by Dennis Tucker
The Morgan silver dollar is one of the most popular American coins of recent generations. We see evidence of this all the time here at Whitman Publishing, in daily communication with coin collectors across the nation.
As a company we seek to publish books that help hobbyists understand their coins so they can build excellent collections, wisely and with as much useful knowledge as possible. The book Carson City Morgan Dollars, by Adam Crum, Selby Ungar, and Jeff Oxman, shines light on an exciting niche within the very popular Morgan dollar series. Its focus is on the coins struck in the 1800s at the United States Mint’s factory in the “Silver State,” Nevada.
The first edition of Carson City Morgan Dollars was released in late 2009. The new book satisfied a demand within the hobby community. Morgan dollars were so popular that even specialized subcategories, such as the Morgans struck at a particular mint, had large audiences of enthusiasts. This continues to be the case today.
In 2011 we published a second edition, expanded and revised. A few years later we updated the book to a third edition, which debuted at the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show, held in Atlanta in March 2014. The third edition featured additional historical photographs, revisions from ongoing numismatic research, updated retail values and certified-coin populations, and new market commentary.
Today, nearly a decade after the first edition was published, the hobby’s appetite for information is as robust as ever. For the fourth edition of Carson City Morgan Dollars (due to be released next week) the authors have studied the rare-coin market and have updated the book’s valuation charts with a snapshot of today’s retail environment. Interestingly, some coin values have gone down in recent years—a reflection of market corrections in many areas of the hobby. Does this suggest interest in these historic coins is decreasing? I don’t believe so, at least not in an intellectual sense. Collectors remain as fascinated as ever by the romance and history wrapped up in Morgan dollars. If anything, today’s retail prices might offer fresh opportunities for newcomers (and longtime collectors) to acquire attractive coins for their collections at affordable prices.
In addition to updated valuations, the fourth edition has been expanded with 24 more pages that include a new photographic gallery of the Carson City Mint, drawing from government archives and other sources; a study of other coins minted there; a look at Morgan dollar values and numismatic research in the late 1940s; and more.
The fourth edition of Carson City Morgan Dollars takes its place on the bookshelf with other standard references such as Q. David Bowers’s Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia (1992) and his hugely popular two-volume Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia (1993), and the Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars (first edition 2004, fifth edition 2016). It also joins other recent Morgan dollar–related publications such as The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan, America’s Silver Dollar Artist (Lee, 2013) and Morgan Dollar: America’s Love Affair With a Legendary Coin (Standish, 2014).
If the past is preface to the future, and if collector demand remains as strong as it is, we can happily look forward to more books on Morgan silver dollars—including continuing guidance and insight from Messrs. Crum, Ungar, and Oxman.
By Adam Crum, Jeff Oxman, and Selby Ungar; forewords by Steve Roach and Q. David Bowers
Available January 23, 2018
Hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, full color
Retail $24.95 U.S.
This coin is the first release in the three-year (2018-2020) Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series. The series features all new obverse (heads) designs, as well as a new common reverse (tails) design on a one ounce, 99.95 percent platinum proof coin each year.
The series portrays Liberty planting seeds for future sustenance, lighting the way westward, and harvesting the well-worked crops. The inscriptions “Life,” in 2018, “Liberty,” in 2019 and “Happiness” in 2020, are in the likeness of the handwritten words from the Declaration of Independence.
The obverse of the 2018 coin features “Life” personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. The sword she carries symbolizes the power to defend life. The furrowed earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of an environment that sustains life. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “2018,” and “LIFE.”
Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Justin Kunz created all the obverse designs of this platinum proof coin series. The 2018 platinum proof coins were sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
The coins’ common reverse design for this series depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “1 OZ.,” “.9995 PLATINUM,” and “$100.” AIP designer Patricia Lucas-Morris created the reverse design, which was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.
Produced at the West Point Mint, this coin is packaged in a black velvet satin-lined presentation case with outer box and sleeve, and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.
As with all Mint products containing a precious metal, this coin will be priced according to the range in which it appears on the Pricing of Numismatic Gold, Commemorative Gold, and Platinum Products table. Current pricing information is available online at catalog.usmint.gov/coins/gold-coins/.
Orders will be accepted at catalog.usmint.gov and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). Information on shipping options is available at catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html.
The 2018 platinum proof coin mintage is limited to 20,000 while orders are initially limited to one coin per household. This product may also be available at various United States Mint sales centers once the household order limit is lifted.
WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Senator Robert Joseph “Bob” Dole received a Congressional Gold Medal today during a ceremony in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Dole was presented the medal in recognition of his service to the nation as a soldier, legislator, and statesman.
Bob Dole proudly served the people of Kansas in Congress for 36 years, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. During his time in office, he was known for his bipartisan ability to “reach across the aisle,” which was illustrated by his work on the Americans with Disabilities Act. He was also a dedicated Army soldier during World War II, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster for his service. He also received an American Campaign Medal, a European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.
Following his public career, Senator Dole became an advocate for the public good. Among other accomplishments, he served as National Chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign, established the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas to encourage bipartisanship in politics, and has been a life-long champion for the disabled.
The medal’s reverse (tails) displays a Kansas wheat field below a quote from Senator Dole: “FOR GREATNESS LIES NOT IN WHAT OFFICE YOU HOLD, BUT IN HOW HONEST YOU ARE, IN HOW YOU FACE ADVERSITY, AND IN YOUR WILLINGNESS TO STAND FAST IN HARD PLACES.” An additional inscription includes “ACT OF CONGRESS 2017.” United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill created and engraved this design.
The public law that awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Bob Dole also authorizes the United States Mint to strike and sell bronze reproductions of the medal. The three-inch medal (product code 17MD), priced at $39.95, and the 1.5-inch medal (product code 17ME), priced at $6.95, will be available for purchase on January 17, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time through the bureau’s online catalog at https://www.catalog.usmint.gov/, and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).
The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the nation’s highest civilian awards and is bestowed by Congress as an expression of gratitude for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals, groups, or institutions.
United States Mint Releases Complete Set of Proof 2018 America the Beautiful Quarters® on January 23
This year’s set-priced at $15.95-consists of five proof-finish America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins that honor Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin), Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota), Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia), and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (Rhode Island). A Certificate of Authenticity accompanies each set.
Orders will be accepted at www.catalog.usmint.gov, and at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). Information about shipping options is available at www.catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html.
United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Sets are also available for purchase through the bureau’s Product Enrollment Program. For details, visit catalog.usmint.gov/shop/product-enrollments/.
Some precious-metals bullion dealers recently have been advertising “home storage” as a legal and beneficial option for storing bullion that may be invested in an individual retirement account (IRA).
The “home storage” concept may conflict with the laws that allow for tax-advantaged IRA investments.
The Industry Council for Tangible Assets has produced a white paper which explains why the “home storage” concept may conflict with the laws that allow for tax-advantaged IRA investments. The purpose of the paper is to try and make it as simple as possible to understand.
The paper has been released to ICTA members to aid them in understanding how the Internal Revenue Code §408 applies to individual retirement accounts. To access the white paper, ICTA members log in at ictaonline.org and select Resources > White Papers > Miscellaneous > IRA Home Storage.
ICTA is also making the paper available to non-members. For information to obtain the white paper, visit ictaonline.org\ira-home-storage-white-paper.
ICTA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit association that represents the rare-coin, currency, and precious-metals communities. ICTA is supported solely by dues and donations. To join and/or learn more about ICTA, please visit our website — ictaonline.org.