Originally published in the Society of Silver Dollar Collectors March 10, 2014 Newsletter – ssdcvams.com.......
Sometime in March, either at the beginning or the end, there is suppose to be a lamb and a lion. After the past 90 days in the VAM and Morgan Dollar Market, it is hard to tell if the month is charging in with a roar or trotting in covered with fleece. According to reports, demand for high-grade and for somewhat better-date Morgan and Peace dollars was even stronger at the recent ANA show in Atlanta than it was a month earlier at the Long Beach show.
According to CoinWeek contributing writer Patrick A. Heller, one of his friends at the show purchased a complete Morgan dollar set, including the proof 1895, near the start of the show and sold it all within 48 hours. Heller said he expected that "demand for little bit scarcer Morgan and Peace dollars will continue to grow, pushing up prices no matter what happens to the spot price of silver." Known sales of VAMs adds to the confusion as to whether this is a weak or strong market.
Some March highlights:
- An Ex: Teich Family Collection 1878-P VAM 14.7 in NGC MS62 was sold by Heritage for $4,112. It is the lowest price ever recorded for that grade. A PCGS AU58 example sold for $6,300 in December 2008 and another sold for $6,000 in August 2010.
- A 1878-P VAM 34A, a cleaned and raw coin that is estimated to be an EF40, was sold at a coin show for $4,400. This is only the second example of the VAM with a recorded sale. Previously, a PCGS EF45 coin was sold in October 2013 for $6,500.
- The "King of VAMs" — the 1878-P VAM 44 — seems to have lost a lot of its luster. It is really impossible to understand why the VAM 44/44A prices have dropped; a PCGS AU55 sold through Heritage for $3,819, an all-time low.
- eBay produced this unexplained event: a NGC MS61 VAM 145 sold for $79. The only other MS61 sale took place in December 2011 when VAMquest sold one for $816. Under the radar?
- On the flip side, a common 1882-O/S VAM 4 in PCGS MS63 was sold by Heritage for $1,293. The Greysheet bid is $640. At the same time, a common 1882-O/S VAM 5 in PCGS MS64 was sold by Heritage for $764.
- A 1883-CC in ANACS MS65DM was sold by Heritage for $3,525. Normally, there is no premium for a VAM 5A. However, the Greysheet price for this coin is $1,200.
Another well-known and normally highly sought-after VAM seems to be taking a trip downhill fast. Three examples of the 1887-P VAM 1B, with its "E" reverse, have been sold since the first of the year. Two PCGS EF40 coins sold on eBay for $900 and $1,100, respectively. Last week, a PGCS EF45 example ex- changed hands through private parties for $825. These prices are one-fourth to one-third of what the coin has historically sold for.
This month also saw the first recorded sale of a 1891-O VAM 19. In a ICG MS62 holder, the coin sold on eBay for $585.
Also, the first sale of a 1921-S VAM 15E EDS was recorded. The raw coin, estimated as AU58, was sold between private parties for $750.
Topping off the confusion as the Ides of March approaches: a 1921-S VAM 1C in an ANACS MS63 holder sold privately for $75. In September 2012 a PCGS MS63 example sold privately for $1,500.