6th National Silver Dollar Convention
St. Louis, Missouri
November 11 -17, 1985
“MS64” Prooflike Morgans
By Alfred E. Johnbrier
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article for the then, first issue of the NSDR Journal, the official publication of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable which had just been formed at the Third National Silver Dollar Convention in Houston, Texas.
The article was titled, “Is there an MS64 Dollar?” I went on to explain that there was, had been, and is a market for the redoubtable “MS64” and that we in the marketplace had been trading heavily in the grade for some time; actually since the gap had begun to widen between MS63 and MS65 on the Coin Dealer Newsletter, (Grey Sheet), and because of the beginning of the new “stricter” grading criteria.
I went on to explain the reasoning behind the grade and simply said that it was a viable grade and that I was here to stay and we didn’t know how long it would be before it would be accepted or even “if” it would be accepted, but that we would continue to trade – that is, both buy and sell – in MS64. Dealers, investors, etc. who were attuned to the Dollar Market would also continue to do so.
At that time I, (and I don’t believe anyone else in our organization), was not pressuring any of the market pricing guides to accept our premise on the MS64 grade. About six months ago, after the first article, I wrote a follow-up in the May, 1984 issue of the NSDR Journal, bringing the readers up to date on the market which was then just beginning to see some upswing and to alert them that the MS64 grade in Morgan Dollars was still very much alive and seeming to be used by more individuals, both in the collecting and investing fields. Of course, I took a lot of flak from individuals who did not subscribe to this grade and who said it was a “meaningless” addition to the other Mint State numbers.
So, the members of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable took it upon themselves to make this grade “meaningful.” To do this, we printed a “Pricing Guide” in our November, 1984 issue of the NSDR Journal. This guide was for our subscribers and any interested party who wanted to know what the true market value was for a Dollar in all mint state grades including MS64. This was about the time when a common “S”-mint was approaching $350 in MS65 on the “Grey Sheet.” We felt that to attain that price, an MS65 81-S’s at about the $150 level and MS64’s at about $90 or $100. That was when the “Grey Sheet” listed MS63’s at about $65.
We went along very well with the pricing guide and printed our second one in the February, 1985 issue. Needless to say, (no matter how skeptical some of you may be), we were astounded when the March issue of the “Grey Sheet” came out with an MS64 “UNC” column for Morgan and Peace Dollars. Whether we were instrumental in bringing about that addition in the CDN is anybody’s guess for we did not put any pressure on anyone to add that MS64 column. I know it has stimulated the dollar market since its inception and we feel has been an overall asset to the dollar business. You can see it being used more and more in the marketplace and I feel what’s even more credible is, it is being used by more Auction firms.
However, the reason I’m writing this now is to say that as bad as we needed a guide for the MS64 “UNC” column, we need it doubly for the MS64 “PROOFLIKE” which has absolutely gone out of sight in MS65. Where you have a certain date in MS63 Prooflike for $135, the same date in MS65 “Prooflike” may be as high as $1,200 or even higher. Probably over 50%, (I have my own personal figure in mind having dealt with prooflikes for nearly 15 years), of “Prooflike” dollars sold are no better than MS64 and probably closer to MS63. The MS64 UNC column has, as I said, given a boost to the confidence of the small collector or investor who subscribes to the CDN, but we really need an MS64 Prooflike column to go along with the UNC column.
We have had it in our journal since we first put out our pricing guide and all I’m saying is that I think we need it also in the CDN. Earlier I said we put no pressure on anyone to insert that column in the CDN, but now I’m going on record in saying we do need this column in the CDN and if the powers that be agree with me, I hope in the very near future that we see the MS64 “Prooflike” column in the CDN. Of course, we will continue to print our pricing guide in our NSDR Quarterly Journal.
The market is there, the demand is there, and we hope that not only with our insistence, but with the public who believes in this premise, that we will see the MS64 Prooflike come into its own.
WE SIMPLE NEED IT.