Buy Morgan Silver Dollar Coins

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Coin Details
• Manufacturer: U.S. Mint
• Minting Location: Varies
• Denomination: $1, One Dollar
• Silver Content: .7735 oz
• Metal Purity: 90%
• Thickness: 2.4 mm
• Diameter: 38.1 mm
Coin Design
  • Obverse: Lady Liberty in profile, as reflected in the face of a real American girl. She faces left and proudly wears a Phrygian cap with “Liberty” emblazoned on her hair band. E Pluribus Unum is written above her head.
  • Reverse: The American Eagle with wings spread in strength, carrying an olive branch of peace and soaring over garlands. Also the words “United States of America” and “One Dollar”
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History of the Morgan Silver Dollar

The Morgan Silver Dollar came about as a result of America’s westward expansion and the need for newly minted coins.

To understand, we first have to go back to the Wild West. In 1859, prospectors near Carson City, Nevada, found a wealth of silver at Six Mile Canyon. Originally, prospectors, including Henry Comstock, Patrick McLaughlin, and Peter O’Reilly, believed they had stumbled upon a massive gold deposit. However, as they cleaned soil samples, they instead found a huge deposit of silver.

The Comstock Lode produced over $300 million in precious metals over its lifetime (about 20 years). Silver deposits from this area and others helped Nevada’s population grow over the next few decades.

In 1878, Congress authorized the minting of the Morgan Silver Dollar, after five years of no new silver dollars being produced. Silver dollars, at the time, made up less than 1% of circulating silver, which outraged many silver mine owners in the Wild West. They lobbied Congress aggressively to implement new silver dollars so they could make a profit, and the Morgan Silver Dollar was born.

Morgan Silver Dollars were minted until 1921 when Congress replaced them with newer and less popular designs. Over its history, the Morgan Silver Dollar was minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver.

In 2021, the United States Mint started to create new Morgan Silver Dollars exclusively for collectors. So far, hundreds of thousands of Morgan Silver Dollars have been minted exclusively by the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver mints (the Denver mint only produced coins for one year in 1921, the last year of official minting for the Morgan Silver Dollar until 2021). That’s why you can find modern Morgan Silver Dollars with O and CC marks.

Morgan Silver Dollar Design

The Morgan Silver Dollar was designed by George Morgan, an assistant engraver who became chief engraver of the U.S. Mint. He developed the pattern for the coins for the Philadelphia Mint. He was commissioned to design the faces for the new silver dollar in 1876 and even enrolled as a student at the local Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to create a new Lady Liberty head design for the dollar.

For the other side of the coin, Morgan decided to use a bald eagle. He obtained various nature studies to accurately represent America’s symbolic bird. Notably, Morgan chose to use an American woman for the obverse face rather than a Greek woman, which was the tradition at the time.

The model for the woman on the obverse side was Anna Willess Williams, who lived in Philadelphia.

How Much Is a Morgan Silver Dollar Worth?

Many Morgan Silver Dollars are quite valuable because of a combination of factors, like their silver content, their minting dates, whether or not they have any die errors, and even the number of tail feathers on the eagle. Uncirculated coinage tends to be rarer, although mintage area and more can affect value for numismatists.

Morgan Silver Dollars were minted with 90% silver between 1878 and 1904. Then, they were minted with 90% silver once again in 1921 until production stopped. When the coin was revived in 2021, the U.S. Mint authorized the creation of 99.9% pure silver Morgan Silver Dollars specifically for collectors and numismatic purposes.

Naturally, Morgan Silver Dollars made of pure silver will be worth more than those with nickel-copper cladding or those made with other materials. You can try several silver tests to determine whether a given Morgan Silver Dollar has high silver content or not.

How Rare Are Morgan Silver Dollars?

Like gold coins, the rarity of Morgan Silver Dollar depends heavily on when it was minted, where it was minted, and whether or not it has any minting errors. Coin collectors heavily value rare coins like Morgan Silver Dollars that have one or more errors that occurred when they were originally created.

Here are some examples of rare Morgan Silver Dollars you can find as you try to expand your collection:

1899 CC Morgan Silver Dollars

These were minted between 1878 and 1904. These are classic Morgan Silver Dollars that were discontinued until 1921, and then went back into circulation for only a single year, making them quite valuable given their low quantities.

1892 CC Morgan Silver Dollars

These coins, of course, were minted in 1892 in Carson City, and they are often valued at thousands of dollars. They are made of 90% pure silver and 10% copper, so it’s pretty easy to tell whether one of these coins is legitimate or a fake through silver tests.

1888 O Scarface Morgan Silver Dollars

These are valuable because of a die error. A die break led to one of the most famous Morgan dollar variations — a prominent raised line that runs up and down Lady Liberty’s cheek, resulting in a scar-like look. These Morgan Silver Dollars are easy to identify, given this very dramatic mark.

1888 O Hot Lips Morgan Silver Dollars

These silver dollars have a double die error, so certain sections look doubled or overlapped. Most of these silver dollars can be identified by looking at Lady Liberty’s lips. If you have a legitimate 1888 O Hot Lips Morgan Silver Dollar, you’ll see that her lips are thicker than average or appear to have two layers. These are very rare and highly collectible.

1878 S Funky Feather Morgan Silver Dollars

Not only were these silver dollars minted in the first year of the Morgan Silver Dollar’s lifespan, but they also had crude, messy wing feathers on the reverse design eagle. You can tell whether you have one of these dollars if you see that the wing has a grainy, unclear appearance or if there are many small, raised dots over the wing feathers.

In addition to those variations, you’ll know you have a rare, valuable Morgan Silver Dollar if you locate a P.L. designation on the coin’s surface. P.L. means that the coin is proof-like, adding significant collectible value to any silver piece. A proof-like coin has a mirrored surface, so it looks shiny. Commonly, such coins are also made of mostly or entirely pure silver, further adding value to them.

Morgan Silver Dollar Mint Marks

Part of the value of a Morgan Silver Dollar comes from its minting facility. Here is a list of the mint marks you can find for Morgan Silver Dollars:

• P for the Philadelphia Mint

• D for the Denver Mint

• O for the New Orleans Mint

• S for the San Francisco Mint

• CC for the Carson City Mint

For example, if you have a Morgan Silver Dollar with a “D” mark, that means the dollar was created at the Denver Minting facility. Certain mint marks can also give you hints as to when the coin was created. For example, a Morgan Silver Dollar with a CC Mint mark could have been created in 1921, or it could have been created between 1878 and 1904.

What If Your Morgan Silver Dollar Has No Mint Mark?

If your Morgan Silver Dollar doesn’t have a mint mark, it may be from the Philadelphia Mint. That’s because the Philadelphia Mint stopped using P mint marks partway into its history. Generally, coins from the Philadelphia Mint had higher vintages, though they are a little more expensive and valuable compared to other Morgan Silver Dollars.

Why Should You Purchase Morgan Silver Dollars?

There are plenty of reasons a Morgan Silver Dollar could be an attractive purchase for you. These valuable coins are true parts of American history. When you hold one of these large, weighty coins, you’ll feel the value that pioneers and business people in the Old West felt.

In those times, coins were really made of the precious metals their names represented. So, a rare, old Morgan Silver Dollar might be made mostly or entirely of silver. Because of this, many Morgan Silver Dollars can be melted down for their silver content, making them inherently more valuable than coins with nickel-copper cladding.

Purchasing a Morgan Silver Dollar or a set of these silver dollars could be wise if you’re pursuing any one of these goals:

• You want to protect your money, like retirement savings, by putting it into precious metals and other reliable assets. Silver bullion, popular coins, and metals like palladium offer more secure alternatives.

• You want to expand your coin collection. Many coin collectors get into this hobby specifically because they like the historical element of it. Morgan Silver Dollars allow you to own and hold a piece of American history in your hand.

In these cases and more, American Hartford Gold can help.

We have an extensive silver coin catalog, so we can help you jumpstart your coin collection or find the perfect Morgan Silver Dollars for your needs. Whether you want to purchase a Morgan Silver Dollar for yourself or as a gift, we can help you find the ideal coin. Check out our catalog today!

Call for pricing: 1-800-462-0071

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