One of only 36 Proofs struck. This coin is at least a PR64 if not a full-blown Gem but it has been net graded by PCGS on account of some edge marks at 2:00 on the obverse. I'm not certain but this might be an ex: Kaufman Collection coin that was sold by RARCOA years ago; some of these coins were mounted by tacks to boards for display and were partially damaged on their edges as a result. The 1880 dollar is quite rare as a Proof with probably no more than eighteen to twenty pieces known from its small original mintage figure. This is likely the most affordable slabbed Proof example of this date in existence.
Only 1,000 business strikes were produced. The 1880 is an issue that has been popular ever since it was struck. Quantities were saved by contemporary collectors, dealers and hoarders who knew of its small mintage and speculated on it become a rarity someday. It did, a century later, and today's collectors like this date not only for its low mintage but its appearance. This lovely borderline Gem has superb rose, green-gold and orange colors atop vibrant, frosty surfaces. A few small abrasions on the obverse narrowly remove this coin from a higher grade but it has superb overall eye appeal. It is my belief that the PCGS and NGC populations for this date are way inflated, especially in MS64 and MS65 grades. A fantastic coin for a type collector and the exact sort of a coin that, if this series begins to regain its past popularity, has great upside.
Funny thing: as much as I dislike business strike Morgan dollars (I have basically shunned this popular series since I was a kid) I've always liked this series in Proof. In the not-so-distant past it was possible to find superbly toned Proofs of this series and I've personally owned a few pieces that had simply glorious color. But with the advent of the Ultra Cameo/Deep Cameo designation, the grading services have tacitly encouraged dealers to dip toned Morgans in the hope of getting a high grade with a spiffy adjective. That's why nearly every Proof Morgan you see these days is blast white. This "old school" Gem has superb deep multi-colored toning on the obverse and reverse with strong underlying reflectiveness. There is enough contrast seen between the portrait of Liberty and the fields to wonder why NGC didn't at least designate this as a Cameo. As a date, the 1880 is among the more available Proofs of this design and it tends to be well-made. I think Proof type of this quality remains an excellent value in today's market and this superb example would be a perfect representative of a Morgan Dollar for the collector who wants one special piece for his set.