Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by CamaroDMD, Jun 13, 2009.
I've read about this link but couldn't find it...thankx for making it available!
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Thankyou for your feedback on O mint morgans...considering all that they went thru with the Civil War and 3 different Oversite/Administrators (1) The Federal Govt. (2) State of Lousiana & (3) Confederate Govt. we're lucky to get anything even remotely resembling Morgans as seen from the other mints.
I've seen that some of the rarer Morgans come from New Orleans based on mintage and related grade so there is much to be said for this series.[/QUOTE]
Thank you for your kind words. It's nice to see that this article is still being enjoyed by the members here.
You are right, the 1904-O is a little debatable. Since I only categorized the coins in 3 groups...there are some sliders. The argument could be made the 1904 belongs in the weak strike group. I put it in the intermediate group because I was able to find several nicely struck examples and the resources I referenced indicated that there are well struck examples to be found...with some looking. So, it does have a little wider range of quality verses the coins in the weak group. But yes, 1904 is certainly a slider.
Comprehensive Guide and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars by Leroy Van Allen and George Mallis. This book described the strike of the 1904-O as "usually slightly weak" but it does make mention of fully struck examples and flat struck examples being available because of the higher mintage figure.
This and my own searching of online examples through HA and my own personal experience with the series led me to put them into the "intermediate" group. Again, the argument is fair to put them in the weakly struck group as well...but my definition for the intermediate group was a wide range of strike quality available. This coin does have that.
That was my reasoning...but again, arguments can be made for either category and both are fair.
I would agree with you that that is a nicely struck 1904o. You are quite correct-- they do exist. I own an example that is MS65+ PL, and despite the PL surfaces, the strike is average on the reverse, and good on the obverse. Sometimes, one sees that with the 1904o and 1902o--examples where the strike does not appear equal on both sides of the coin. This happens particularly with the LAST die pair used for those dates-- a lot of variability ensues. So, I have no problems with the 1904o as average strike category, with the caveat that it can be quite variable.
Actually, that caveat is exactly why the "Intermediate" category exists in my article. When I first sat down to do the research that led to this article, I wanted to create a list of dates that were normally well struck and dates that were normally poorly struck. What I found was there was also a group of dates that had a very wide range of strike quality and as a result didn't really fit into either group. Dates where fully struck examples might not be the average...but were common enough that with a little searching they can be found and be affordable.
Here is the quote from the article explaining the Intermediate group.
As I look back at it now...the way I named the categories might be a little confusing.
This is a topic that comes up quite a bit, and with the threads I've seen in the past couple days over grading Morgans, this thread could use a bump to the top.
Roger Burdette in his SAINT-GAUDENS book goes into the reasons for poor and well-struck coins (obviously, those coins are gold not silver). You would think that with minting presses applying 50-150 tons of pressure that there wouldn't be much variation in strikes. It's not like a hand-struck item where one day your arm applies a bit more pressure or force or soemthing like that.
In fact, I have to check, but as I recall it wasn't any variation in the gold or the mint press tolerances or variations that caused "good" and "bad" strikes...it was the quality of the dies that was key to well-struck and poorly-struck coins.
I'll have to go back and check, but I remember it clearly answered the question of why some years were good and some bad -- at least for gold Saints.
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