The National Silver Dollar Roundtable 30 Years Later – By John W. Highfill
Reprinted with Permission from the Coin Dealer Newsletter (CDN)……….
This year is the 30th anniversary of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable. The U.S. Silver Dollar is by far the most popular American coin. Its vast appeal is the best in all of numismatics. The National Silver Dollar Roundtable?s (NSDR) index of dealers are professionals in all types of Silver Dollars. These can and may include each and every Silver Dollar minted.
They include: Draped Bust, Liberty Seated, Trade, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, Native American, Gold Dollars, Gold Commemoratives and the ongoing current U.S. Presidential Golden Dollar series. Morgan Dollars have been and continue to be much stronger than Peace Dollars. However, both series continue to be collected in every grade from good to MS67+. Collectors seem to acquire the lower graded coins for their collections, while investors go for the higher Mint State grades. Many of the latter try to obtain the finest known examples available in the marketplace.
The National Silver Dollar Roundtable was born out of the National Silver Dollar Convention. There were special NSDR “Dollar Days” held at each of the National Silver Dollar Conventions. The first “Dollar Day” was held at the 7th NSDC on November 12, 1986 in St. Louis, MO. These special show days were similar to the PNG day at other national conventions. These were a special one day bourse show for members of the NSDR only. These shows were very successful. Not only was the convention a gathering of Silver Dollar experts, it was one of the largest coin shows in America.
The ANA, FUN, TNA, CSNS, Long Beach and Baltimore Expos are among the largest and best coin shows to visit and find Silver Dollars. There are, however, many other smaller coin shows that have NSDR dealers in attendance.
The NSDR was founded on November 12, 1982 at the Third National Silver Dollar Convention. The location was the Astro Village Hotel in Houston, Texas. Since its foundation, the NSDR has evolved into the second largest numismatic dealer organization in the world!
The NSDR is a non-profit educational organization. It is dedicated to promoting all United States Silver Dollars. The objective of the organization is to advance the knowledge of numismatics, especially for U.S. Silver Dollars, along educational, historical and scientific lines.
The NSDR assists in bringing about cooperation among all persons interested in collecting, buying, selling, grading, exhibiting and preserving U.S. Silver Dollars, through educational forums, social meetings, articles, newsletters, and other publications of numismatic interests. NSDR educational seminars have featured many of the industry?s most notable leaders, and represents the industry’s most knowledgeable Silver Dollar dealers. “The Silver Dollar Specialists” is the official slogan for the NSDR. We have the very finest Silver Dollar dealers in the entire world and are very proud of that accomplishment.
Remember, “knowledge is king”. We are also proud to be one of the founding members of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (I.C.T.A.). We are still on their board while promoting honesty and integrity. The NSDR publishes a journal annually with many advertisers and articles for everyone. The NSDR is the only exclusive Silver Dollar organization in the world and growing each year! Any dealer that wishes to join and meets the criteria may go to our website to apply. The NSDR adheres to a very strict code of ethics that also is listed and defined on its website.
As early as 1975, there was only the MS65 grade listed in the Coin Dealer Newsletter (CDN) for Silver Dollars. In August of that year, the CDN started listing both the MS60 and the MS65 grades for Silver Dollars. At this time, the price differences between MS60 and MS65 could be nearly 3 times between the two grades.
In September 1980, the CDN began listing the MS63 grade. This solved a lot of the disparities in the price fluctuations. But the differences were still substantial between the MS63 and the MS65 grades. The NSDR had its own “Pricing Guide” with its initial quarterly journal.
(NOTE): The NSDR was first in implementing the MS64 grade pricing within the entire Silver Dollar prices. This landmark grade was board approved in November 1984. It was then introduced and first published in the National Silver Dollar Pricing Guide, Volume II, No 1, dated November 1984. We are very proud of this landmark numismatic accomplishment. The MS64 grade was later posted in March of 1985 in the Greysheet and remains to date.
This extra grade finally put most coins in direct dollar value proportional to their “condition rarity”. The NSDR is constantly trying to improve our organization with the goal of numismatics through experience, knowledge and education.
On the NSDR website, www.nationalsilverdollarroundtable.com, you will find many categories including a list of dealers, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. You may contact any dealer through his own email or link. Many of our members have their own online store. Each member is a Silver Dollar specialist, and their online stores will reflect their available inventory.
There are educational articles, seminar information, lists of the current officers, past members, in memoriam members, archive photos, videos and membership application. Listed on the website are multiple educational videos of NSDR seminars featuring guest speakers. These seminars were and are exclusively for education regarding U.S. Silver Dollars. Many seminars are for collecting quality, rarity and VAMs. Most were held at one or more of the 20 annual National Silver Dollar Conventions held in Columbus, Memphis, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas. Other seminars can currently be found at the three Long Beach Coin Expos, the Baltimore Coin Conventions and the two FUN conventions in Florida.
The NSDR also boasts many Silver Dollar authors. These expert writers are a virtual “Who?s Who” in numismatics. Some have written encyclopedias, books, CDN articles, ANA essays and multiple other articles throughout the years. Many of these past and present authors are NSDR Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients and seminar guest speakers.
Leroy C. Van Allen was the co-author along with A. George Mallis in creating the VAM standard for Morgan Silver Dollars. This inaugural book on VAM Silver Dollars is by far the first word on Morgan varieties. This reference book has set the bar for VAM Dollars. Since this book was first released, the Society of Silver Dollar Collectors has been formed for Morgan and Peace Dollar variety collectors. This organization, spearheaded by Jeff G. Oxman and many others, has through the years, found multiples of new Dollar varieties.
The major VAM Dollars and some of the most popular are: 1879-S Reverse of ?78; 1878-P Reverse of ?79; 1882-O/CC; 1887-P “Alligator Eye”; 1888-O “Hot Lips”; 1891-CC “Spitting Eagle” and the 1900 O/CC, to mention a few. Many readers are familiar with this author?s own encyclopedia on Silver Dollars. It is both an extensive encyclopedia along with an anthology of the entire numismatic community. It has 50 guest authors, that in combination, cover virtually everything you could possibly know on all types of Silver Dollars.
Many of the guest authors themselves have their own numismatic writings on Silver Dollars. John Dannreuther is one of those authors. His expertise on Liberty Silver Dollars is second to none in the industry. There are too many authors to list here. Each has his own expertise. Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars are always one of the most popular collected Dollars.
In my encyclopedia there is a list of each date and quantity available. The most common dates available are the 1882-CC, 1883-CC, and 1884-CC Dollars. Only one 1889-CC Morgan Dollar was released from the great GSA hoard. An NSDR Life Member is the current proud owner of this coin. The 1889-CC GSA has been since graded by NGC with a grade of MS62PL. However, there were none of the 1893-CC Morgan Dollars released from the GSA hoard at all.
Currently, a new GSA Carson City Dollar book has been written by three NSDR authors — Adam Crum, Selby Ungar and Jeff G. Oxman. This current, excellent book is available and is a must own reference.
The world’s finest Silver Dollar collection has changed hands many times through the years. Multiple dealers have had this self-proclaimed title. Back in the earlier years before the grading services, Amon Carter was known to have this title. However, the most recent time it was truly recognized was the Jack R. Lee collection.
Jack was vigilant in his pursuit of his collection. Jack has since passed on and the title currently lies with Lloyd Gabbert. His collections are all certified by either PCGS or NGC. Time will tell who the world?s finest collection will belong to as years go by. But one thing is sure; the sheer competition to own the finest will always be there!
The serious Silver Dollar collector should always locate and acquire the better dates, if not the rarest dates in that series first. The reasoning for this is that many collectors may eventually run out of money by buying the common dates first. This could lead them to not completing their collection and lose interest in collecting altogether. If you get the key and semi-key dates first, you will usually continue, when funds become available, to finish your set of Dollars. Remember, the common dates are just that, common. They are always available somewhere.
Most Silver Dollar collectors collect the Morgan Dollar series. This is closely followed by the Peace Dollar series. More serious collectors may go after the tougher and rarer types of Silver Dollars. They may include the following: Gobrecht, Draped Bust, Liberty Seated and Trade Dollars. These are more specialized and may require a need to contact one of the Silver Dollar specialists. Most of these types of Dollars are often only available at either major coin conventions or auction houses.
Some collector?s become investors. This is for them to decide; however, most are collectors at heart. Every collector should seek the coins they desire. Some may collect Circulated and others the Uncirculated Dollars. The other is the very serious collectors that have to have the finest known. These collectors usually are not able to find their needs at their local coin dealer. Again you may have to go to various coin shows located weekly around the country. If they are not able to find what they need at the national coin conventions, they can find many Dollars with the major auction houses. There are also individual dealer?s websites. Others can find their Dollars online via eBay.
Many Morgan and Peace Dollars are popular mainly because of their unique status. Some of these examples are the Morgan 1878 series. This is the first year of issue and has many varieties. The 1921-D is the only Denver Mint Morgan.
Next would be the magic “CC” (Carson City) Morgans. The first year issue 1878-CC, 1889-CC (Rarest) and the 1885-CC are the most popular. Other unique Morgans include the 1904-O and 1921-P, D, S series. Then there are the VAM (Van Allen-Mallis) Type Morgans. These are mainly multiple die variety Dollars. There are many different VAMs.
The serious collector may wish to obtain them all. However, most collectors seek the popular ones. Some of the most popular VAM dates are: 1878-P 7TF, 1878-P 8 TF, 1878-P 7/8 TF, 1879-CC Capped Die, 1879-S Rev -78, 1879-P Rev -78, 1880-CC Rev -78, 1882-O/S, 1886/7-P, 1886/7-O, 1888-O, and the 1900 O/CC. The Peace Dollar doesn?t offer that many Types, but the 1921-P (first year issue) and the 1935-P and S (last year of issue) are the favorites. The key to this series is the 1928-P.
You should keep in mind that coin companies run many of the above Dollars constantly as promotions. This keeps the demand up. One of the most popular promotions is the first and last dates in each series. This would be the 1878-P and the 1921-P Morgans. Peace Dollars would be the 1921-P and the 1935-P.
The NSDR has held its annual Awards Banquet every year since 1982. There is a dinner followed by the awards presentation. Each standing president will host this event. Randy Campbell is the NSDR Master of Ceremonies and honors the awards at each year?s banquet. There are limited seats available. Life members are given one ticket each. There is never an empty seat.
This annual gathering is for the honor of new members, Life members, the President?s Award, Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and the highest achievable honor: the NSDR Lifetime Achievement Award. The first Lifetime Award was presented in 1989. The NSDR has special committees and chairmen for all needs. They are as follows: Finance, Advertising, Ethics and Arbitration, Banquet, Seminars and Education, NSDR Journal, NSDR Website, Video Specialist, Master of Ceremonies, Show Reporter, Membership, Counsel and ICTA. Each board member that is on a committee is to meet prior to the three board meetings held annually. At these board meetings, each committee is to give their findings for the board to vote on.
In summary, not every coin dealer or professional numismatist is a Silver Dollar expert. Therefore, buying, selling and/or collecting Silver Dollars can be made easier by contacting any NSDR Silver Dollar specialist.
John W. Highfill
President, National Silver Dollar Roundtable
P.O. Box 25, Broken Arrow, OK 74013