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What’s the ideal type DMPL Morgan?

airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

Morgan dollars are a funny series to me. While iconic, the design isn’t particularly exciting, and a ho-hum mid-grade uncirculated example doesn’t really do anything for me. That said, give the coin some exciting feature and it can be great; I have more Morgans than any other design in my collection. All are toned less one MS63DMPL with 12+ inch mirrors and pretty good frost and a really nice MS65 1880-S with frosty devices and a bit of color around the rim framing the coin.

Anyway, I would really like one really nice DMPL coin as a type example. Thick frost, deep black mirrors, and pretty clean surfaces with no significantly distracting marks are a must. Balancing quality and value (and considering the wide range of frost thickness and mirror depth that qualify as DMPL), I’m trying to come up with the best dates and grades to look for.

Ignoring tough dates where prices are much higher than common dates, there’s a small jump from 63 to 64, a not insignificant jump to 65, and 66 is likely out of budget. So that means a nice 64 or a stretch to a 65 if it’s that much better.

For dates, 1881-S (and right behind it 80-S) is the obvious choice for a date where average coins are high quality and PL/DMPL are relatively common. Are there other dates worth looking at? More specifically, even if less common, are there other dates where the really nice examples are REALLY nice (great mirrors, great frost), but are priced close to a typical type coin?

Your thoughts?

My 98-O:

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Comments

  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,693 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Intriguing query. I went through a period once where I collected a number of proof like Morgans.

  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭✭✭

    IF you don't mind spending a little more, I'd go for the common date 82-84 CC's. Always nice to have a CC as a type coin. If sticking with the common dates & prices (~ $400 for an MS64), I'd go for the 79S.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,653 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the objective is flash and quality for the type is the primary objective (and your post reads as if it is...), I would stick to the 1879-s through 81-s.

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

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably an 1881-S MS64DMPL in a PCGS holder with a green CAC sticker. The coin should have great, clean mirrored fields with heavily frosted portraits on both sides, the obverse mark free, the reverse eagle with scattered ticks/imperfections to keep it out of the 65 holder. You'll probably have to pay a nice premium but it would be a lovely coin.

  • Wolf359Wolf359 Posts: 7,651 ✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2023 10:44AM

    You can get insane looking 1883-o DMPL's in 64-66 or so. For a reasonable price.

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    82-S can be pretty superb as well.

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting post... I bought an 80-S 64DMPL with a relatively clean cheek but it does have a bothersome spot at the date. I'll keep it around and look for other coins for the Box of 20 but I'll likely revisit the "last" Morgan Dollar for the collection...

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

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  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @AlanSki said:
    82-S can be pretty superb as well.

    82-S is actually a bit tougher in DMPL, but there's a different quality about them that can make them special. Many dies seem to have been lapped with a polishing disk of too small of a radius (wut?). Picture cutting a disk out of the surface of a ball 12" in radius, and then cutting another from a ball 11" in radius. The smaller radius ball will give a disk that's less flat. When the dies are polished against such a disk, the fields will take on the shape of the less flat disk. As a result, coins struck from these have slightly more concavity in the fields. This exaggerates the flashiness of the luster that grows as the dies wear. Look at a stack of 82-Ss and compare with a stack of 81-Ss, and you'll see the difference in luster characteristics. An 82-S in 66 with slightly concave fields and flashy luster is just plain fun to look at.

    Always learning something new on this site. I always thought there was something a little different & special with my 82-S and how the stars reflected in the mirrors. This coin may be from what you have described above.

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,949 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have wanted a DMPL CC Morgan for a long time but have never bought one.

  • JonBrand83JonBrand83 Posts: 443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2023 2:09PM

    Id go with CC dmpl coins in lower 1880's, as others have mentioned.

    I had an 1883cc MS65 DMPL. While a bit marked up, and not CAC worthy the thing was so sharp looking especially in person. Aesthetically very pleasing even with the scuffs keeping it down... and much more striking to look at than other toned and non toned morgans ive owned, including S coins.

    S coins are very shiny and unique but I think a nice black and white DMPL really stands out.


    Used to also own this S which had a similar look but not quite as much contrast.

    Jbknifeandcoin.com

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinkat said:
    If the objective is flash and quality for the type is the primary objective (and your post reads as if it is...), I would stick to the 1879-s through 81-s.

    I’d say the objective is overall DMPL look, without going nuts on price. For many series, the common date is the obvious type coin and often comes nice (for generic Morgans, the 81-S, or for Buffalo nickels, the 38-D). What’s different here is that there’s a quality that transcends generic “nice” such that the common date may not always be the best. Maybe it’s similar to copper where there may be a cheaper common date, but the most lustrous and red coins are a different date. But of course, if the best red IHCs were 1877, that’s so far beyond a type coin I wouldn’t be able to consider it.

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  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,896 ✭✭✭✭

    If in search of a killer DMPL Morgan, Jeremy, I like the idea of an 1882 or 1884 CC. :smile:

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airplanenut said:

    @messydesk said:

    @AlanSki said:
    82-S can be pretty superb as well.

    82-S is actually a bit tougher in DMPL, but there's a different quality about them that can make them special. Many dies seem to have been lapped with a polishing disk of too small of a radius (wut?). Picture cutting a disk out of the surface of a ball 12" in radius, and then cutting another from a ball 11" in radius. The smaller radius ball will give a disk that's less flat. When the dies are polished against such a disk, the fields will take on the shape of the less flat disk. As a result, coins struck from these have slightly more concavity in the fields. This exaggerates the flashiness of the luster that grows as the dies wear. Look at a stack of 82-Ss and compare with a stack of 81-Ss, and you'll see the difference in luster characteristics. An 82-S in 66 with slightly concave fields and flashy luster is just plain fun to look at.

    Funny you say that. I’ve had this 82-S (my only one) for around 20 years and always thought there was some je ne sais quoi about the obverse. It’s semi-PL, but lustrous and flashy in an abnormal way.

    The 82s DMPL is a bit more but well worth it if it has the concave look for mirror and appearance alone. It’ll stand out in your collection.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airplanenut said:

    @messydesk said:

    @AlanSki said:
    82-S can be pretty superb as well.

    82-S is actually a bit tougher in DMPL, but there's a different quality about them that can make them special. Many dies seem to have been lapped with a polishing disk of too small of a radius (wut?). Picture cutting a disk out of the surface of a ball 12" in radius, and then cutting another from a ball 11" in radius. The smaller radius ball will give a disk that's less flat. When the dies are polished against such a disk, the fields will take on the shape of the less flat disk. As a result, coins struck from these have slightly more concavity in the fields. This exaggerates the flashiness of the luster that grows as the dies wear. Look at a stack of 82-Ss and compare with a stack of 81-Ss, and you'll see the difference in luster characteristics. An 82-S in 66 with slightly concave fields and flashy luster is just plain fun to look at.

    Funny you say that. I’ve had this 82-S (my only one) for around 20 years and always thought there was some je ne sais quoi about the obverse. It’s semi-PL, but lustrous and flashy in an abnormal way.

    And now you "sais quoi". That's coin is a good example of what I was talking about.

  • morgandollar1878morgandollar1878 Posts: 4,002 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would also recommend a CC Morgan in DMPL. Yes, it is a stretch above the common date, however I think it is a better bang for your buck.

    Instagram: nomad_numismatics
  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2023 10:11PM

    If I had the money I’d buy this on eBay. Old ANA and dual sided toning. Bet this looks amazing but It’s too rich for me though.

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I appreciate the replies so far… this gives me a good idea of dates to consider, enough to have a choice and few enough to do some further digging. I like the idea of a CC because there’s a real novelty to them, and I’ll have to consider that against the increase in price. Looking at the PCGS price guide (good for relative pricing and a general idea of what to expect) with a CC I’d likely be able to get a 64, the other suggested dates/mints probably a 65 before it gets a bit too pricey. But now I’ll start looking through auction prices and the like to build a better idea of what to expect and go from there. Thanks!

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  • Morgan13Morgan13 Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1884-CC are very nice. From my Danso album. Used to reside in a 64 ANACS UDM holder that was literally cracking and coming apart at the seams. I have no plans of ever selling it.

    Student of numismatics and collector of Morgan dollars

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,653 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That 1882-s graded by ANACS raises an interesting question as to the appearance of the coin at the time of the submission and what it looks like today. I suspect the coin added toning after it was encapsulated. The coin was likely graded 32-34 years ago given the slab number that starts with WF.

    Going full circle back to the initial question... While there are some exceptional 1882cc-84cc Morgans in DMPL, ones with the deep contrast with few bag marks sell at a premium. There is a large surviving population of these as well as the 1879-s through 81-s Morgans. There is something cool about owning that CC with the contrast but be prepared to pay the price and live with the greater likelihood of bag marks and other surface imperfections.

    @airplanenut You will know the right coin for the type you seek when you see. You might be better served trying to find this coin at a coin show whereby you can see it in hand knowing that you will be satisfied with the quality that you are seeking.

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

  • ElmerFusterpuckElmerFusterpuck Posts: 4,608 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2024 10:30AM

    Though I mostly do toned Morgans, I really do like the nice DMPL's as well. Below is my criteria for a DMPL I might buy:

    • Lots of frost/black and white contrast. DMPL's with little to no contrast are unappealing to me.
    • On the CC's, I really like that 'halo' effect that sometimes shows up around the eagle.
    • No luster. While luster is nice on toned coins, I actually prefer none on DMPL's. Just some deep mirrored surfaces.
    • Little to no haze. I've seen some coins that have decent contrast but are coated with a russet colored haze.
    • Along with the dates mentioned above, I'd also add the 80-O and 81-O. There are some stunner DMPL's there, but the 80-O can get very expensive.
  • blu62vetteblu62vette Posts: 11,900 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The are certain VAM's that come very deep. I can write forever about dates I like but generically would stick to:

    79-S, 81-S 82-S, 1896, 1882-CC, 1884-CC (rusted dies, these were heavily polished and freakishly deep), 1885

    Avoid 1883-O, 1884-O, 1885-O. Real common dates the overall have real common mirrors, harder to find the real good examples.

    You can find some deals on super deep 64DMPLs, great price point right now.

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  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ANACs old white holders had a UDM (ultra deep mirror) designation for which you might be on the lookout. Here's one (65 UDM) that I paid a ridiculous premium for but I wanted a nice example and threw caution to the wind:

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"

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