1901 MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR
PCGS MS64The 1901 Morgan Dollar is one of the rarest Morgan dollars in Mint State, and this is a remarkable near-gem example of the conditionally rare 1901 Morgan issue. The Philadelphia Mint struck 6,962,000 coins so it is not considered a rare issue. However, in higher uncirculated grades it is considered a major rarity. While circulated examples are readily available and lower Mint State specimens can be located with patience, only a handful of survivors have ever been certified in high grade.
Many of the 1909 issues went into circulation at the time of issue, but the majority of the coins were stored at the Philadelphia Mint and were destroyed in mass meltings. Due to the destruction of uncirculated bags of 1901 Morgan Silver Dollars, this date is one of the absolute rarest dates in high grade.
Contemporary collectors of the day, tended to order proof specimens of Philadelphia Mint coins when updating their collections every year, so few examples were saved for numismatic purposes. It is likely that most of the coins that were not released, were stored in government vaults and later melted under the provisions of the Pittman Act of 1918. Estimates are that as many as 5 million examples of the 1901 may have perished in that manner. The 1901 date wasn't found in the various Treasury releases of Morgan Dollars, strengthening the theory of a mass melting of this 1901 issue.
The 1901 Morgan dollar is readily available in well-worn grades but emerges as a major rarity in Mint State, especially in higher Mint State levels. In MS-64 or MS-65 grade the piece is a virtual impossibility to obtain. In MS 64 there are only 10 to 20 known and 2 to 4 in MS-65.