Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beware Of These Morgan Silver Dollar "Deals"

Let me first say that the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of my favorite silver coins. But I want to clear up some of the dis-information and half-truths in some of the ads I have seen for these historic coins. There is no shortage of Morgan dollars despite the fact that 270,232,722 were melted down in 1918 by the U.S. Government to replenish their silver stockpile. Every coin show I have been to, including the latest one mentioned in my Gold Blog, has had a surplus of Morgans for sale in many different grades. So if you are shopping around for some Morgan dollars beware of misleading ads such as these...

One ad was promoting 1921 Morgans, stating this was the last year they were struck (true) and implied they had special value because of it (false). The truth is Morgan dollars were minted for the first 11 months of 1921 - a total of 86,730,000 between the three U.S. Mints. Not exactly a small number and far from scarce (the 1921 Peace dollar has a higher value as only 1,000,473 were minted). So don't go paying a high premium for circulated or uncirculated 1921 Morgans. And be VERY careful if you are interested in Mint State 1921 Morgans that are graded and slabbed. Even some of the higher grades are not that scarce and counterfeit Morgans in these grades are not unheard of. If you want truly special Morgan Silver Dollars, look for Carson City Morgans in the higher uncirculated grades and shop around.

Another ad states you can buy Morgan (or Peace) Silver Dollars at a very low premium over the spot silver price. So if spot silver is at $30 and you can get each silver dollar for $32 it sounds like an okay deal. They are hoping the buyer doesn't know the actual silver content or just assumes that these 90% silver dollars contain an ounce of silver. They DON'T. An uncirculated Morgan and Peace silver dollar contain .7734 troy ounces of silver and at $30 spot their intrinsic or melt value is $23.20. A very good deal for the seller but a very bad deal for the buyer. The silver price would have to go up another $11 just to break even on this deal. And if the silver dollar is lightly circulated, it is considered to contain .7650 taking in account the wear factor. If you are not sure of how good some of these deals are, ask any reputable dealer and they will tell you.

After a strong showing for Silver Eagles in January, the numbers kind of dropped off a cliff in February - from 6,107,000 to 1,490,000. So far in March the number is at 1,065,000. Gold Eagles are down in numbers too. After going through 127,000 ounces of gold for all the Gold Eagles produced in January, only 21,000 ounces of gold were used for February's Gold Eagles and 21,000 so far in March. Let's hope they "spring ahead" in numbers in the coming months.

Thanks for reading.