It was Sunday, it was late and I wanted to go to bed at a decent hour. I was searching for a Morgan Dollar to upgrade since I sold a lot of ms-63 Morgan Dollars to another dealer. My aim is to offer the higher grades and unique Morgan Dollars at shows, to offer the collector something different.

I am digging through about a half dozen auction houses looking for Carson City Morgan Dollars that won't break my bank account. My initial aim was to look for the lower population Carson City Morgan Dollars, like the 1885-CC (228,000 minted), the 1881-CC (296,000 minted) or the 1889-CC (350,000 minted). None of these over the past few weeks have appealed to me. I like the cheek of the Morgan Dollar to be as free of dings as possible and look presentable. Add in a decent grade and prices can climb up very quickly.

I performed one last search on a major auction house site and I spotted this......

1891-cc spitting eagle obv.jpg

I thought to myself, Its not a bad looking Carson City. The price was close to $250.00 below what PCGS says its worth, and there can be some wiggle room to make a 15-20 percent profit on the coin at one of the major shows I will be setting up at. I then flipped the coin over to check the reverse and it too looked pretty decent.

1891-cc spitting eagle rev.jpg



Then, I had to do a double take. I think I see a die chip near the eagle's mouth, which may make this an 1891-CC VAM-3 Spitting Eagle. I went to the PCGS to see if they listed this as a variety, and they do. The PCGS price exceeds 1600.00 for this variety which will increase the profit margin significantly. As a matter of fact, I had a return customer ask me about this variety at the last show. How Ironic. So, I download the photos and take a closer look. Sure enough, to me, this looks like a MDS version of the 1891-CC VAM-3 Spitting Eagle.

1891-cc spitting eagle rev-close.jpg


In the end, it is still possible that the person who initially had the coin slabbed did not bother looking for a significant VAM.
These gems are still out there, all it takes is a little patience and they can be cherry picked at your liesure.