Nov. 12-14, 1982
By Dennis E. Wegley
Numismatic Buyer IRI
COMMON DATE is a term that has been attached to several dates of both Morgan and Peace dollars, which are currently being recommended and sold in brilliant uncirculated condition. It is a deceiving title, because it may result in one’s overlooking the true built-in numismatic value. Consider the era in which these coins were originally struck, a time when great herds of bison covered the prairies and huge flocks of passenger pigeons blackened the noonday sky. They, too, were considered “common.”
Here at Investment Rarities, Inc., America’s foremost retailers of brilliant uncirculated silver dollars, we are seeking a tremendous new interest from both collectors and investors to own these “common” dollar rolls. If these rolls continue to be purchased and stored away at the present rate, the day will come when these dollar rolls will not be so easy to find in an uncirculated condition. Then the term common date will take on a new meaning.
Whatever Happened to Common Date Dollars?
Remember the good old days? There were 25 to 30 dates in the Morgan and Peace dollar series that were considered common dates. They were readily available by the roll. Not only were they available by the roll, but you could expect as many as 10 to 15 of the coins to be Gems or MS65, whichever term you use. Many people turned their noses up at the mere mention of common date silver dollars. Some of the statements regarding common date dollars went something like this: “Common date silver dollars will never go anywhere in price – too many around.” How about this statement, “I already have one, I don’t need any more.” Or the astute investor who told me that common Morgan dollar rolls at $160 and super singles at $10 to $12 were much too high. He also warned me not to inventory too many common date dollars because a big hoard could come on the market at any time and drive the price down to $2 each, just like in the 60’s. Well, the good old days I am referring to happened as recently as 1978 and 1979.
Let’s look at the common date dollars today. The fact is that there are only about 12 or 13 common dollar dates that you can expect to find in roll quantity. These rolls will contain MS60 and MS63 coins. There will be no MS65 coins in these rolls. You can expect to pay anywhere from $650 to $1,000 for these rolls, depending on the dates. The MS65 singles will be priced from $100 to $300, depending on the dates. Yet, I am hearing the same statements, “too many around,” “I already have one,” and the famous “too high priced, wait for price to come down as people will have to sell and the market will be flooded.” What happened? Silver is not up 5 to 10 times from 1978 prices. It is only at $9 at this writing. How could this increase in price have happened to “dumb old common date” silver dollars? They were everywhere you looked just a couple of years ago.
Let’s get really honest now. I bet that most of you fall into the “not going anywhere” line of thought concerning silver dollars. It is a well known fact that 90% of the people are wrong most of the time. Do you fall into that category?
1. Will common date silver dollars be priced 4 or 5 times higher in the next 5 or 6 years? 2. Will there be only be 3 or 4 dates available in roll quantity by 1986? 3. Will the majority of people still be worried about prices coming down and a large hoard coming on to the market? If you answered “no” to any of the last questions you will fall into the same trap that catches the majority of people.
The trap is that most people think way too small. There never was the quantity of super quality common date silver dollars that most people thought. And secondly, the market is much larger than they can imagine. We may have as many as 2 or 3 million new collectors coming into the market in the next few years. If only 1 million new collectors want to own only 10 MS65 common date silver dollars, that adds up to 10 million silver dollars. Where can we obtain that quantity of MS65 singles? The supply will be stretched so thin that old timers who were around in 1978 will only shake their heads in wonder.
There is not that kind of quantity of MS65 singles on the market now. In fact, there is less than there has ever been. We have been in a recession and there was not a quantity of gem quality silver dollars that came on the market. Times will not be getting worse; I believe that is behind us now. Inflation will start to pick up as the economy gets going again, so look for dollars to increase in price as more money becomes available.
I hate to think about big investors like the Hunts, Institutions and others coming into the market wanting rolls and bags of common date dollars. If 200 big buyers come into the market in the next five years (and that is not many over a five year period) and wanted to buy 10 bags each – that adds up to 2,000 bags. It sure boggles the mind. There is not going to be enough dollars to go around. It is not going to make many more years for this fact to become as plain as the nose on everyone’s face. By then, it will be too late for most people.
I feel one of the best investments in all numismatics right now is any silver dollar in Gem or MS65 condition that is still priced under $500. Remember silver dollars have the largest number of collectors of any of the U.S. coins.
Whatever happened to common date dollars? Don’t get caught asking this question in a few years.
c/o Blackhawk Inc.
P.O. Box 294
East Moline, IL 61244