This coin was minted just three years into the famous run of the Morgan silver dollar. While the coin itself may be recognizable to a number of people, not just numismatists, less laymen are really liable to know the history of the coin. After having seen the minting of the Seated Liberty dollar for many years, the United States government decided to take a short break from silver dollar coins. This was in the year 1873. Five years later, in 1878, the Bland-Allison Act is put into law and all of a sudden the U.S. Treasury is required to put a certain amount of silver coinage into production annually. Here is where the Morgan dollar was born. They flew in an engraver, George Morgan, from England to assist in the design, and they ended up choosing the young Brits coin depictions over the chief engravers' at the time.
Carrying a respectable Mint State of 65, this Morgan dollar was struck in 1881. Again, as mentioned previously, this is only three years from the initial run of the coin. While it first was in production for 26 years, after 1904 the Morgan dollar saw a cease in minting. It wouldn't be brought back till 1921, and at this point it was only for a year. While the coin itself could be minted in a number of different mints, this example if from the San Francisco Mint in California. This is able to be told due to the small S mint mark on the reverse side of the coin. But that isn't all you can see on the reverse; there is also the bird of America, the bald eagle, posing with wings outstretched. In his talons you can see an olive branch representing peace, yet he also holds a bundle of arrows. The obverse design shows a profile depiction of Liberty, glancing off to the left. Below her is the year of issue. On this coin, you should see the year 1881.
This coin is quite old when it comes to Morgan dollars, especially when you realize that the youngest Morgan dollar you should ever see will have been minted in 1921. This 1881 example was from a whole different century. In the end, apart from the impressive silver makeup, that might be what endears people to coins like these the most: the sheer history of the piece. After all, when you purchase a Morgan dollar, you're grabbing nothing less than a bit of U.S. history. No Morgan dollar is the same, no bit of currency tells the same story. Explore your history and ties to this great nation with an 1881 silver Morgan dollar coin. Available from the U.S. Gold Bureau while supplies last.
• Metal: 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper • Year struck: 1881 • Mint State: MS65 • Weight: 26.73 grams • Diameter: 38.1 mm • Mint: San Francisco, California • Designer: George T. Morgan • Years of minting: 1878 - 1904 and 1921