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Morgan Silver Dollars

Find more investing information on Morgan Dollars in my eBook A Guide to Buying and Selling Peace & Morgan Silver Dollars. Click on book title for a Free Preview. *Or see paperback version here*

The Morgan Silver Dollar - A Brief History

No other U. S. silver coin can compare with the rich history enjoyed by the Morgan silver dollar (also known as the Liberty Head silver dollar). Designed by George T. Morgan, the Morgan dollar remains a favorite of both casual and serious coin collectors.

The Morgan silver dollar is one of the few coins to be produced by five different U.S. Mints (as was the $20 Gold Liberty) from 1878 thru 1904 and again in 1921: Carson City; Denver; New Orleans; Philadelphia; and San Francisco.
 

1921 was the only year the Denver mint produced Morgan silver dollars. During that year, a total of 20,345,000 Morgan dollars were produced with the "D" mint mark. 

Minting of the Morgan silver dollar was suspended in 1904 due a government shortage of silver bullion. Only about 8,812,000 (a relatively small mintage) were produced that year. In 1921, production resumed in a big way with approximately 86,000,000 minted but later that year the Morgan dollar was replaced by the Peace silver dollar.

The world would be awash in Morgan silver dollars except for two events: 1) the Pittman Act of 1918 permitted the melting of 270,232,722 Morgans due to a government shortage of silver; and, 2) unknown millions more were turned in and melted when silver reached an all time high of $50.50 per ounce in 1980. So the number of Morgan dollars in existance is far less than the number minted (it is reported than less than 20 percent of all Morgans minted still exist).


 

The Morgan Silver Dollar - Facts and Details

The Morgan Dollar - silver bullion coinThe Morgan silver dollar features the head of Lady Liberty on the obverse side and the spread-winged eagle on the reverse. Several small variations were made to this coin over its mint life. The mint mark is toward the bottom on the reverse side (just below the wreath). Mint marks are "CC" for Carson City, "D" for Denver, "O" for New Orleans and "S" for the San Francisco Mints. If no mint mark appears, it was minted in Philadelphia.

Reverse view of Silver Morgan DollarMorgan silver dollars are 90% silver and 10% copper. Uncirculated Morgans contain .7734 Troy ounces of pure silver (24.0566 grams) with a gross weight of .859 Troy ounces (26.728 grams). Circulated Morgans are considered to contain .7650 Troy ounces of pure silver due to the "wear factor" in handling these coins (sometimes referred to as trade content). Circulated silver coins (including Morgan dollars) are sometimes referred to as "junk silver" but don't believe it.

If you are looking for the least expensive way of owning Morgan silver dollars and still get nice coins, stay with circulated grades of Very Fine (VF), Extremely Fine (EF or XF) or About Uncirculated (AU). Here is my list of the...

10 Of The Most Valuable Circulated Morgan Silver Dollars*

1893S - 100,000 minted; 1889CC - 350,000; 1894 - 110,972; 1893CC - 677,000; 1895S - 400,000; 1885CC - 228,000; 1895O - 450,000; 1893O - 300,000; 1879CC - 756,000; 1903S - 1,241,000. 

*Better grades of these coins command a higher premium than most other Morgan dollars due to their low mintage (scarcity) and demand. Carson City (CC) Morgan dollars are especially prized by collectors since only about two percent of all Morgan dollars had the "CC" mint mark. The Carson City mint produced Morgan dollars from 1878 - 1893 except for 1886, 1887, 1888. 


Uncirculated Morgans start at Mint State 60 (MS60) and go to MS65s (sometimes one or two grades higher). When investing in MS63 and higher grades - protect your investment by having them graded and "slabbed" (encased in plastic) by either NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation) or PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service).

To determine the silver (melt) value of a circulated Morgan silver dollar, multiply .7650 times the current spot price of silver.

Example: $15.00 x .7650 = $11.48


For your convenience, I have included a sampling of Morgan dollars available on Amazon. You might be able to pick up some nice Morgans at a decent price. Be aware I receive a small compensation if you buy silver coins through this site which does not result in you paying more. Click on "Go" to see a larger selection.

 

Disclaimer: I have made every reasonable effort to produce an informative and helpful article on Morgan silver dollars based on my research and experiences. However, I make no representation or warranties of any kind with regard to its completeness, accuracy or suitability for any specific situation or purpose. See Terms and Conditions for more info.



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