You may have heard of “Prooflike (PL),” “Semi-Prooflike (SPL),” “Deep Mirror Proof-Like (DMPL),” or Ultra Prooflike (UPL) Morgan dollars. What do these terms mean and how will they change the value of a coin? Numismatic coin experts label coins with a great variety of terms that either cause the value of the coin to increase or diminish. Understanding these differences will help you in your coin collecting efforts.
To gain an understanding of what category Morgan dollars are put into, consider the common way that the “reflectivity” of a coin is determined. To do this, place a Morgan dollar on its edge next to a marked line on a newspaper page that is full of standard-size text. Make sure that you have good lighting that is aimed toward the coin, but not directly into the coin. Look into the coin’s surface and make a mark next to the text that you can clearly read via the coin’s reflective surface. Based on the length of this reflectivity, you can make a guess at how the coin will be labeled.
If you can only read text that is 1 to 2 inches from the coin, then the coin is likely to be a semi-prooflike (SPL) Morgan. Morgan dollars that are rated SPL will have a frosted surface. Prooflike (PL) coins will have a reflectivity of 2 to 4 inches, Deep Mirror Prooflike (DMPL) coins will have a reflectivity more than 4 inches, and Ultra Prooflike (UPL) coins will have a reflectivity of at least 8 inches.
Be aware that performing this test on slabbed coins that have been encased in plastic or other protective coverings will not provide accurate results. These clear covers tend to significantly alter the reflectivity of a coin.
UPL Morgan dollar coins are rare, and many numismatic experts will argue that in order for a coin to be designated a UPL coin, it must have a reflectivity of at least 12 inches. Some grading services will designate different designations for the obverse and reverse side of a coin. However, most coins will not qualify as Prooflike unless both sides of the coin meet specific standards.
The terms Deep Mirror Proof-Like and similar terms were first developed specifically for Morgan dollar coins since these coins had a uniquely shiny, mirrored surface. The terms were eventually used with Peace dollars as well, and are now being used to describe many additional coins that have bright, mirrored surfaces.
Unique and profitable investments are hard to come by these days, but you can still do well with a few old standbys that don’t get a lot of attention anymore. One of these is silver dollars, and in particular, Morgan dollars. Silver is a wonderful option for those investors who have an interest in precious metals but aren’t sure about their ability to buy too much gold. While silver comes at a lower price, its trends are just as positive over time as gold’s and you’ll find that your payback with silver is just as rewarding, with the added bonus that you’ll be able to buy more of it! Silver investments come in all shapes and sizes, but Morgan dollars make a great buy for several reasons.
First, these dollars are highly popular among collectors because they have a unique and interesting history. In the 1800s, several large silver strikes were discovered in America, with the end result of a completely flooded market. There was so much silver that the wealthy silver mining companies feared their product would soon be worthless. In an effort to keep prices up and avoid devaluation, the U.S. Congress bought large quantities of silver and ordered the minting of millions of Morgan dollars. The dollars are named after their designer, George T. Morgan.
After the coins were minted, most of them never made it into circulation. They sat in bags in bank vaults and mints for years, until the 1970s when the U.S. government decided to sell them to investors. Today, it is actually more common to find uncirculated Morgan dollars than circulated ones! This odd turnaround is one quirk that many investors find so endearing about the coin.
Because Morgan dollars were minted in five different U.S. mints and over a period of several years, there are many different sets you can collect if you decide to invest in these uniquely interesting coins. It is a good idea to research the mintages of the coins and how many of each type exist today. Some mints have nearly disappeared, with coins lost or melted down for silver.
You can get started with silver coins by finding a quality coin dealer. It can be difficult to find a dealer if you live in a smaller town or city, but there are many reliable and trustworthy options on the Internet. Of course, you should always use your common sense. Check out any dealer you are considering working with to make sure they can be trusted with your financial information.
It is a rare and wonderful thing when some item, whether it be a movie, a song, or a rare coin, becomes loved by everyone, both the experts and the regular folk as well. You know what I mean, when a movie comes out that has both the film critics in New Yorkraving about the movie and has long lines of people eager to see it and talk about it around the water cooler the next day at work. Such a phenomenon is rare in the world of art and movies and such a phenomenon is not so common among coin collectors and aficionados either. But one variety of coins that seem to please almost everyone, from the seasoned numismatics expert to the weekend coin collector, are the beautiful Morgan Dollars.
Morgan Dollars were produced during the heady years of 1878 and 1921 by the United States Mint. Unlike most silver dollars made throughout the history of the country, Morgan Dollars were never put into general circulation. Instead, these coins were made to give the owners of important silver mines a place to put their valued product, the silver metal that flowed from the mines. This unusual fact about Morgan Dollars is of great interest to collectors in and of itself, but also leads to the fact that these silver coins are among the most mint condition of all rare silver coins currently collected. When this pristine condition of the Morgan Dollars is matched with the great rarity of some key date coins, you can clearly see why these coins are so highly sought after by the world’s top collectors. Read the full article »
Rare coins are an investor’s best friend. Their liquidity and numismatic value make them ideal for investors of all stripes, whether they be novices or experts. Diversifying a portfolio by adding rare coins can help to hedge against inflation in times of economic strife. It can also be a gateway into a very fun and lucrative lifelong hobby, but it’s important to find a coin dealer who you can trust and who fits your business style before jumping into anything.
Numismatists are coin experts. They study ages, mint marks, and historical value of coins to determine the overall value of a coin. Different coin collectors have different specialties, and they should be able to tell you if they specialize in anything in particular when you visit their shops or speak to them on the phone. Some may specialize in American coins like Morgan Dollars or Buffalo Nickels, and others’ expertise may lie in foreign coinage. If you’re going to begin coin collecting or investing in coins, you should always be sure to have a good rapport with the coin dealer you choose to use. Read the full article »
Until the year 1988, no coin collector worth his or her salt would have believed that Morgan Dollars would ever be auctioned for anything over a quarter of a million dollars at the most. Then in the November of that year, that belief was forever changed when the Norweb 1883-San Francisco Mint dollar sold at auction for an astonishing three hundred and fifty five thousand United States dollars. Indeed, despite the views of most coin collectors who thought two hundred and fifty thousand would be the breaking point, it was unlikely at that time that a Morgan Dollar had ever been sold even for just a hundred and fifty thousand US dollars.
Morgan Silver Dollars were manufactured from the year 1878 to 1904 and then again in 1921. Unlike Proofs and other such special strikes, none of the business strikes are considered to be particularly rare coins. There are however several very rare dates in MS-65 and some even higher grades such as the gem quality range. Read the full article »
The hobby of coin collecting has been around since coins were first minted. People from around the world have been enamored by the beauty and wide variety of precious metal coins. Over time, it has become clear that Morgan dollars have taken the lead as the most popular collectible coin in the United States. They have significant intrinsic precious metal value, but also have additional value based on their unique beauty and historical significance.
Morgan dollars were minted between the years 1878 and 1921 on an intermittent basis. The design for the coin was created by George T. Morgan, the U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver at the time. The profile of Liberty is depicted on the obverse side of the coin. The reverse side includes an eagle clasping an olive branch and arrows in its talons. Read the full article »
You know you have made it as a memorable leader when your assassination is made into an official state coin! Why, not even the greats like Kennedy or Lincoln had such a bizarre honor. Oh, but Caesar did. His assassination inspired a Roman rare silver coin, marking a landmark occurrence in Roman civilization.
Metro Online reported that the coin is expected to bring in over 300,000 pounds when it is auctioned off in September of 2011. Why this fascination over the death of Caesar? It’s easy to understand in 2011, as considerable time has passed, and Caesar is now a man of historical fascination. Why though did the Romans create such a coin? The Romans actually loved their coinage, and eagerly created coins based on anyone in power and everything interesting that happened. This rare silver coin was once known as the Eid Mar, and was the size of a 1p piece. It was minted after the murder of Caesar and was minted—by all people!—by Brutus, the assassin. Read the full article »
The Morgan silver dollar has been called one of the top picks for rare coin investors, largely in response to the phenomenal success of the silver market, which is rapidly appreciating in price. In 2010 and 2011, we have experienced increases in the price of silver that are staggering.
During the crisis in Egypt, the price of silver rose exponentially, and with it, the interest in rare silver coins rose accordingly. Silver coins have always enjoyed widespread popularity among collectors; however, they are now enjoying similar popularity among investors, who previously tended to focus on rare gold coins. The Morgan dollar has stood out as the investment star of this burgeoning interest, as it is one of the most widely collected coins, giving it the dual impact of silver content and collector demand. Read the full article »
If you enjoy history, art, or patriotism, you may be a potential numismatic enthusiast or what is commonly referred to as a coin collector. Numismatics is the study of coins, which is an incredibly rewarding hobby for those who pursue it. Coin collecting is a hobby that appeals to a wide range of people from all age groups and backgrounds.
Many people cite patriotism as one of their major motivations for pursuing a coin collection, noting the evocative beauty of the patriotic renderings on coins. For those who appreciate art and beauty, coins represent small pieces of collectible art by the foremost artists of their times; there are a wide variety of artists who have designed coins, including Augustus Saint-Gaudens phenomenally beautiful and visually stunning High Relief 24-Karat Gold Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagles. Read the full article »