Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Binion 1887 Philadelphia Minted Morgan Silver Dollar Varieties

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Binion 1887 Philadelphia Minted Morgan Silver Dollar Varieties

Here is an interesting way to expand your Binion collection.

The Binion hoard contains 5 classifications of the 1887 Philadelphia minted Morgan silver dollar.  Here are examples of those classifications.

1.)  Standard "Hard Grade"

1.)  "Star Graded"

2.)  The prooflike or “PL” variety.

3.)  The deep prooflike or “DPL” variety.


4.)  The VAM-2 variety.

5.)  The VAM-12 variety.

If anyone has seen any other classification/variety, let me know.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Toned Fitzgerald Morgan Silver Dollars: 1884-O MS63* & MS64*

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Toned Fitzgerald Morgan Silver Dollars: 1884-O MS63* & MS64*  

I have always thought that the Fitzgerald collection (grade-for-grade) has dominance over the Binion collection in the eye-appearance arena.  I have also found that to hold true for the toned coins. 


This 1884-O MS64* appeared in my book Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection "The Purple Gand Set".

I admit that I have not inspected all the toned coins from either hoard, but from my small corner of the world, the Fitzgerald collection holds the advantage.      

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Toned Binion Morgan Silver Dollars: 1883-O MS65*, 1886 MS64*, 1885 MS62, MS63

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Toned Binion Morgan Silver Dollars: 1883-O MS65*, 1886 MS64*, 1885 MS62, MS63

It has been a rough stretch for Binion silver dollar collectors as not much of interest has been on the market except for common coins priced double over value.  However, I did see a couple of * (star) coins that are a little on the difficult side to find.  I have never been a big fan of toned coins (with a few exceptions) but when that is all you got, you take it. 


What is odd about the * designation is that I have seen some beautiful toned coins from the Binion group that carry no special recognition. 

It is difficult to tell by the pictures but when you have the coins in hand the non-privileged coins lacking the * appear to me to be more attractive than the star blessed coins.  Go figure.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – 1879-CC Fitzgerald Collection VG10 Morgan Silver Dollar

A fellow collector wrote me about a recent addition he acquired for his Fitzgerald Collection.  It came as a surprise when he visited a coin shop near his house and found an 1879-CC from the Fitzgerald Collection available.  The collector referenced the Fitzgerald population statistics in my book “Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – The Purple Gang Set” and saw the population to be 3 coins.  It was his lucky day.    

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fitzgerald Collection - Highest Graded 1883-O MS66

1883-O Fitzgerald Collection Population - 657 Silver Dollars.

The 1883-O Fitzgerald Morgan silver dollar has a large population making it a popular coin for the beginning collector. However, the MS66 shown here carries the “Badge of Honor” for being the highest graded and only 1883-O MS66 from this find.  This coin has exceptional eye-appeal nearing proof like radiance. 

As always when discussing population statistics for either the Binion or Fitzgerald coins, I am referring to "graded and authenticated" coins.  There are no population statistics available for coin only authenticated from the hoard and no population statistics available for coins with "soft grades". 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rick's Pedigree Coins - Mapes Casino Collection

Rick's Pedigree Coins  -  Mapes Casino Collection
Littleton Coin Company ( has provided the Pedigree Collector with several interesting collections in the past and with the acquisition of the “Mapes Casino Collection”, Littleton again is introducing another special line for the pedigree collector.  I especially like Littleton’s choice of the NGC holder and special label to display the unique collectible.  The following was taken from Littleton’s press release regarding the Mapes Casino collectible:

Recently we hit the jackpot when we were offered coins from an original bag of 1881-S Morgans – and now Lady Luck shines on you. Coming across an original bag of Morgans rarely happens nowadays... and it’s even more unusual when it’s tied directly to history! These beauties once belonged to Charles Mapes, Jr., the owner of the Mapes Hotel in Reno, NV. According to our sources, this was his favorite bag and he set it aside because he felt the silver dollars inside were especially attractive.

When the Mapes Hotel opened in the heart of downtown Reno in December 1947, it was one of the first in Reno with dining, casinos and a nightclub. The top floor held the fabulous Sky Room, hosting Mae West, Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr. and more. With two casinos, the Mapes went through lots of Morgan dollars. Nevada gambling rules required casinos to have cash on hand and that “cash” was silver dollars,so Charles Mapes got to see thousands of Morgan dollars. Although Charles lost control of his hotel in 1982 and it was demolished in 2000, these coins from his original bag of 1881-S Morgans from the San Francisco Mint remain. Now you can own a silver dollar from the legendary Mapes casino in very desirable grades. Each 1881-S is graded by our experts and certified by NGC with the Mapes Casino Hoard label. These lustrous, fully struck Morgans with their unusual pedigree will be showpieces in any collection.”

Many of the coins that I have seen from this group have attractive toning as well as excellent eye-appeal.  And the nice thing is that all you need to do is get one coin and you have a complete year/mintmark collection!
The pedigree collector may also expand the Mapes Casino collection to include other items like dice or chips.  And the collector that focuses on silver dollars with a Nevada heritage has another line to add to his Binion, Fitzgerald, Cal-Neva, etc., samples.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Rick's Pedigree Coins - Binion Census Report

Rick's Pedigree Coins  - Binion Census Report

I know that I have conveyed it many times in the past, but I want to repeat myself regarding the population statistics that I report for Binion coins.   The counts/population/census that I report and discuss are only for “Hard” graded silver dollars.
Silver dollars from the Binion hoard can be classified in three distinct categories. 

1.)    “Hard” graded coins:  These are coins that have been authenticated as from the Binion hoard and receive real and defined grades.  The grade is in the standard numeric format.  For example, MS63 or VF35.

2.)    “Soft” graded coins:  These coins have been authenticated and received a “soft” grade classification.  For example, Brilliant Uncirculated or Almost Uncirculated.  They do not have a numeric grade.

3.)    Only authenticated coins:  These have been authenticated as from the Binion hoard but have not received any “hard” or “soft” grade.
Examples of each group follow:

This 1878 7/8TF VAM32 Binion is classifed as a "Hard" graded coin because it has been authenticated as from the Binion hoard and contains a real, numeric grade of XF40.  The NGC Binion population is "1" for this coin.

The 1881 Binion shown above is a "Soft" graded coin.  It was not given a numeric grade; however, still a very attractive coin to include in a Binion collection because the "Hard" graded population is "zero" coins.  So, a collector's choice for this coin is either a "Soft" graded coin or a coin only authenticated from the hoard.


The 1884-S Binion shown here is the 3rd classification catagory for coins from the Binion hoard.  The coin has been authenticated as from the hoard but did not receive either a "Hard" or "Soft" designation.  Eventhough this 1884-S is only authenticated, it is a prized addition for the Binion collector because there were "zero" 1884-S silver dollars "Hard" graded.  

The population (census) statistics that I reference are from one of two sources.  The first source is the NGC Census Report published by NGC and dated October 2009.  NGC gave this book out as promotional items at major coin shows.  I received mine at the FUN show in Orlando.  NGC has since stopped publishing this book; however, Binion collectors may want to be on the lookout for copies when they attend coin shows. 

This booklet is very detailed and includes several hundred pages.  It is also my source for publishing statistics for the Nevada Silver Collection.  Shown below is a copy of a page from the book.  Please note a few of the lines that contain the "Binion" classification.  It is a very tedious endeavor to go through the pages line by line to calculate the Binion census.

The second source is an updated Binion population census that I have complied to include in my 3rd book about the Binion hoard.  Unfortunately, publishing of that book has been delayed.
As more Binion collectors are entering this niche of collecting, I wanted to again clarify my source for Binion populations, what they include and the definition for the classification of NGC graded or authenticated coins.