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The Morgan Silver Dollar: A Beautiful Coin with Lots of History

The first standard silver dollar minted by the United States after the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, the U.S. $1 Morgan Silver Dollar is both beautiful and rich in history. United Coin & Precious Metals routinely has a number of Morgan Silver Dollars in stock. It’s one of our most popular sellers due to it typically low premium, historical significance, and classic beauty.

About this Coin

Struck at five U.S. Mints (Carson City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Denver), the Morgan Silver Dollar was minted between 1878 and 1904, with a reissue in 1921.

Carson City Morgan Dollars are among the rarest versions of this coin. Struck between 1878 and 1893, they remain an attainable short set for collectors. Premiums on Carson City Morgan Dollars remain strong. Recently, an 1882 CC Morgan dollar in its original black plastic GSA case and graded MS-62 by NGC sold for $170, while a VF of this common CC without a GSA holder sold for $120 dollars.

Rarer still are the General Service Administration (GSA) Morgan Dollars, such as the 1879-CC and the 1889-CC dollars, which still are not found in large quantities. An entry-level Mint State 1879-CC Morgan Dollar costs upwards of $6,000, while solid VF examples are about $300.

From 1887 to 1904, Morgan Silver dollars were issued by mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. Morgan dies were destroyed when production ended. Nonetheless, they were struck once more for a short time during 1921 at Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver before being replaced by post-World-War-I Peace Dollars.

In the 1960s, a reserve of Morgan Dollars was discovered in U.S. Treasury vaults. Many were considered rare. The coins were sold by the Treasury in the 1970s, culminating in the final sale of more than 200,000 uncirculated Morgans in 1980.

The worth of a Morgan Silver dollar is based on its date, mint mark, and condition. Examples struck during the late 1870s and early 1880s are considered desirable.

About the Designer

The coin is named for its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse portrays a profile portrait representing Liberty, while the reverse depicts an eagle with its wings outstretched. An acquaintance of Morgan’s, Anna Williams, a schoolteacher in the Philadelphia, is said to have modeled for Liberty. Fearing she would lose her teaching position if her extracurricular modeling was discovered, Morgan promised her participation would be kept secret. Unfortunately, the secret did get out some years after the coin was issued, and Williams lost her job – only to find another soon thereafter in the Philadelphia area.

History of the Coin

The Morgan Silver Dollar was authorized by the Bland-Allison Act which required the U.S. Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month. In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but only required further silver dollar production for one year. This act, in turn, was repealed in 1893.

In 1898, Congress approved a bill that required all remaining bullion purchased under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to be coined into silver dollars. By 1904, those silver reserves had been depleted, which led to U.S. Mints ceasing production of the Morgan dollar.

When the Pittman Act of 1918 authorized melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars, the Morgan Silver Dollar resumed mintage for one year in 1921. Later the same year, the design was replaced by the Peace Dollar.

Browse Our Collections or Call

Our inventory contains some of the most desired rare coins and collectibles, including the Morgan Silver Dollar, which is also eligible for use in a precious metals IRA. While UCPM does its best to keep most popular bullion items in stock, we cannot possibly stock everything or control product shortages. Should you be looking for something we don’t have available, chances are we can find it for you.

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