The Morgan Silver Dollar

This particular silver dollar coin has a colorful history and lots of controversies but is still a momentous United States Silver Dollar Coin, nonetheless. It was a beautiful coin that features one side of the Statue of Liberty’s Face, and the famous proud Eagle holding arrows and an olive branch using its claws. The silver dollar coin was named after George T. Morgan, the coin’s designer from England. They were coined from 1878-1904, and then in 1921.

The History of the Morgan Silver Dollar

The Coin Act Of 1873

It was the first coin to be approved by the Congress and minted or produced after the Coin Act Of 1873. Also dubbed as the Mint Act of 1873, the Coin Act of 1873 was signed by the late President Ulysses S. Grant on February 12, 1873. It omitted the Silver Dollar Coin while adopting the Gold standard.

To say this Act was extremely controversial in an understatement. For one, many people can no longer use their silver dollar coins as payment for goods and services. Before the Coin Act of 1873, both silver and gold were used as comparison points and can be used as an everyday currency for trade. However, once the Act was signed, only the Gold ones can be used, hence the reason why many called it the Crime of 1873.

The people in the US were not the only ones affected by the Crime of 1873. European countries also shifted from Silver to Gold, thus resulting in a very low in demand for Silver worldwide. Because there was a high and great supply of Silver produced by the Comstock Lode but no orders were made, silver mining companies greatly suffered.

Debtors, most especially farmers were critically hit by this Act, so they made a big decision to address this problem. The South and West made an allegiance to advocate for “free silver.” However, monometallists, especially the Northeast together with their supporters in the Congress are against “free silver.” They strongly believe that a conservative money regime using Gold as the primary legal tender will work best for the US economy.

Bland-Allison Act of 1878

When the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 or the Grand Bland Plan of 1878 was approved on February 28, 1878, it proved to be a victory for the South and West Allegiance. However, the Act was a compromised one. Congressman Richard P. Bland of Missouri passed a bill that included “free silver coinage” but when it reached the Senate, Senator William B. Allison promptly removed the provision. It did, however, granted and required the US Department of Treasury to purchase between 2 million to 4 million worth of silver that will then be converted into silver dollar coins.

When the Director of the U.S. Mint at that time, Henry Linderman, learned about the sudden demand for a new silver dollar coin, he staged a contest for the design. He had William and Charles Barber compete with George T. Morgan. The two Barbers were a father and son duo who have been working in the Philadelphia Mint for many years now while young Morgan was a new engraver Lindermann hired from England.

Now, both Morgan and the Barbers had the Liberty head as an inspiration for their designs, but Morgan proved to have used a better concept which led to his design being the winning entry. It soon became known as the Liberty Head Dollar, most commonly known as the Morgan Silver Dollar.

Morgan was quite the artist and a remarkable one at that. As instructed by Lindermann, only the head of Miss Liberty will be featured in the design instead of the full figure. He had used a school teacher named Anna Willess Williams as his perfect model for Miss Liberty. Using the left side of Miss Liberty’s portrait, the obverse or design of the head of the came to life.

As for the reverse or back side of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin, critics called the depiction of the Eagle as a scrawny bird. Morgan was able to make history when he used his initial “M” on both sides of the coin. The “M” for Morgan on the obverse side of the coin can be seen on the truncation of Miss Liberty’s neck while his initial sits proudly on the left loop of the ribbon. On the wreath of the coins’ reverse, the mint mark can be found. One of the letters O, S, D or CC can be seen to depict which US mint the coin was produced.

The Morgan Silver Dollar Coins were first minted in the year 1878, but the legendary silver dollar faced yet again another controversy not long after they were issued to the public. Some experts claimed that the number of tail feathers that the Eagle has on the reverse side of the coin was wrong. The mint was advised that Eagles usually have feathers on their tail in Odd numbers, not Even numbers. The Morgan Dollar Coin had 8 tail feathers and was soon replaced with only 7.

The relief, also known as the high points or raised design of the coin did not go unnoticed as this too failed to pass the critics eyes. They say that the edges were not as sharp as they should be. Consequently, Linderman ordered all coins to have only 7 tail feathers, and as a result, some 1878 Morgan Silver Dollar Coins have either 7, 8 or even a combination of 7 and 8 feathered tails. The 7 over 8 feathers became quite popular among collectors. All three designs maybe fairly common during the past, but the 7 over 8 design was the scarcest of them all.

Even after the second batch of minted coins, a third batch was minted in late 1878. A few variations were included in the design such as a sharper relief, the Eagle’s breast was minted with additional details and it had a noticeably different fletching than the first two batches.

The five US Mints that produced the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin and whose initials bear their marks in this beautiful coin are in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, New Orleans and Carson City – with Philadelphia being the main US Mint. They coined the Morgan Dollar from 1878-1904. However, the Carson City Mint’s production was short lived as this US Mint was closed down in the year 1893. It’s sufficed to say this mint was only able to produce a much lower amount of coins. After 1904, the US Mints used to coin the Morgan Silver Dollar were discarded with the belief that the coining of big and bulky coin dollars are no longer needed.

All things changed 18 years later. In 1921, the production of the Morgan Silver Dollar returned after the Pittman Act was passed in the Congress. The said Act had required a massive amount of Morgan Silver Coins to be minted – a total of 86 million examples. This caused problems as 270 million older Morgan Silver Dollars were already melted and replaced by the Peace Dollar by the end of 1921.

Approximately 657 million pieces of Morgan Silver Dollar Coins were minted. Hundreds of thousands of Silver Coins were melted due to different reasons, but mostly because there were collectors who have been using the coin, not as a means of currency, but because some have in fact used them for profit as the price for Silver continued to rise.

However, Americans have a largely fair amount of circulated (coins used as money and has evidences of wear) Morgan Silver Dollars used by the public which led to thousands of coins left in the US Banks and Treasury worldwide. This is the main reason why despite everything that this beautiful silver coin has been through, there are still many nowadays that are in mint condition – some did not even get the chance to leave the vaults or banks, nor were they able to experience being used in public.

The Morgan Silver Dollar was not a big hit among collectors but all changed when 1960’s arrived. Before, since many were able to get a hold of these silver coins, collectors paid more attention to coins with a lower face value. They may have access to banks or the US Treasury Office, yet that was not enough reason for them to treasure the Morgan Silver Dollar.

All things changed when news broke out that a certain Cash Room of the US Treasury Department was paying a hefty amount of money for uncirculated versions (coins that never made their way into the hand of the public as everyday money) of these silver coins. The Uncirculated Carson City minted Morgan Silver Dollars reached up about five US dollars. Dealers took their chance and crept their way in. From 1940s-1950s, they went on exploiting their newfound discovery.

With the steady rise of Silver’s price, enthusiasts continued to work their way in taking advantage of Silver by asking for Silver Dollar Coin Certificates at the Treasury. They were able to make a fast yet a reasonable amount of profit up until 1964, and only 2.9 million were left. Most of the Morgan Silver coins were the scarce versions minted at Carson City which is why the government decided it would be best to keep them.

In 1969, a meeting commenced under the decision of the Joint Commission on Coinage to determine what the best way is to sell the Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar Coins that were held back five years ago. A decision was made that mail-bid are the best way to make money. The government, in turn, made a big profit out of this by dispersing a series of mail-bid sales while a new interest in Silver coin dollars was elicited. Approximately 107 million dollars were generated from the Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars from the seven series of mail-bids from 1972-1980.

The Morgan Silver Dollar yet again made a sweet comeback after more than 400,000 dollars were publicly cached from the home of LaVere Redfield – a Nevada Millionaire. A-Mark Coins of Los Angeles reigned supreme after bagging a bid of 7.3 million. For several years, many dealers worked their way into fostering the Morgan Silver Dollar. It proved to be a successful one as more collectors were enticed towards this silver coin instead of its popularity plummeting down.

In the year 2005, a legislation was passed on the 15th of June to commemorate the good old US Mint located in San Francisco. A silver dollar coin and a five dollars gold coin were minted for the purpose of rebuilding the San Francisco Mint by allocating the surcharges to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.

The design of the San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Dollar Coin features a slightly modified and updated design on the reverse side of the coin, while the obverse proudly shows a left-frontal view of the S.F. US Mint.

Minting of Morgan Silver Dollars

One cannot be sure just how rare this historic silver coin is as the produced numbers are not that accurate. Because of the many issues and incidence of minting and melting Morgan Silver Dollars, the number of minted silver dollar coins can be quite misleading.

According to the NGC Coin Explorer, The following are the number of Morgan Silver Dollars minted in Regular Strike

1878 8 Tail Feathers Morgan Dollar Mint State – 749,500 from the Philadelphia Mint

1878 7/8 Tail Feathers STRONG Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the Philadelphia Mint

1878 7/8 Tail Feathers WEAK Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the Philadelphia Mint

1878 7 Tail Feathers REV OF 78 Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the Philadelphia Mint

1878 7 Tail Feathers REV OF 79 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,500,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1878 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,212,000 from the Carson City Mint

1878 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,774,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1879 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 14,806,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1879 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 756,000 from the Carson City Mint

1879 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,887,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1879 S REV OF 78 TOP-100 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,110,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1879 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,110,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1880 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,600,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1880 Carson City HITLIST-40 VAM-7 REV OF 78 Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the Carson City Mint

1880 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 495,000 from the Carson City Mint

1880 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 5,305,000 – from the New Orleans Mint

1880 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 8,900,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1881 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,760,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1881 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 296,000 from the Carson City Mint

1881 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 5,708,000 – from the New Orleans Mint

1881 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,760,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1882 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 11,100,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1882 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,133,000 from the Carson City Mint

1882 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 6,090,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1882 O/S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 6,090,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1882 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,250,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1883 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,290,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1883 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,204,000 from the Carson City Mint

1883 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 8,725,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1884 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 14,070,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1884 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,136,000 from the Carson City Mint

1884 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,730,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1884 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 3,200,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1885 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 17,787,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1885 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 228,000 from the Carson City Mint

1885 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,185,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1885 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,497,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1886 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 19,963,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1886 O Morgan Dollar Mint State -10,710,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1886 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 750,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1887 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 20,290,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1887/6 TOP-100 VAM-2 Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the New Orleans Mint

1887/6 O TOP-100 VAM-3 Morgan Dollar Mint State from the New Orleans Mint

1888 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 19,183,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1888 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,150,000 – from the New Orleans Mint

1888 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 657,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1889 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 21,726,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1889 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 350,000 from the Carson City Mint

1889 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 11,875,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1889 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 700,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1890 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,680,200 from the Philadelphia Mint

1890 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,309,041 from the Carson City Mint

1890 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 10,701,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1890 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 8,230,373 from the San Francisco Mint

1891 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 8,693,556 from the Philadelphia Mint

1891 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,618,000 from the Carson City Mint

1891 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 7,954,529 from the New Orleans Mint

1891 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 5,296,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1892 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,036,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1892 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,352,000 from the Carson City Mint

1892 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,744,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1892 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,200,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1893 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 378,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1893 Carson City Morgan Dollar Mint State – 677,000 from the Carson City Mint

1893 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 300,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1893 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 100,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1894 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 110,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1894 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,723,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1894 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,260,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1895 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 450,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1895 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 400,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1896 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 9,976,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1896 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 4,900,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1896 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 5,000,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1897 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,822,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1897 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 4,004,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1897 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 5,825,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1898 Morgan Dollar Mint State -5,884,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1898 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 4,440,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1898 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 4,102,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1899 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 330,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1899 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,290,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1899 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,562,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1900 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 8,830,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1900 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 12,590,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1900 O/Carson City TOP-100 Morgan Dollar Mint State – from the New Orleans Mint

1900 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 3,540,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1901 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 6,962,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1901 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 13,320,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1901 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,284,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1902 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 7,994,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1902 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,530,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1903 Morgan Dollar Mint State -4,652,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1903 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 4,450,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1903 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 1,241,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1904 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,788,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1904 O Morgan Dollar Mint State – 3,720,000 from the New Orleans Mint

1904 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 2,304,000 from the San Francisco Mint

1921 Morgan Dollar Mint State – 44,690,000 from the Philadelphia Mint

1921 D Morgan Dollar Mint State – 20,345,000 from the Denver Mint

1921 S Morgan Dollar Mint State – 21,695,000 from the San Francisco Mint

Proofs:

1878 8 Tail Feathers Morgan Dollar

1878 7 Tail Feathers Reverse of 1878 Morgan Dollar

1878 7 Tail Feathers Reverse of 1879 Morgan Dollar

1879 Morgan Dollar

1879-O Morgan Dollar

1880 Morgan Dollar

1881 Morgan Dollar

1882 Morgan Dollar

1883 Morgan Dollar

1883-O Morgan Dollar

1884 Morgan Dollar

1885 Morgan Dollar

1886 Morgan Dollar

1887 Morgan Dollar

1888 Morgan Dollar

1889 Morgan Dollar

1890 Morgan Dollar

1891 Morgan Dollar

1892 Morgan Dollar

1893 Morgan Dollar

1893-CC Morgan Dollar

1894 Morgan Dollar

1895 Morgan Dollar

1896 Morgan Dollar

1897 Morgan Dollar

1898 Morgan Dollar

1899 Morgan Dollar

1900 Morgan Dollar

1901 Morgan Dollar

1902 Morgan Dollar

1903 Morgan Dollar

1904 Morgan Dollar

1921 Chapman Morgan Dollar

Special Strikes

1878 8 Tail Feathers

1921 Zerbe Special Strike

1921-S Zerbe Special Strike

Detailed Specifications of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin

The Morgan Silver Dollar Coin was composed of 90% Silver and 10% Copper. It weighs about 26.730 grams each and weighs 0.7734 Troy Ounces of actual Silver. The edge of the Morgan Silver Dollar was reeded. It has a diameter of 38.10 mm and is 2.40mm thick.

The Obverse

Brandon Grossardt for the coin image. George T. Morgan for the coin design., 1879S Morgan Dollar NGC MS67plus Obverse, size by Bonnie Mattie, CC BY-SA 3.0

The obverse side of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin featured Miss Liberty’s head facing left with her hair on a Phrygian cap. Written in bold letters was the word LIBERTY, engraved in a ribbon that holds a spray of sheaves and leaves. E PLURIBUS UNUM sits just above Miss Liberty’s head in a form of an arc. Seven stars in the left and six stars can be seen with the date engraved in the middle.

The Reverse

Brandon Grossardt for the coin image. George T. Morgan for the coin design., 1879S Morgan Dollar NGC MS67plus Reverse, size by Bonnie Mattie, CC BY-SA 3.0

As for the reverse, a proud Eagle had its wings spread while holding a branch and three arrows with its claws. Engraved in Old English, the words IN GOD WE TRUST can be seen above while UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR surrounds the previous inscription. Denticles can be seen surrounding the border while the mint mark can be seen above the DO in Dollar and just below the wreath.

Things to Consider When Collecting Morgan Silver Dollars

Albertomos, USA-1885-one-dollar, size by Bonnie Mattie, CC BY-SA 4.0
  1.    The Grade or Condition

It is important to keep in mind that when investing in Morgan Silver Dollars, it is best to buy those who are above AU-50 grade. Why? The reason is that the face value of Morgan Silver Dollars whose grade falls below AU-50 are only worth their silver bullion price.

Since many of these silver coins sat idly in vaults or even banks because only a few of Morgan Silver Dollar Coins are exempted from this rule. The best exemption would the scarcest of them all – the Carson City versions. Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollars are very common.

So which ones should you settle with? It is best to purchase Morgan Silver Dollars in the highest grades and above. How to check for wear and tear on a Morgan Silver Dollar Coin?  Check the upper hold of Miss Liberty, her hair found just above eyes and ears and her cap’s upper fold.

  1. Errors and Varieties

Like most coins minted, errors are common and the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin is another proof that these errors are popular among collectors. Why? Because coins minted with errors are usually priced at a higher value and premiums are usually carried by such coins.

For Morgan Silver Dollars Coins, collectors look for VAM which stands for Van Allen’s and Mallis’ – the two researchers who were able to first notice the things that are different among varieties produced in a small mint of the same year. VAM was used to detect which Morgan dollars, as well as Peace dollars, are a common and not.

Some common errors found in Morgan Silver Dollars are the 7 over 6, 0 over 9,  8 over 7, 80 over 79 and the likes.

  1. Source of the Grading System

It is important to note that different sources may have different grading system than the other. Stick to reliable sources that provide consistent, unbiased and a non-subjective standard. NGC and PCGS may have a different price than other sources, but these two are widely acknowledged when it comes to grading systems.

  1. Make the wise decision of storing your Morgan Silver Dollars in a safe place you have control and access to.

Like any other investment, it would be wise to have something to hold on to – an assurance that you can easily track and check your investment while keeping them safe.

The Different Grades of a Morgan Silver Dollar Coins

Note: Coins in Mint State are coins that have the same condition it was created. These were never used as legal tender in exchange for services and products.

AG3 / AG-3 = Above Good – 3

Obverse: The head of Miss Liberty and the stars are almost flat. The rim of the coin is now blending with the field.

Reverse: The coin’s rim is now blending with the letters and fields. The Eagle only has a few feathers visible and is only showing an Eagle’s outline.

Summary: This circulated Morgan Silver Dollar Coin is worn out, barely legible, the date can still be read but is smoothened out. Rim might be blending on the field right now and the eagle would have appeared as an outline.

AG4 / AG-4 = Above Good – 4

Obverse: The details on Miss Liberty’s cap now appears and her hairline now blends with her face and is now visible. Most of the coin’s rim is complete. The stars are still distinct even if they are now somewhat flat. The letters can be clearly seen and are separate from the coin’s rim.

Reverse: The Eagle is still well defined but appears to be flat. Arrows have a couple of missing details.

Summary: This circulated Morgan Silver Dollar Coin was heavily worn out and some areas might even have faint areas, but the details can still be distinguished.

VG8 / VG8 = Very Good – 4

Obverse: Only 2/3 of the hairline is defined while the hair is now worn out. Miss Liberty’s neck details are starting to be expounded. The cotton bolls are also defined and flat.

Reverse: ½ to 2/3 is defined when it comes to the Eagle’s feathers. The leaves found on the wreath are starting to show, while the leaves in higher points are now flat.

Summary: Some details are missing, bigger elements are flat but can still be distinguished.

F12 / F-12 = Fine-12

Obverse: One can clearly see the hairline on Miss Liberty’s Face as well as the 2 lines on the cotton bolls. The cotton bolls lay flat

Reverse: ¾ of the details found on the wings of the Eagle are now showing. No fine details can be seen on the Eagle’s breast, neck, and head. The wreath now has more defined leaves.

Summary: The entire surface of the coin shows an even and moderate wear and tear. You can still clearly see and read all letters, dates, and legends.

VF20 / VF-20 = Very Fine-20

Obverse: The highest spots of Miss Liberty’s hair are flat while the other details are prominent. The wreath’s grains and cotton leaves are defined clearly but show obvious wear.

Reverse: Obvious worn yet distinct Eagle feathers on the wings. The Eagle’s head and neck details are beginning to show while the breast feathers are worn. You can see that the leaves found on the wreaths are well-defined but are still worn.

Summary: The overall appearance of the coin is still beautiful even with a minor to moderate wear found on the design’s highest points. Relatively flatness is just starting to show on this part of the coin.

EF40 / EF-40 / XF40 / XF-40 = Extra Fine-40

Obverse: Miss Liberty’s cheek shows a little bit of abrasion, and her forehead, neck, and ear show an evident tear. The hair details are defined as the highest point showing flatness.

Reverse: The Eagle has a well-defined feather wings, flat but evident neck details, flat but smooth talons while the breast details are worn smooth. The leaves in the wreath are sporting finer details except for the flat highest points.

Summary: Traces of Mint Luster may exist and the only part of the coin that has the slightest wear are the highest points. All elements of the design are well-defined and have sharp details.

AU55 / AU-55 = About Uncirculated-55

Obverse: The highest points which are the curls, forehead, ears, eyes, cheeks, and neck have slight wear. Evident slight rub caused by circulation is evident and mint luster is gone on Miss Liberty’s cheeks.

Reverse: Only plain details can be seen on the Eagle’s breast while its head, talons, and top of its leg only shows the slightest evidence of a tear.

Summary: The highest points of the coin are the only parts with traces of abrasions or minor wear. The surface of the coin is preserved well and has an almost complete mint cluster.

MS63 / MS-63 Mint State-63

Obverse: Complete and full mint luster is evident, and has unmistakable details found on the coins’ highest point. The fields and Miss Liberty’s cheeks have distant contact marks.

Reverse: The overall appearance of the coin is evident of distracting contact marks. The Eagle’s breast has fine breast feather details.

Summary: There is no evidence that the coin has been used in circulation. Mint cluster shows minor impairments but is still complete. There is no need for a magnification to clearly see scratches found on the hairline as well as bag and contact marks. The Morgan Dollar Silver Coin still has an overall attractive eye appeal.

MS65 / MS-65 = Mint State-65

Obverse: The overall appearance of the coin is still pleasing despite traces of evident contact marks found on the surface of the coin and in Miss Liberty’s cheeks.

Reverse: Only a few pieces of evidence of bag marks can be seen while The Eagle’s breast may have a clear sign of contact friction among other coins.

Summary: The coin has an above average eye appeal because the mint cluster has a high quality and was left undisturbed. You may find very few and small contact or bag marks here and there. With the help of a magnifying glass, you can see a few hairlines and how well the coin was struck.

MS67 / MS-67 = Mint State-67

Obverse: The mint luster of the coin is above average, and no evidence of wear and distracting marks can be seen.

Reverse: All of the details of the coin are kept in maximum quality and the coin has an excellent eye appeal.

Summary: The original mint luster is complete and is perfect, if not almost. If there are any contact marks present, these would only be about 3 or 4 and are barely unnoticeable. With proper magnification, a few hairlines are visible, and the overall appearance of the coin has an extraordinary eye appeal.

Key Dates for the Morgan Silver Dollars

1884 Morgan Silver Dollar

Has an auction record of $45,600 in PCGS-graded MS68 in 2008.

1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar

Has an auction record of $881,250 in PCGS-graded MS68 in 2013.

1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar

Has an auction record of $646,250.00 in PCGS-graded MS65 in 2014.

1895 Deep Cameo Proof Morgan Silver Dollar

Has an auction record of $199,750.00 in PCGS-graded PR67DC in 2017.

1901 Morgan Silver Dollar

Has an auction record of $155,250.00 in NGC-graded MS65 in 2009.

How Much Are Morgan Silver Dollar Coins?

The price will depend on many factors, like if your coin was circulated or not, what the grade or condition of the coins is, the number of coins of that particular coin and how much was left, the demand of the market, the dealer’s stock and as well as the melt value.

Evidently, it is best to stick to uncirculated coins when it comes to coin investing, because no one would want a higher buy and sell price, right?

One can buy Morgan Silver Dollars starting at $22 and up to hundreds of dollars. One must remember that Morgan Silvers come in different grades – not only in regular strikes and proof but also cameo and deep cameo. Those in cameo and deep cameo have this mirror-like and frosted surface which are very rare, making them extremely expensive.

For the price guide of PCGC-graded Morgan Silver Dollars, you can check here.

Did you know?

The King of All Morgan Silver Dollar Coins is the 1895 Morgan Silver Dollar. This is the rarest variety of the Morgan Silver Dollar. The highest amount paid for this variety ever recorded was a staggering $ 199,750.00.

The Morgan Silver Dollar was called by various names, but the name of its designer proved to be the best name for the beautiful silver dollar coin. Some of the names used to call this silver dollar were “Buzzard Dollar” and “Cartwheels.”

If you’re looking for the best specimen of Morgan Silver Dollars, always go for the plain 1895 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin.

It may have had a rough start, but the Morgan Silver Dollar proved it is worth collecting after how many years of being ignored. Nowadays, it is one of the most sought-after US coins. The fact that it was very hard to catch a Morgan Silver Dollar Coin in Mint state, assembling a complete set only made the chase a more challenging yet compelling one. This beautiful coin was so popular and in demand that there are many collectors who will be very much delighted after acquiring one of these in a year.

 

References:

NGCCoin, PCGSPCGS CoinFacts, American Numismatics Association, Coin Trackers, The Spruce

Feature Image Source: AlbertomosUSA-1885-one-dollar, size by Bonnie Mattie, CC BY-SA 4.0