October 2015 - Welcome


We made a number of important acquisitions in

September to go along with the group we are building for VSS evaluation.  For the most part these are aimed at our grading set, with an eye out for toned coins and, where possible, new VAMs.


New Toned Coins

Maybe we are just a little more aware of toned coins, but it seems like there are a lot more of them on auction sites these days, especially in the 1881-O.  This is an MS64 coin that we believe to be an end roll example.  The squared off area in front of the chin would indicate received more exposure there than in other areas, and there is a box-like darker area across the cheek that is often indicative of end roll coins.




We are also proud of a little action we took in September to challenge the N grade on two of our toned coins that had been labeled as "Altered Surface."  Our time spent studying the work by Doug Kurz paid off, and we were able to demonstrate areas where toning was natural.

















Our latest batch of coins from VSS has some potential discoveries that will be evaluated during October.  At most there will be two, but we are certainly pushing the knowledge of the 1881-O into new areas.


But we have closed the gap on missing VAMs in the collection and we will document them when the images are received from VSS.


More to come...........

Additions for VAMworld

Fortunately there is some obvious overlap between our work and the larger effort on VAMworld.  Since all of our coins are being photographed by VSS we always have large coin images to share.  This month has been no exception with us adding large images for VAMs 4, 16, and 35.

The 1881-O Market

Market Pricing

According to PCGS there was no movement in the prices for the 1881-O series in the month of September.



Through the end of September, PCGS certified 748 new 1881-O Morgan Dollars during 2015.  The highest percentage change was in coins certified below AU grades at 18%, but we know that was us certifying coins for our grading set and it is an anomaly that will not continue.  Once we obtain enough examples to illustrate each grade that activity will fall off and be minimal.  The total is a mere 29 coins to move the needle forward below AU50.


In AU grades the number of certified coins increased by only 84, but a 7% increase none the less, and we did not grade many of those.  In September we did add 2 coins to the total, one AU53 and an AU58


As one might expect the largest percentage of new coins graded is in the MS, PL, and DMPL grouping with an additional 748 coins now hitting the market for collectors.  This is a 4% increase, but the law of large numbers is at play.  The most active grade is always MS 63 where there were a fresh 291 base coins graded, with one addition MS63+.  We certified an MS61PL in September, the only one for the month.