PCGS Rainbow-Toned Morgans Highlight FUN
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) will
display Sunnywood’s "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
set of exquisitely toned Morgan silver dollars
and PCGS Co-Founder David Hall will participate
in an important educational forum at the Florida
United Numismatists (FUN) annual convention in
Orlando, January 8 - 11, 2009.
Hall will be a featured expert in the FUN
seminar, "2009 or 1929? You Can Survive and
Thrive During the Economic Crisis," at 1:15
p.m., Saturday, January 10.
"The Sunnywood’s collection is a 100 percent
complete, basic set of circulation strike Morgan
dollars (1878 – 1921) with spectacular natural
toning. The set is ranked number six in the PCGS
Set Registry with a weighted grade point average
and set rating of 64.611," said BJ Searls, Set
"The collection was assembled by attorney
Douglas Kurz who will be on hand at FUN to
discuss the composition of the set. One of the
main attractions is an 1881-S graded PCGS MS68
with vivid rainbow toning that’s considered by
many Morgan dollar enthusiasts to be the
ultimate, finest-toned Morgan known."
Other highlights of the 97-coin set include:
The Eliasberg specimen 1893-S graded PCGS MS65,
a coin that is pictured in the popular book,
"100 Greatest U.S. Coins."
The 1882-S dollar, graded PCGS MS67, is
pedigreed to the collection of former National
Football League linebacker, Gregg "Ironman"
Bingham. It is described as "spectacular" and
"an exceptionally beautiful and technically
superb example of what would otherwise be a
common date San Francisco Morgan dollar."
1880-S, PCGS MS68, described as having an
intensely toned blue, pink and gold obverse and
a rainbow toned reverse.
1885-CC, PCGS MS66, 100 percent rainbow toned
obverse with the weave pattern of the burlap
mint bag in which it was stored for decades.
1885-O, PCGS MS67, superb gem classic with
banded rainbow toning.
1886, PCGS MS66, an extraordinary dollar from
the famed "Battle Creek" group of original
bag-toned silver dollars.
"Sunnywood’s collection generated a great deal
of interest as it was reviewed by our graders,"
said PCGS President Don Willis. "It was a
pleasure for us to examine many of these
beautiful coins. Doug Kurz’s accomplishment is
the result of a long term and patient effort,
and should generate a great deal of interest at
Kurz describes the goal of the Sunnywood’s
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" collection as "an
alternative to the usual sets of white coins. We
wanted to show the collector community that
Morgans can be completed with originality and
color, and need not be dipped ‘blast white….’
The result is a fascinating and eye-popping
collection that was highly challenging to
He explained that while assembling the
collection he tried to strike a balance between
color and technical grade.
"The most attractive pieces in terms of color
and eye appeal are not necessarily the highest
graded pieces. Registry ranking has sometimes
been sacrificed for the sake of overall eye
A Harvard Law School graduate, Kurz began
collecting stamps at the age of six, but quickly
switched to coins with the encouragement of an
In his youth, Kurz encountered other kinds of
"toned" coins. He was intrigued with chemistry
and conducted an unfortunate experiment on his
father’s Lincoln cent collection. With every
good intention, he decided to surprise his
father by cleaning the old, brown cents by
taking them out of their album and soaking them
in vinegar. The copper coins turned an unnatural
orange color and then developed a green crust.
"He didn’t speak to me for a week," Kurz
recalled. "And, 37 years later, they’re still
hidden away in shame at the back of a cabinet in
my parent’s house."
Sunnywood’s "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" set
will also be exhibited by Kurz and PCGS at the
Long Beach, California Coin, Stamp &
Collectibles Expo, February 5 – 7, 2009.
The free, interactive PCGS Set Registry program
was established in 2001 and now includes more
than 37,300 sets. In addition to every major
U.S. coin series, the registry also has
categories for Australian, British, Canadian,
Chinese, Costa Rican, Cuban, Euro, German,
Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Panamanian,
Philippine, Puerto Rican, Russian, South African
and Swiss coins.
For additional information, visit online at