In August 1885, the Carson City Mint produced 28,000 Morgan dollars, the final installment of the 228,000 coins minted that year. It would be another four years before that facility struck another Morgan dollar. In October 1889, the wild-west town named Carson City, born as a result of the discovery of the Comstock, produced its next quantity of silver dollars minting just 350,000 coins. Due to the low survival rate of high quality specimens known today it seems the vast majority of those minted were paid out and entered into circulation. The result of that activity is a plentiful supply (for a price) of worn examples. A second result is a lack of available high end mint state specimens. Beginning in the early 1930s, the Treasury paid out individual pieces and small groups, but never any large quantities or bag lots. It seems that those quality pieces available today have these payouts as their source.
As one of the top Morgan dollar rarities, the 1889-CC is desirable in all grades as indicated by the fact that even a low end XF will cost you several thousand dollars. As a major rarity for the series, the 1889-CC has perhaps been a bit over promoted in the past for lower quality coins, but remains under appreciated for its near impossible availability in gem grades like the coin offered here.
The surfaces on this coin are extraordinarily clean with only a few tiny blemishes on either side. The luster has the satiny texture that is invariably seen on 1889-CC dollars, although it is not proof-like as often encountered. Well struck, each side is free from any trace of color or distraction.
Extremely rare as a Gem, with just four other MS65 examples certified by NGC, including one proof-like example, and one other amazing coin graded MS67. Comparatively, PCGS has certified a single MS65 and one MS68. The present coin ranks among the top eight NGC or PCGS certified examples of the issue, providing an incredible opportunity for the advanced Morgan dollar or ultra-rarity collector.
A quick study of auction records confirms the rarity of high quality examples. There are only four MS65s listed in the Auction Prices Realized charter during the past decade. The first two were in 2005 and they have an average price realized of $195,500. The other two coins sold, interestingly enough, during worst six months in modern economic times, one in 2008 at the onset of the meltdown and the last in January 2009. Despite the turmoil of what some consider the worst economic crises in United States history, they still had an average realized price of $270,000. This represents a better than 10% increase per year over that four year period even with the economic panic. Despite the fact that the economy was on the skids, I find it interesting that when real estate, stock valuations and many other assets were collapsing in price these extremely popular ultra- rarities actually increased.
If you extrapolate the average price increase from 2005 to 2009 of approximately 10% and apply it to the time period of 2009 to 2011 then the example should be priced somewhere between $325,000 – $350,000. Further, leading price guides published by Coin Values/Coin World Magazine lists this amazing rarity at $350,000 and Numismedia lists it at $362,500.
This wonderful MS65 specimen is proudly offered at $335,000.