921 letter from Supt. Annear to Charles W. Cowell, "the ten silver dollars purchased by you from the Mint were from the first hundred ever coined in this institution. At the request of the Director of the Mint, I sent two silver dollars to Washington ... Yours were the next ten released." Researcher Adna Wilder concluded that Cowell was responsible for the engraving. The coin itself is well-struck, with satiny luster and pearl-gray surfaces that show a bit of faint peripheral toning on both sides.
    Ex: Thomas Annear; Charles W. Cowell; Cowell Collection (B. Max Mehl, 12/1923), lot 1040; Richard G. Bowman; Stephen Tebo; Denver ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/1996), lot 5633.
    From the Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P3, N69)“

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,464 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2023 6:09PM

    Looks like a $70-$85 coin to me, not sure where the labeler is getting $85K? RGDS!

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @blitzdude said:
    Looks like a $70-$85 coin to me, not sure where the labeler is getting $85K? RGDS!

    The $85,000 figure sounds very high, but your “$70-$85” is much too low, considering that two different examples brought $13,512 (see link in my previous post) and $11,867 in 2014.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    RampageRampage Posts: 9,418 ✭✭✭✭

    @blitzdude said:
    Looks like a $70-$85 coin to me, not sure where the labeler is getting $85K? RGDS!

    I believe you are missing the historical significance of the coin. Is $85,000 too much? I don’t know. Maybe. But, what I do know is that the $70-$85 range would be ripping off the seller.

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    Steven59Steven59 Posts: 8,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see said the blind man - make the rules up as you go along.................

    "When they can't find anything wrong with you, they create it!"

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    RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 524 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think these coins are more "Commermorative" in nature rather than engraved Morgans.

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RLSnapper said:
    I think these coins are more "Commermorative" in nature rather than engraved Morgans.

    You'll have to take that up with NGC.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What an unbelievable coin to come into a local shop!
    I guess you never know what's out there.
    Maybe they just slapped $80,000 on there to see if the owner would say something like this:
    "$80,000? That's crazy, I couldn't go above 40,000. You know how expensive a dozen eggs are these days"?

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Certainly a unique coin, and of value to those who collect this kind of memorabilia. I see no justification for the $85K price tag.... Cheers, RickO

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Handled one of the engraved pieces at ANACS. I think they are fascinating.

    It is worth what it brings at auction. As Mark says this will be somewhere in the five figures.$25K would not surprise me.

    TD

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool item. I could see a diehard passionate Morgan collector paying quite a bit. How often do these come to market? This is the chance to obtain.

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seems the most logical thing to do is to have the seller submit the piece for auction. If he's the legit owner, and if he really wants to sell it rather than just bragging about it to a smaller local coin store.
    I'll share the consensus with the owner today.
    Thanks, everyone!

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Searching the NNP turned up this one having been in Northern Nevada Coin's inventory in 2009. I thought I had seen a catalog on the NNP that showed a very early (1920s) sale of a whole bunch of these for between $1.75 and $10 (more or less), but I can't find it now.

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    sparky64sparky64 Posts: 7,026 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It certainly isn't very eye appealing to me.
    Has that leather pouch heavy toning look.

    "If I say something in the woods and my wife isn't there to hear it.....am I still wrong?"

    My Washington Quarter Registry set...in progress

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    telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,751 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2023 3:03PM

    I could see that walking into a shop if it were, say, freshly inherited... the moon money label indicates that someone has (or had) a label maker and a crazy expectation of value. In the past we've seen off the wall prices like this written on holders of various coins, often by elderly collectors who were VERY proud of their stuff. If something like that walked into our place, I'm thinking that assuming everything was kosher I'd try to get as much provenance as possible and then perhaps offer some kind of consignment or purchase deal... contingent upon either a resub to NGC or cross to our hosts just to cover bases.

    Edit to add...this of course would all be moot if they were convinced it was actually worth $85K B)


    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
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    drei3reedrei3ree Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭

    Maybe the $85K was stuck on it so the heirs wouldn't sell too cheap!

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    blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,464 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2023 6:35PM

    @dcarr said:

    @blitzdude said:
    Looks like a $70-$85 coin to me, not sure where the labeler is getting $85K? RGDS!

    I'm surprised you didn't value it at $15.

    Thought about it but even with the graffiti it's still a 21-D and not a P, and thank god it's not a cacs taco bell natural monster toner. :Roll Maybe you could "commemorate" a couple and try for profit??? LoL!

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2023 9:56PM

    “… with Proof surface!”

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    “… with Proof surface!”

    I wouldn’t read anything onto that other than that the coin was PL.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @CaptHenway said:
    “… with Proof surface!”

    I wouldn’t read anything onto that other than that the coin was PL.

    Why that one and not the others?

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:

    @MFeld said:

    @CaptHenway said:
    “… with Proof surface!”

    I wouldn’t read anything onto that other than that the coin was PL.

    Why that one and not the others?

    Only one was cataloged as "Bright" uncirculated, too. Also "as last" may have meant to imply it. Consistency in cataloging doesn't seem to have been a strong point here.

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    telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,751 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can't really definitively tell from the image but the coin in question seemingly has no PL look to it. Perhaps a better-quality image might shed light on this.


    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm sure all of these coins have a PL look to them. 1921-D is avaialble, though scarce, in PL, and the mirrors aren't usually very deep. Coin #9 pictured on Heritage's site gives a feeling for what the mirrors, or "Proof surface" cited by the cataloger (Mehl, himself?), looked like. It's possible that they were "proofier" in 1923, as they were quite new and hadn't been dipped yet, but could have had varying amounts of storage haze on them.

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    SoCalBigMarkSoCalBigMark Posts: 2,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    Seems the most logical thing to do is to have the seller submit the piece for auction. If he's the legit owner, and if he really wants to sell it rather than just bragging about it to a smaller local coin store.
    I'll share the consensus with the owner today.
    Thanks, everyone!

    At the LCS some homeless looking guy who had a contest between mustard stains and dandruff pulled out a capitol typeset board full of key gems from a rumpled paper sack, he also a had a full set of Unc educational notes. Just show and tell he was the treasurer of I believe the Covina Coin Club, Dale? Just walking around town with them...

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder what collectors might think to realize their were only 12 made(all by the Denver Mint) which is at least a rarity of 9.5 until known what number have survived which would make it even more rare. Not a collector of such memorabilia, but I can understand why someone might be. I will save that holder number and track this coin for the fun of it. I feel the price may surprize many.
    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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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,008 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coin #12 was owned by a collector I once corresponded with (but I never met him in person). After he passed away, it was in the inventory of Julian Liebman when it was stolen, and then later recovered.

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