Morgan Silver Dollar

Morgan Silver Dollars

The Morgan silver dollar is the most collectable U.S. coin today. This is due to the fact that so many are in un-circulated condition. The Morgan dollar was minted to compensate for the overabundance in silver due to excessive mining. The government had such an excess they were stored, for close to a century, in various places, until they began being auctioned in 1972. Although many were stored, sharply struck proof-like coinage is very scarce today.

George T. Morgan, once a student of William Wyen in the London Royal Mint, designed the new dollar. His initial M is on every silver dollar, front and back. On the front the initial is at the base of the back of the neck near the last tress of hair. On the reverse it is found on the top left-hand loop of the ribbon.

When considering the new design of the dollar, the weight and fineness had to conform with the Act of January 18, 1837.

Weight (26.73 grams)

Fineness (.900 silver)

Copper (.100)

Diameter (38.1 mm.)


The Morgan silver Dollar was minted from 1878-1921 in cities such as Philadelphia, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco. The Carson City Nevada mint only produced dates for a few of those years, 1878. 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893 and 1900. The serious collector seeks the Carson City to be in his collection. They are more rare.

Some of the more sought after dates can command a hefty price tag, for example:

1889cc with only 350,000 minted and values ranging from VF20 $1850.00 to MS65 $325,000. Heritage Auction auctioned a 1889 cc MS68 for $531,875, not bad for a coin with a face value of $1.

There is also several error coins for a collector to look for. Error coins are coins in which the die has wrongly stamped the coin. For instance: 1882o (o is over the s) making the coin have a value ranging from $45-$30,000 or the 1879cc (cc over cc) values range from VF20 $250 to $35,000 for a MS65.

Serious collectors know where to look to find the coins that are most coveted. Attics, estate sales, pawn shops or even in your own collection. But, beware of counterfeit coins. Yes, it has been done, coins have been altered to look like real genuine coins by changing dates etc.

Newcomers be certain to get someone you trust that is knowledgeable about silver investing to help you until you can do it on your own. A beginning collector may think that by cleaning a coin to a nice shiny luster that he is making the coin more valuable, actually the opposite is true. Cleaned coins do not have as high value as would one in its original state. Collectors look for that certain aged look in certain coins, but too much wear can also hurt the value.