Here is a beautiful original coin that easily reaches the upper end of the MS64 grade, with legitimate claims to gem status. The obverse has some prooflike characteristics; as is typical of originally toned coins with reflective surfaces, at the correct viewing angle the coin comes to life with gold and blue colors and some cameo contrast. Remarkably, PCGS was able to capture that "look" in the accompanying True View™ images. The reverse is fully gem with satiny luster, beautiful color and lovely eye appeal. This coin likely hails from important pedigreed collections of the past, but we have thus far been unable to establish a definitive provenance prior to the present decade. The relative rarities of Morgans changed so dramatically with the release of the Treasury hoards, that old auction appearances and provenances bear little fruit in this series.
David Hall: The incredible MS68 coin surfaced at a Mid-West coin show in the 1980's. Dealer Chuck Walanka asked me if I wanted to see two special coins and then he proceeded to show me the 1884-S later graded by PCGS MS68 and the 1896-S later graded by PCGS MS69!!!!! Needless to say, I was virtually speechless. I bought the coins for what was a big price at the time...I think I paid him $40,000 for the pair. I sold both coins to collector George Bodway. Later, Jack Lee bought the Bodway collection intact, combining the two best Morgan dollar collections of the time into one. Jack continued to upgrade his set, building the greatest Morgan dollar set of all-time.
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