From October 1972 to June 1974 the US Treasury offered five sales of silver dollars, consisting mainly of Carson City silver dollars. These sales were called the GSA (Government Services Administration) Hoard. Purchases were limited to one date per household. During the two years, approximately 1.96 million coins were sold for about $55 million - the largest volume of rare coins ever sold worldwide. The 1878-CC, 1879-CC, 1882-CC, 1890-CC, and 1891-CC were sold out. The balance of a little over a million coins was sold in 1980 in two separate mail bid sales. The inventory consisted of about 823,000 1883-CC and 1884-CC dollars and 199,000 mixed date CC dollars, which were not considered BU by the government.
Prices for the CC dollars were understandably affected by the GSA Hoard. Prior to release of these coins, CC dollars were scarce in high grades. As the coins entered the marketplace it became clear that a number of the dates were more common. Prices began to reflect their rarity or lack of it. Dates such as the 1889-CC, 1890-CC, 1891-CC, 1892-CC, and 1893-CC saw price increases due to their scarcity. Issues from 1882-1884 were significantly devalued.
The higher graded coins were placed in plastic GSA holders. The CC dollars were identified with "Carson City Uncirculated Silver Dollar" engraved on the holder. Non-CC dollars simply said "United States Uncirculated Silver Dollar." Lower graded coins were sealed in soft packs.
For many years it was an acceptable practice to break the CC dollars out of the GSA holders. Recently, however, as the holders have become "vintage" many collectors prefer to keep their coins in the original GSA holders.
This year PCGS announced that a new, large-sized holder had been created for the GSA Morgan dollars. Up until this time, PCGS would break out the coin from the GSA holder and place it in the standard PCGS holder. Collectors were asking for an improved way to handle these coins and PCGS listened. These special holdered coins receive new coin numbers to separate them from the generic coin number assigned to the date. The coins can also be placed in a standard PCGS holder with "GSA" listed on the label. Please click here for more details on PCGS's packaging of the GSA silver dollars.
Based on the GSA coin numbers, two new PCGS Set Registry® sets have been created just for the GSA Carson City dollars. In the Morgan dollar specialty set category, you will now find these two sets:
Morgan Dollars GSA Hoard Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1891)
Morgan Dollars GSA Hoard with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1891)
The basic set is a 10-coin set consisting of 1878-1891 CC dollars. The 14-coin variety set includes the 1880/79-CC, 1880-CC 8/High 7, 1880-CC 8/Low 7, and the 1880-CC 8/7 Reverse of 1878. These sets, although small, will present challenges especially with the scarcer dates in high grades. We look forward to watching collectors take up the challenge.