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US Morgan Dollar from Carson City (GSA) 1878 to 1893
Sounds like you have a nice US Morgan silver dollar with a CC mint mark encapsulated in a special government holder. This is a valuable coin. In your note (a separate note we received from Nancy), you say your Grandmother collects coins. She does a good job!
(NOTE: CoinQuest's appraisal page for all Morgan silver dollars, not just the CC mint mark ones, appears at this link. Click there for a run-down on all Morgans.)
There is an interesting story about Carson City (CC) dollars. The US Mint had a big stash of them sitting in $1000 bags on the floor of an old back room. They started selling them to the public at face value but soon learned that they were worth *much* more than that. The General Services Administration (GSA) put the coins special holders and the coins were sold at auction. You got one!
To properly evaluate your coin, you must poke your big toe into the tar pits of coin grading. Watch out. You might spark your own collector juices like you did with your Grandmother! To us collectors, coin grading is a fascinating, but often frustrating subject.
Here are the current catalog value of CC Morgans in US dollars. Please use our Important Terminology page to understand what 'catalog value' means. These values come from the Grey Sheet, a conservative US coin price guide, and CoinQuest sincerely appreciates their permission to report these values to you.
1878CC: AU50 $115, MS60 $195, MS65 $1500
1879CC: AU50 $1385, MS60 $5100, MS65 $39000
1880CC: AU50 $255, MS60 $410, MS65 $1000
1881CC: AU50 $345, MS60 $425, MS65 $770
1882CC: AU50 $120, MS60 $160, MS65 $410
1883CC: AU50 $120, MS60 $150, MS65 $390
1884CC: AU50 $145, MS60 $155, MS65 $410
1885CC: AU50 $500, MS60 $510, MS65 $925
1889CC: AU50 $4650, MS60 $19000, MS65 $285000
1890CC: AU50 $165, MS60 $350, MS65 $4300
1891CC: AU50 $165, MS60 $300, MS65 $4000
1892CC: AU50 $600, MS60 $1150, MS65 $7250
1893CC: AU50 $1750, MS60 $3100, MS65 $60000
The cryptic annotations AU50, MS60, and MS65 are individual coin grades. AU means Almost Uncirculated and MS means Mint State, i.e., fully uncirculated. You can see an example of each grade in this picture:
See how the AU coin has lost its satiny, frosty luster, but the Mint State coins both have that fully uncirculated look. The difference between MS60 and MS65 is the number of marks on Miss Liberty's face. Those marks were inflicted by other coins in the $1000 bags in the back room.
So, Nancy, if you have dared to read this far, use the pictures to figure a grade for your silver dollar, then use the Grey Sheet numbers to get a good estimate of catalog value.
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