Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Morgan dollars


I am fairly new to coin collecting.  I've always  heard that you should buy as high of a grade as possible.  While looking at a NGC certified AU55 1895 O Morgan dollar, I've seen different values for the coin.  NGC states the coin is worth $1910 and Coinworld states $1250.  I imagine that Coinworld value is for a non-slabbed coin.  But should the price vary that much?  Is the NGC price guide a good indicator of what the coin is worth?  Is there a good market for an AU55 1895 Morgan?  Also, with coin and bullion prices so high, is now a good time to buy?  I would think everything will fall after Congress and Europe actually gets their house in order.  All advise will be appreciated.


Coins should be collected as a hobby, not as an investment with the idea that tomorrows prices will justify today's purchase. Back before the rise in silver in 1980, common date Morgan dollars sold for about $8 to $10. With silver at $50 an ounce, circulated silver dollars were going for $35 and the common UNC's at $45 to $50. Now, 30+ years later, with silver around $30 an ounce, circulated dollars bring about $24 and common date UNC's about $35 to $45.

Bullion prices have dropped recently, with gold below $1700 and silver under $30 a troy ounce. Several sites suggest the potential for gold to be $2400 and silver $90 within the next 3 to 6 months. No guarantee, but worth thinking about. An investment in $1250 in silver bullion could bring you over $3500 in the next few months, likely more than the appreciation of an AU 1895 O $1 over the same time frame.

While it is likely right to buy the best coin first, scarce to rare coins do not always guarantee a good return on profit over time. Compounded annual % returns for raw AU50 1895 O $1 coins range from under 4% to almost 9%, depending on the time purchased since 1950.

See: and and

My personal opinion is that there should be less of a range for slabbed vs. raw coins. That said, check ebay for offers. Learn grading, specifically for that date and MM. You need to be comfortable with the coin and grade given for the coin, raw or slabbed. Grading is subjective, and any dealer/collector sees things differently. A half grade to grade is common, and can mean a fair amount in the buying of selling price of the coin.

I'm not familiar with the marketability of the coin, as I've never seen or owned one.

Hope I've helped. Please remember to go to the experts site to rate this answer. Check the nomination box on the rating page below any comments you may have.

Thank You and Good Luck in your collecting.  

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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