The Top Five Morgan Silver DollarsWritten by Daniel J. Goevert
Why waste everyone’s time? Let’s skip appetizers and get to meaty stuff right now: The Morgan silver dollars poised to increase most in value in years ahead are 1895, 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and 1883-CC. Pretty bold prediction, eh? At this point, reader now has three options: (1) Stop reading and act upon this information, (2) Stop reading and get on with life, or (3) Continue on, evaluate analytical approach to identify “Top Five” Morgan dollars, and then implement a variation of (1) or (2) above. If you’ve gotten this far, we encourage you to continue on with option (3).
First, a little background info on Morgan silver dollar…
The Morgan silver dollar is today one of most popular of all collector coins. First minted in 1878 following passage of Bland-Alison Act, new dollar was named after its designer, George T. Morgan. Political pressure by powerful silver mining companies, in a gambit to stabilize price of their commodity at artificially high levels, created impetus driving legislative action. Bland-Alison led to overproduction of silver dollars, resulting in millions of these unused “cartwheels” languishing in bank and Treasury vaults. Indeed, few coins have ever been released under more dubious circumstances than Morgan silver dollars. Minting continued until 1904, and then again for one more year in 1921, when series finally came to a close.
For decades thereafter, Morgan dollars were largely snubbed by hobbyists. Many dates, including those in mint state condition, could be obtained for as little as $1.00. This situation shifted dramatically in 1962, when US government began selling original 1000-piece silver dollar Treasury bags to public at face value. Stories of rare dollar finds circulated widely, touching off a veritable Morgan mania. Within a matter of months, all but a small fraction of federally owned coins were transferred from government vaults to private hands, consequently expanding Morgan dollar collector base far beyond anything seen previously.
Since then, Morgan silver dollars have proudly perched themselves atop catbird seat of numismatic world. Their physical size, availability, beauty, and historical significance have consistently attracted herds of new buyers. Numerous boom-turned-bust cycles have come and gone, sometimes driven by pure speculative motives, but from a long-term perspective, most Morgan dollar prices have trended somewhat positive.
Unlike some controversial promoters in past, I do not propose purchasing Morgan silver dollars simply as investment vehicles. However, for collectors hoping to satisfy their numismatic yearnings AND acquire coins destined to be worth substantially more in future, Morgan dollars do present a few opportunities. As noted above, as a whole, Morgans have gained moderately in value over years. The crucial challenge, then, is to identify which members of this series have enjoyed best growth patterns in past. The underlying logic is clear: coins that have demonstrated strongest gains over a long period of time are coins best positioned to show similar price advancements with continued passage of time.
In order to measure past performance and thus visualize Morgans most likely headed toward a bullish future, I developed a systematic approach. First, I researched individual Morgan dollar retail prices as they existed in 1950, for a broad range of conditions, and entered this data on a computer spreadsheet. Moving forward in time, values from years 1980, 1995, and 2000 were likewise recorded. Finally, estimated selling prices in 2005 were juxtaposed with counterpart data from those earlier years. Because grading terminology has evolved over 55 year period, certain assumptions were made to progressively track price movements throughout time spectrum (e.g. an “Uncirculated” value in 1950 is equivalent to “MS-60” of today).
From Immigrant to American Toy Producing Leader- The Gund StoryWritten by Sharon Lauer
For over 100 years name Gund has been synonomous with quality, baby-safe plush products. The oldest and leading soft toy manufacturer in United States, Gund story is one of a family owned-business leading industry in quality, safety and unique design.
The Gund company was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898. The company was one of first to design and produce teddy bears in early 1900's.
In 1907 Russian immigrant Jacob Swedlin began working at Gund. In 1925 Adolph Gund retired. Not having children of his own, he sold company to Swedlin for a token sum with understanding that name would always remain Gund. Swedlin ran company until 1969 when it was passed to his daughter Rita Raiffe and her husband Herbert. Under their leadership Gund flourished and company began using their now trademarked under-stuffing technique.
Bruce Raiffe, third generation to run company joined Gund in 1977 and became President in 1993. He later became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2004. At that time Jim Madonna was appointed President, marking first time in company's history that a non-founding family member was in charge.