What do you think of Dad's present?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by nerosmyfavorite68, May 24, 2024.

  1. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Well, my U.S. collection ballooned this week from 0 to 2.

    Here's a pic of the 1885 Morgan which my Dad surprised me with:
    MOrgan 1885 dollar MS 63 from coin shop - quick pic.jpg

    The photograph is actually much less putrid than my coin photos normally are. The focus came out a lot better. I'll have to work on the lighting and white balance. Even when I placed the camera in a static position (on a soup can) and the coin was placed on a memory stick, I still had trouble getting both sides to come out the same size. I'm kind of excited that I actually took a non-blurry coin picture.

    The coin is presumably graded MS 63+. There is no splotch on the cheek. That was a trick of the light. The dings are very miniscule.

    He initially picked out the Carson City, but that was $300.

    I think he picked out a pretty decent one. We'll have to see what my rainbow toner looks like in person.
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  3. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Capturing the cartwheel luster is much different than seeing and capturing an ancient.
    MS Morgans do have a look.

    Attached Files:

  4. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    Awesome present! The gift that keeps on giving! biggrin.gif
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  5. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Are Morgans a full ounce? I wanted to get a co-worker a thank-you present, but she wasn't really a coin collector, and I didn't really want to give away an ancient coin (I feel like it's my duty to make sure they have a good, caring home), but I ordered a couple of inexpensive (but still hand-struck) half-ounce coins from the Haleybug mint. A half ounce is pretty chunky so they must be fairly big. They were out of the cute silver 1/10 oz. mini-bars. One of the coins will be for me. I kind of liked the silver stacker stuff. I might try some bars at certain times where I dont' really have any great coin ideas.
    kountryken and SensibleSal66 like this.
  6. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    A very nice gift to be sure. Here is the weight info on Morgan dollars.
    The Morgan dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904, in 1921, and beginning again in 2021 as a collectible. It was the first standard silver dollar minted since the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, which ended the free coining of silver and the production of the previous design, the Seated Liberty dollar. It contained 412.5 Troy grains of 90% pure silver (or 371.25 Troy grains = 24.057 g; 0.7734 ozt of pure silver). The coin is named after its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty, modeled by Anna Willess Williams, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched. The mint mark, if present, appears on the reverse above between D and O in "Dollar".
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Taking pictures of a Brilliant Uncirculated Morgan Dollar like this is challenging. The way the surfaces of the coin play with the light makes it hard to capture with one photo. Your lighting and white balance are fine. The focus could be sharper.
    kountryken and nerosmyfavorite68 like this.
  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Expanding on @tibor’s excellent post, the Morgan Dollar was a compromise between the “free silver” movement and the gold standard advocates.

    The Coinage Act of 1873 ended the free coinage of silver. Before that companies and individuals could bring silver to the mint system and have it converted into coinage for free. The 1873 act reduced production of the silver coinage to an as needed basis. A few years after it was passed, the coinage act was politically labeled “The Crime of ‘73.”

    The free silver people wanted to return to the unrestricted coinage of silver. The trouble was there had been significant discoveries of silver, and there was a glut of it on the market. A silver dollar melted for way less than its face value. The fear was that the free coinage of silver would greatly increase the money supply which would result in massive inflation.

    The Bland-Allison Act, which authorized the Morgan Dollar, was a compromise. The government was obligated to buy two to four million ounces of silver a month and turn it into silver dollars. It was something short of “free silver,” but it gave the silver people something.

    The demand for new silver dollars was far lower than the production. As a result, the coins piled in government vaults and were not used. That’s why you have those almost 140 year old coins available in large quantities in Mint State condition.
  9. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I might be making one of my rare trips to the dollar store, in order to rustle up some cheap supplies for work. I'll look for some cheap picture frames, to pilfer the glass. Most photography setups featured a sheet of glass.

    Thank you for the education. It now makes perfect sense why so many uncirculated coins are around. I suppose it was the opposite of Byzantine times, where the exchange rate in the caliphate made it so that their coins would disappear there, to be melted. Hence, a scarcity of silver coins.

    Practice makes perfect. I don't know if I can get the focus sharper than that on the Note 20 Ultra. The reviewers were getting these pin-sharp photographs. I can achieve pin-sharp photos of people on my DSLR, but never have on my Note. However, people who casually take photos on the iphone achieve good results.

    Someone mentioned using telephoto as a cheat for macro on the Note. However, I don't know if that's available in raw mode.
  10. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Little plastic crud is the specialty of dollar stores. Perhaps there will be something perfect for the coin stand/spacer. The memory stick actually didn't do too badly.

    The soup can method definitely yielded improvements. The Byzantine coins would be more challenging to photograph. These ones are all very dark.
  11. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Granted, it's tough to tell from my imperfect pictures, but I didn't see any disagreements to the grade. Did Coins Plus get it right? There is no cheek splotch and the dings are minimal, even less than the photo suggests.

    Father was also very pleased with the Gordian III silver tetradrachm which I presented to him as his birthday present. I prefer toned, but he doesn't mind shiny. This is more like the results that I'm striving for with my photography. Here's a coin with similar surfaces as the Morgan, except the Gordy is maybe 40% silver.

    Gordian III - 238-244 - AR Tetradrachm - Antioch - 27mm, 12.20g, Prieur 282 aEF.jpg
  12. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    Hello brother! That's a real nice specimen! I haven't received mine yet, probably because we lost touch while I've been in prison, but I'm out now. Could you please remind Dad of my address, & hope to see you guys soon! :p:joyful::joyful::joyful::hilarious:
    CoinCorgi and nerosmyfavorite68 like this.
  13. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here are couple of political buttons which will allow you to put a face with the names.

    This is Richard "Silver Dick" Bland. He was a Democratic Party representative from Missouri. Bland was a leading advocate for the silver cause for many years. In 1896, it looked like his time to run for president had come. He went into that year's Democratic convention with more delegates than anyone.

    Bland for Pres.jpg

    Things fell apart for him when well-known, but rather young former member of the House of Representatives, William Jennings Bryan, got up and made a "stem winder" of speech. The "Cross of Gold" speech made Bryan an instant sensation at the convention. The delegates lifted Bryan on their shoulders and carried him all around the hall. Bland led on the first ballot in the presidential nomination process, but Bryan soon took control.

    1896 No Crown of Thorns.jpg

    Here is Iowa senator, William B. Allison. Allison was a hard money, gold standard supporter, but he knew that if he couldn't find a compromise, the free silver people might win. That's why he supported the Bland-Allison bill with his name on it.

    Allison set a then record of 6 terms in the Senate, from 1873 to 1908. He was getting ready to run for a 7th term in 1908 when he died at age 80. Allison was a dark horse candidate for president in 1896, but quickly withdrew when it was obvious that William McKinley was going to be the winner.


    Coins were at the center of the 1896 presidential race. Images of them appeared on many campaign pieces. Here are a couple of stud buttons for each side.

    For the Democrats and Bryan

    Money we want.jpg

    For the Gold Standard Republicans and McKinley. The last gold dollar was issued in 1889, but its image appears on this 1896 button.

    money we want Whitet.jpg
    Last edited: May 25, 2024
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  14. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I was aware of Bryan, and his position on silver, but not of some of the other people. The political buttons were very interesting.

    I just got done watching an abandoned mine explore in which Gly finds oodles of c. 1908 unstable dynamite. It does make one appreciate the mining side of numismatics.
    johnmilton likes this.
  15. 3BStuff

    3BStuff Cogitare Et Prolatantem

    Wow your US collection is worth 200 precent more!
    Assuming you mean computer memory why did you have some I thought that everyone expect me was old and didn't understand technology! :D
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  16. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I was referring to a USB stick.

    The setup I want to copy featured the top half of a clear coin capsule, but I don't have any at the moment.
    3BStuff likes this.
  17. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Hey @nerosmyfavorite68 …… How do you like the “other side”? US coins are addictive!
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  18. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    It's cool, I could see myself buying the occasional toned Morgan.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  19. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    As with certain ancient coins, one wonders how practical it was to lug a bunch of Morgans around?

    I also was shocked to see a gold 1850's quarter in "The Coin Geek's" unboxing. They had gold for such small amounts?

    I've seen plenty in circulated condition, but were they like 'treasury' coins of the ancient world, large silver tetradrachms, gold coins, etc., and were more of a store of wealth and not circulated as much?

    With Gresham's Law, something like this would logically be hoarded, and the paper money used (assuming merchants would take it)?
  20. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    People didn’t care for silver dollars, except for those in the western states where Morgan Dollars saw the use. Silver dollars were heavy and inconvenient to carry and use. People preferred to use paper, especially when it was backed by gold or silver.

    Paper money can get a bad wrap, but it’s mostly when governments issue too much of it, or when it was issued by a bank with a bad reputation or one that has failed.
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  21. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the info. Wow, my hunch was right, even down to the western part.
    johnmilton likes this.
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