How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

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How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by morganman » Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:05 pm

I know a few here are avid collectors with a few members of "The Oldtimers Club'
Interesting to hear how long some of you have been amassing Morgans and/or
collecting coins.
My madness began some 57 yrs ago and has led to a unprecendented collection
of Morgans along with U S gold coins. Its all been a total riot and huge learning
curve, allowing for huge appreciation and hence a total business born from tax
free sales & escalated values over many yrs

In the last numismatic downturn my collections lost several millions in equity
but i was not to fear as my equity was still huge. I simply ignored the downturn
and now most of equity has re gained, other than vams. I did sell a shit pot full
of high premium Morgans, US gold coinage, some stellar vams including a
1889 23A.

Unbenounced to me, my collection value & equity would prove to surpass
the value of my main business, real estate development and re-hab (flips)
Simply amazing, as values eclipsed my business career several fold withot
having to stress on business risks or pounding nails etc.
I could not have done better by planning such a outcome, talk about shear
timing & luck, all from meager beginnings as a poor country kid. I can remember
being hungry a few times.

As a kid Lavere redfield got me interested in collecting Morgans and the late
Gene Henry became my mentor in my mid 20's. May god bless all those memories
Make no mistakes about this all, I have worked very hard learning and amassing
my collections over 57 yrs.

Many astuit collectors/hoarders have done likewise, as we see heritage & other
auction houses selling personal collections of great wealth. Most all collections
eventually get sold for many varied reasons, and this is likely to continue.
I am going to try and liquidate before i croak and donate funds to charities
like childrens hospitals etc. Having no heirs worth a shit , i resolve to spend as
much as i can while i can. LOL LOL My rant ends

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by lured_in_again » Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:24 pm

I enjoy reading your messages on here regarding metals and the coin industry. My collection history wasn't Morgans, but Lincoln pennies back in the early sixties. Once a month a bag of pennies was picked up at the bank and gone through on the kitchen table, filling in the blanks in our penny books. After a break, in the early 80s I began collecting again but did not focus on Morgans until around the turn of the century. Then VAMs turned me into primarily a dollar guy, but still picking up an item or two that strikes my fancy at coin shows. Fortunately I have a kid or two with interest in the hobby, and the grandkids are getting the occasional coin gift from me. As a new retiree, I will be interested to see how the income change affects my collecting. Thanks for posting your insight and views..... on a side note, I am available for adoption. LOL, just kidding.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Dirtdoctor » Thu Mar 31, 2022 10:29 am

LOL. Lured-in-again's story is mine as well. My family was quite poor early on, and Dad would recycle $50 bags of pennies to keep me occupied. I would go thru each bag, inserting a penny for any I kept, putting them in rolls of 50 so he could trade in for the next bag. Not till the late 80's could I even consider buying a Morgan, and I loved them. Loved coins and have barely dabbled in anything but Morgans ever since.

I did have some silver half dollars in early 60's I got with lawn mowing proceeds. Of course, it was a push sickle-type mower that earned me 50 cents a yard. My progression...
Learning I could bring out copper shine in pennies with pencil eraser - bad decision.
Graduating to collecting Franklin halves - good decision.
Breaking out Franklin collection at face value because needed cash - bad decision.
Buying 60's Topps baseball cards with proceeds - good decision.
Leaving collection in basement when went away to college and starting work- bad decision.
Mom throwing away baseball card collection - ARGGHH.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by keilg1 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 11:24 am

Dad and his mates got me hooked around 1973 or 1974 when I was about 7. Had a paper route that paid $7 every two weeks and their 'coin club' (excuse to get out of the house and away from honey-do lists?) met every other week... and, by god, there was almost always a Morgan for 'sale' for... $7. If I kept all of my earnings I could buy one.

I did.

And kept doing it.

And I'm so thankful for their help...

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by madbirder » Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:45 pm

As a total newb to this it is nice to read the back stories of some of you. I too collected in my youth but only once I moved to the states. First was baseball cards in the 80's, thankfully my mother is a bit of a hoarder so they were never thrown away and I still have them. That only lasted a few years though and then it was Star Wars toys and yes I've still got them. I grew out of that and moved onto stamps for a while which was my fathers passion and he left me his small collection which I've still got. That never took but when I moved back to the UK and went into the wine industry that did take hold and I built up a huge cellar over the years that sadly had to be quickly drunk, sold or had to remain back in the UK as I couldn't ship it to the states. Thankfully I'd sold several cases the year before to put a down payment on a flat in London just at the start of the property bubble. I sold that a year later for double and moved back to the states where I continued on in wine for another decade amassing a nice collection of bourbon which has gone through the roof. I eventually left the industry to pursue my life long passion which has been bird watching. The only constant from my childhood. This is where Morgan dollars come in. When Covid hit all travel stopped so I was out of work. I returned to the states to move my mother closer to family and when moving found her late husbands small collection of coins and silver. I soon began researching the coins and found the stories behind them and not just the values. To pass the time during lockdown I began to add to the collection and soon found VAMworld and it's gone proverbially down hill ever since. :lol:

The insight by the many long time collectors and sharing of knowledge helped peak my interest as I was a bit overwhelmed when I first began. An all new vocabulary and terminology greeted me but with the attribution pages I soon began to learn more and more about this fascinating aspect of coins and have since plunged deeper down that rabbit hole. It's be a short journey so far but I hope will be a long one. My mother never knew of her late husbands collection and it's a very erratic one with both US, Canada and some European coins but no consistency with some mint purchases and other random coin buys. Sadly I'll never be able to ask what the nature of his purchasing was and what it meant. His last purchases were about the time he met my mother so I suppose he had a new hobby. All I can do is continue to grow his collection and as I have no children of my own I'll eventually sell it off in retirement and enjoy the proceeds. (I hope). Thanks to all who have contributed to questions and at times I'm sure easy ones for the more experienced so thanks for the patience and happy collecting. And thanks for this post, it's illuminating to see so many backgrounds all coalesce into one hobby.

cheers and VAM on!

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by bob259 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 3:44 pm

I grew up very poor but have lots of history of collecting. My folks started buying and selling antiques when I was just a lad so I learned a lot.

Some highlights were: Once trying to fill my penny books I got five rolls of pennies at the bank and I was very upset to see they were all new silver colored pennies. I should have kept them.

We had moved from North Dakota to Washington State and as a youth we went back to North Dakota every year to see the relatives. Crossing Montana we often got upset over getting those heavy silver dollars in change. Oh, to know what I know now back then at a $1 apiece. I often wonder how many CC's were floating around there.

When I hit college, everything I had collected got sold but it was a good investment.

I once collected a huge amount of old fishing plugs and sold those for big bucks.

I established myself as one of five dealers for Topps baseball cards in the late 70s and early 80s. Topps only allowed 5 dealers in Oregon at the time and I was one. I had to get a number of friends to help with the minimum purchase each year to keep my standing. Eventually, Topps changed their procedures. I made a lot of money on Sports memorabilia.

I also collected stamps for awhile. Bought some Jimmy Dean error commemorative sheets where the perforations were missing. Paid $51.20 at the post office for 8 sheets. I knew errors often ran together so when I looked at the one I asked for more, just saying I liked them. Got 8 sheets. The next morning I started calling collectors of errors in Linn's Stamp magazine and had lots of interest. I got a kick out of most of them since they didn’t want to bid against each other but they all wanted the last shot. I sold them for $11,000 cash and the buyer came to me to pick them up. Speaking of stamps, I once bought a Chinese collection which are difficult since I don’t read Chinese and they overprinted so many. I was very thankful for a book called Ma’s book of Chinese stamps. I paid somewhere around $3,500 for the initial collection and then salted it with key stamps during the next 6 months as I identified what I had. In the end I had about $5,000 into it and sold it for $11,500 if my memory still works.

In the middle 80s I started buying silver dollars, halves, and quarters as an investment. Mostly silver dollars and always tried to buy good condition coins. Then one day about 12 years ago I learned about VAMs so I educated myself using VAMWorld which I am so thankful to all who contribute to it. I have 12 Discovery coins and and I love the hunt. I sell on both the bay and in an Antique Mall where I liquidate commons and not the greatest condition coins.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by belmarbeach » Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:54 pm

Started buying Morgans in 2003 with a GSA 84CC as the 1st. Then purchased about 350 of them over the next 5 years, primarily EBAY. With the many dupes, had a 90+% collection in slabs, these were the best, 95+% raw in my Dansco album with about 25% broken out of slabs, and 90% in a LOC album, which were the lowest grade. Unfortunately when son went to college, had to sell most of the slabs in his senior year for fast cash.

My interest started after looking at a coin with my son that I inherited from my father - see attached. My dad had arranged for the purchase & delivery of 200+ US Treasury mint bags for a big collector/dealer in NJ back in 1963 or 64 since he worked at a National bank. The bags were delivered to my father's bank then transported to the buyer's vault in the Commercial Trust Bank in Jersey City. There was an armored truck to carry the bags (7 tons of Morgans), although we had to load about 7 or 8 bags in our station wagon. I was 7 at the time. We counted several bags to confirm the weight of UNC bags and circulated bags then weighted all bags prior to storage. Counting the bags of 1,000 was where I came in handy.

When I saw the coin after 30 years fell in love with them and started collecting with my son at my side, he had a good eye for coins. Can you image a bag of 1,000 of these 82-S Morgans, wow. Pretty much every pay check bot 1 or 2. Have about 120 left.
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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Mediocrates007 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 10:48 pm

I’ve collected off and on for around 30 years. I found my first Morgan at my grandmothers house. She let me keep it and that started my love of them.

In California you could make money by recycling cans, so I would collect cans then head to the pawn shop or LCS. I’d upgrade my collection by using my recycling money and trading in lower condition coins. At the time, circulated/UNC commons were $4-$10, so I had half an album by the end of the first couple years! When I liquidated my hoard/collection in 2011, I made enough money to help buy my first house.

When I started collecting again, I found myself falling into the same habit of just hoarding. VAMs helped me refine my collecting and my tastes in coin quality has changed a lot.
“The first was struck at 3:17, and at 3:35 the steam was turned on and. the dollars began merrily clanking into the box at the rate of 80 a minute.”

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Raybob15239 » Fri Apr 01, 2022 1:02 am

I've been collecting Morgans for about 40 years. Peace Dollars started around 1990-95, when I bought a complete set in a Dansco Album for $295 from Mount Vernon Coins.

I had a small collection when I was a kid. It was mostly wheaties, Bicentennial coins, some Ike’s and Kennedy halves (all pulled from circulation). My grandfather had an 1881 P Morgan in F/VF that I always admired. I would sit and hold it and try to imagine where it had been and whose hands it passed through. When my grandfather died in 1979, I got that old Morgan. I was 17. In the early 1980s, I had a part-time job and some disposable income and back then, you could buy common date Morgans for about $7 each. That old, worn Morgan was the catalyst and is still my most cherished coin. In 2006, I discovered the original VAMWorld when researching the 1882 O/S and that got me hooked on VAMs. I had hit a brick wall on my date/MM set due to financial challenges related to ongoing divorce litigation and was buying Morgans from a jeweler and flipping them on ebay. VAMWorld opened the door to a new way of collecting.
Last edited by Raybob15239 on Fri Apr 01, 2022 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by HawkeEye » Fri Apr 01, 2022 1:18 am

At least 20 years and probably more like 25
Deep in the woods of North Georgia

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by alefzero » Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:38 am

I started collecting coins in the 1960s. Lived in Philadelphia and the suburbs, near Valley Forge. Like every other boy then, I collected mostly Lincoln cents and Buffalo nickels from change. As a paperboy, a couple merchants let me go through their cash register drawers and exchange any coins I wanted for equal face value. I had two dealers. One was a guy (Frank Almond) at the Downingtown Farmer's Market. The other was a very old recluse in a walkup brownstone apartment who seemed to have no other customers than me. He enjoyed the company and my enthusiasm for coins. Well, it was initially stamps. I had found him in the yellow pages for stamps. After buying all he had, he asked if I wanted to collect coins. I told him I did coins more than stamps already. He ended up selling me mostly colonial and early US copper from cigar boxes he had.

While in college, my entire collection, except one coin, was stolen. I wonder to this day what interesting and rare varieties I might have had. It was not something I collected by then. I had bought them from him for prices in his 2nd edition Red Book. So I also had bargains unbeknownst to me.

When I moved to San Diego to finish my PhD, I decided to go back to collecting. But I wanted to not collect what I had before. From around 1984 on, I collected prooflike Morgan dollars. The market was in the post- Hunt Bros doldrums, which seemed to not end until the non-gold Eliasberg sales. So I was able to buy coins that would be now out of reach probably. Sure wish I had bought every 1878 (especially 8TF) PL/DMPL that came around.

I had a hard time parting with ones I had upgraded, so I used the VAM book to justify keeping most of them because they were different die pairs. When the Top 100 came out, I ordered the pre-publication for it and found I owned many VAMs that were said in the book at that time to be unknown as prooflikes. I had met up with Jeff Oxman at Long Beach at the NSDR meeting and told him I had ones like the 1884 VAM-4 in DMPL, as well as a lot of others then unknown in such states. The following one, I brought them to the meeting and showed him. We have been friends ever since. I went on to expand to collecting VAMs much more generally.

So I guess I had been collecting Morgans since 1984 and VAMs since around 1996. Just before the last Long Beach, I sold the last of my slabbed Morgans, with only a handful of raw ones around, none probably being very interesting or scarce. It has been a fun ride. I will say that, with all sincerity, the people I have grown to know in this niche of the hobby have been far more rewarding than the coins themselves. Folks out there who collect coins, especially dollar varieties, if you have not made the social connections, you really should. You'll remember them probably more than the greatest picks. (Sorry for being so verbose. People who know me, know I cannot control that much. LOL)

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Mhomei » Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:24 pm

Collecting coins since mid 80's

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by morganman » Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:24 pm

Thank All for Great responses Scott

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by collectinsince65 » Fri Apr 01, 2022 9:56 pm

I like many started collecting Lincoln cents. The year was 1965. My first was a 1915 which would probably grade fair. Still have it today. Over the years I put together the complete Lincoln cent , Buffalo nickel Mercury dime and Washington quarter sets. All with out the key dates. In 1979/80 I worked in the local coin shop during the boom, I was a full time college student and traveled the surrounding states buying silver and gold during the $50 silver era. Later in years I was the VP pf the local coin clubs and bourse chairman for the local shows. I would run a $5 or $10 ad in a weekly thrown in your driveway{don't remember how much exactly) that I was a private collector buying collections. It was about the time my local friend and club President introduced me to Varieties! That was about the time the Cherrypickers guide came out. I had a local contact me that he was wishing to sell his fathers collection. Over the course of three days I sat in this man's garage and purchased his father's collection. The prize was a 1812/1 Large 8 Bust Half dollar. I shipped it to a Bust Half west coast auctioneer and had it graded by PCGS AU50 finest known or tied finest known at the time. Shortly thereafter I was searching for and buying Morgan VAM's. That was about the time the top 100 guide came out . After a 15 plus years coaching the local kids soccer and basketball teams I rejoined the hobby about 3/4 years back. 1878 Morgans are my favorite to search for now. Many thanks to all those in this community for their wisdom and eagerness to share their wisdom. What a great group!! Thank you VAM World 2.0!!

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by sheatown1 » Fri Apr 01, 2022 10:56 pm

In the 50's I got a shiny silver dollar from my aunts for birthdays and Christmas. In the 60's I had a paper route with half the customers coal miners who got paid in silver dollars thus so did I. During the 70's my Dad died and my Grandfather feeling his mortality sold me a bunch of dollars for two bucks each in 1977 . In the bunch were two 96-o's. One was normal mint mark and the other micro. I looked up why and bingo, intro to VAMS. In the 80's I tried to glean as much info I could from books and writing to Leroy who always responded. In the 90's I heard about SSDC from a dealer and have been a member since 92. I called Jeff Oxman a few times and he also answered any question I had. Over the years I had discoveries and met a lot of good people in the coin community. Nowadays my focus is on my PCGS registry set of Morgan business strikes and varieties and holding the #25 spot on it. I want a dollar value for my family when I check out so they can either keep or sell and have an idea on any offer they may seek. If I had to do it all over again, no doubt I would, it's been fun.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Kurt28 » Sat Apr 02, 2022 8:01 am

Anyone that knew my Maternal Grandfather would be kind and generous to describe him as a real Character (read nut.) His endless exercise of vocal exhibitions in Opera and Yodeling were a constant source of distraction, until he went outside to tend his peonese bushes. And sang to them. Aside from his devoted wife, that would recite poetry from dawn to dusk, the second recipient of his admiration was Madam Ernestine Schumann Heink - Darling of the German Opera. He even had a poster of her.
Perhaps being a cook in the Navy in 1918 (and Welterweight boxing champion of the Pacific Fleet,) and working as an Armed Guard for trains that hauled dynamite during the Depression, he gained an understanding of world events that men without a High School education were capable of at an earlier time.

Thus it was quite prescient of Grampa Meyer to advise me on the value of silver coins, much prior to 1964. And did so by gifting me a Walker half on Birthdays and Christmas. Once he was convinced that I was saving them and not spending them, he upped the ante to Morgans.

Let me share with you the one he gave me on my 14th Birthday.
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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by dave700x » Sat Apr 02, 2022 1:04 pm

First I must say I've enjoyed reading everyone's stories.
Although my first silver dollar was a 1927-D Peace Dollar given to me by my grandmother my first Morgan was purchased at a club meeting in 1972. I used to cut grass and shovel snow as a kid and use the proceeds to purchase an occasional Morgan as well as other coins.
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1883-O nut

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by morganman » Sat Apr 02, 2022 3:38 pm

Quite natrually i believe every response on this post is by Baby Boomers.
Thats the well known age group of the collector community with real strong
ties to say two age groups before us. Amazing what/how our forfathers developed
coin collecting in a very different time period under some very stressed financial
conditions. Unlike today. they knew how to stretch a dollar & save money.

It is sad and very concerning that younger age groups such as millenials etc
dont seen to be real interested in Numismatics, as evidenced by lack of shear
participation. They still collect but just not coinage to the larger degree of us
boomers and our forfathers.
This not likely to change due to our times and various other interest.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by Longstrider » Sat Apr 02, 2022 4:09 pm

I started as a kid inn the 50's when my Grandpa would give me Morgan dollars as gifts. I've always collected something.

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Re: How Long Have You Collected our Beloved Morgan Dollars ???

Post by blh74 » Sun Apr 03, 2022 12:49 am

I started young, maybe 12. I would get my paper route change etc. Also got my allowance of a 2 dollar roll of nickels each week. Only had to buy a 21 S at a coin shop. I found all the regular ones. I had lincoln cents nickels dimes and quarters. They got stolen so I kind of quit for a while but never forgot. Started seriously collecting in the mid 80`s. Then I could afford those beautiful Morgans. Early 90`s got the VAM Encyclopedia and that did it.

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