Coin and Paper Money Collecting/morgan head

Advertisement


Question
My grandfather gave me an old morgan head dollar made in1883. He found it in his corn field while plowing about 40 yrs ago. He told me he thought it was counterfeit because he thought it was lead and the "83" looked different(the numbers are smaller and thinner)from the "18".  Im curious if he was right.  I have always wondered about it. Is there something I can do to tell the differnce between it being lead or silver?

Answer
Suzannah:

The weight, diameter and thickness, along with overall appearance help to confirm if your coin is a mint product. 1883 is a common date. A real dollar is struck of .900 fine silver and contains about 3/4 troy ounce of pure silver, or a melt value of about $24, with silver at about $32 an ounce.

Check eBay listings in the coin category to find similar items and see what they bring.

For grading, see: http://coinauctionshelp.com/How_To_Grade_Morgan_Dollars.html

For more data on the series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Dollar

If you live close to a local shop, they should offer an opinion as to their value at no charge. Should you decide to sell your item to a dealer, they will offer about 50% to 60% of the retail value. Always try and get at least two opinions and try and deal with PNG dealers if possible. Here's a link to find one in your area: http://www.pngdealers.com/dealersearch.php

Please remember to go to the experts site to rate this answer. And check the nomination box on the rating page below any comments you may have.

Thank You and Good Luck in your collecting.  

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ronald Fern

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
ANA, CONECA, CWTS, NLG

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

Education/Credentials
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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.