Becoming intrigued by the 1878 Morgan - need reading material

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Kevinfred, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Kevinfred

    Kevinfred Junior Member

    I have a few questions here... I do own a half dozen books on grading - and the Red Book - but I'd like to buy a few books on U.S. Coins in general. I do like the information in the Red Book and how it's presented/laid out.

    Secondly, the '78 Morgan in 7/8 TF has STRONG and WEAK. Are these the only differences in the 7/8 TF? I'm a little lost in the entire '78 lineup to be honest... one read says one thing, one read says another (or calls versions different names)

    Despite discouragement from nearly everyone I know in collecting, I really want to do a set of Morgans. I have the rest of my life I figure... ;) Starting at the beginning, my first coin is the '78 8TF... and I am already confused on what's next. I spent about 5 months trying to find the perfect 8TF with price/quality in mind....
     
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  3. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I can't answer your question but have you checked out the Guidebook of Morgan Dollars? I have the one on Peace dollars and the Franklin/Kennedy halves one. Both are excellent resources.
     
  4. Kevinfred

    Kevinfred Junior Member

    No I hadn't... but I just bought it per your suggestion. I found the 2nd edition for less than 10 bucks shipped. I can't imagine a whole bunch changed between the 2nd and 4th edition...
     
  5. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    No idea about the differences, but I'm sure you'll find the book a worthwhile purchase.

    Also, there's a book on VAMs...never read it but it's out there.
     
  6. Tom B

    Tom B TomB Everywhere Else

    If you are going to dive into a Morgan set then you must already have thought of the parameters for the set. What grade range shall it be (high end MS, MS, AU, mid-grade circulated, a mixture or proofs mixed in)? Are you going to do a date set, date and mintmark set or date, mintmark and major variety/die marriage set? Will the coins be raw, certified or both? What type of appearance (wildly toned, moderately toned, blast white, gunky, etc...) are you aiming to get? Perhaps the last and best question is if you know how much this will cost.
     
  7. dirtdiggingdenny

    dirtdiggingdenny New Member

    Dang,
    I just sold my slabbed 1878 - 7tf ms63. 2nd reverse.I think I did ok, I got 125.00
     
  8. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    There's an older book that will serve you well as a reference - The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook by Wayne Miller. Illustrated in color, with useful examples of what these should look like in the various grades. I checked online this morning, and found copies being offered for less than $20.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  9. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    The book is not aimed at the variety or deeply serious collector (IMO), but is a nice general overview and reference. The "book on VAMs" mentioned by JWT is far superior and not only on VAMs. Actually, the variety listings are outdated/incomplete, so the book is of comparatively little value in this respect when compared to VAMworld, but still contains a wealth of valuable information. The full name is: "Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars" by Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis and is a worthwhile investment if such coins are truly of interest to you. The most recent edition - the 4th - was released in the late 1990's (IIRC) and can be purchased new for around $60 give/take. I believe Stanton Books still has them available for less than they're being offered for on Amazon. An older edition can be purchased for around $2o or so.

    As for the 78s and their differences, you should find the below link quite helpful.

    http://www.vamworld.com/1878-P+VAMs
     
  10. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    If I understand you right you're looking for a roadmap of sorts on all the varieties. You might want to start, here. Make sure you click all the plus signs on the left:

    http://www.pcgs.com/Prices/PriceGuideDetail.aspxMS=1&PR=1&SP=1&c=744&title=Morgan+Dollar
     
  11. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    jello and mlov43 like this.
  12. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    I have the second edition (1976) and as you point out, a lot more variations have been identified since then, so it does have limited utility. I didn't recommend it solely because there is just so much minutae in it that a beginning collector of Morgans is likely to be overwhelmed trying to pay attention to stuff that matters only to much more advanced collectors. But I agree that sooner or later every Morgan aficionado has to get a copy.
     
  13. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    The 4th is the same way in that when it comes to varieties; it comes up well short of what is available free on VAMworld, but is still well worth the price of admission and contains a wealth of information above of beyond them. As for possibly being overwhelmed, you're probably right, but all depends on what the OP's wishes, wants, and needs are, especially since he's already ordered the Morgan Red Book. Neither your earlier suggestion nor the "VAM book" is very costly, so if the OP has a genuine and likely lasting interest in such coins, they will most certainly be worth every cent and sooner or later pay for themselves many times over.
     
  14. Kevinfred

    Kevinfred Junior Member

    Great info members... thank you! To Tom B. (and anyone else interested) I have given it a lot of thought, in fact, I'm kind of "starting over". I have horrible OCD and collecting coins has been tough but very therapeutic. In the beginning, having a set of coins that didn't look exactly the same drove me NUTS! Even now, deciding what grade(s) of Morgans to collect was challenging. With so many common Morgans being relatively easy/affordable in higher grades, how would they match up with key dates and semi-key dates? Obviously I wouldn't have a '93-S in a higher grade but a nice F12 wouldn't break the bank. Not being a multi-millionaire, I didn't see HOW I could do matching grades...

    So here is my plan - certain aspects are finite and others are not. All of the coins will be graded PCGS. Despite my affinity for the 'little guy' i.e. ANACS, ICG, etc., using PCGS makes the most sense financially. With appearance I've decided the set will include coins frosty white full of luster, to lightly toned non-white examples. I'll stay away from dark, completely toned coins as well as *dull* ones. As for the set itself, it looks like just over 100 Morgans - each year, mm, and major variety. I'll allow myself to spin off into more varieties if they interest me in coming years. I could see myself owning a few 8TFs as I like that coin for some reason... There will be a lot of variance in the actual grades, but that will be part of the fun. When it's complete I can upgrade... or even upgrade throughout the journey if I see a nice coin at a nice price.

    Ultimately, if I can buy a half dozen to a dozen coins per year this will be very achievable... I guess if I were to define it, I'd call the collection a "Complete set of PCGS graded Morgan Silver Dollars"
     
    mlov43 and Tom B like this.
  15. Tom B

    Tom B TomB Everywhere Else

    It seems to me that you have given this set much more thought than many others who decide to attempt the Morgan dollar series. In my experience, many relatively new collectors jump on the Morgan dollar series because one can buy so many nice, high grade coins for not much money only to find out later on that in order to complete the set they will have to spend very large sums of money.

    The way you are intending to approach the set appears to me to give you a very good exit strategy in the event that you may like to liquidate or change course while at the same time gives you defined goals that are not too constricting. Good luck.
     
  16. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    I do have the books mentioned above as well as Breen's encyclopedia which adds many details, but one that was more fun for reading of the times and why of the Morgan , I really enjoyed "Crime of 1873, the Comstock connection" by Robert Van Rysin.

    Jim
     
  17. Robert Paul

    Robert Paul Active Member

    The more you look, the more books you will find.
    I must have about 125 books so far and I do keep adding them.
    For some history on the dollars, Jim mentioned "Crime of 1873" thats a good one.
    The VAMs book is good to get some real indepth knowlege on the series.
    The "Elite Clashed Morgan Dollars" book is good and one more should be PCGS "Guide to Coin Grading and Counterfeit Detection" it covers Morgans and awhole lot more.
     
  18. Kevinfred

    Kevinfred Junior Member

    Books are starting to become my new thing... I guess I'm understanding how a few coin folk I've met don't even own a coin! These books are super nice, and compared to coins, CHEAP!! ;)

    The second reply recommended I buy, "A Guidebook to Morgan Dollars" and it came in the mail yesterday. It was very clear on my original question!!! I was/am pumped!! hehe... Anyway, it IS the same coin - just two different varieties. I just wonder why my collecting software tells me to collect BOTH for the set... it doesn't on other VAMs or varieties. That's what threw me in the first place!
     
  19. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Thanks for that link.

    Now I know a LITTLE bit better about what all these Morgan-Dollar fanatics are talking about when I visit coin shows. So much to learn, but I love it.
     
  20. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

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