The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most collected coins in the world. This particular coin has been certified as being 'VG' which means it's in very good condition with medium to heavy wear, but with some details still visible. The coin weighs 26.73 grams (.859 troy ounces) and is composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, so each coin contains 0.77344 troy ounces of silver. The diameter of the coin is 38.11 mm, and the thickness is 3.1 mm.
Originally produced in 1878, the Morgan dollar was minted annually until 1904, before being struck again in 1921. The story of the 1921 issue is inextricably tied up with that of the First World War. The Pittman Act of 1918 saw 270,232,722 silver dollars melted so that the silver could be sold to Britain, to help keep the British economy afloat during the First World War. The act necessitated that new dollars were produced; hence the Morgan Dollar was re -struck. Unfortunately, the original dies had been destroyed, so new master dies had to be created, and it is for this reason that the coins issued in 1921 have a distinct look from those of previous years. No Morgan Silver Dollar collection is complete without a 1921 issued coin.
But what's the story behind the coin? In 1876, intrepid George Morgan set out for Philadelphia from London, where he'd been working for the Royal Mint. His journey must have been tinged with disappointment, for despite his obvious talent, there was no suitable opportunity for him in London, and so he left his homeland for pastures new. For Morgan had been recommended for a post working for Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, William Barber. Soon after his arrival in Philadelphia, he was set to work designing a new dollar, one which was to prove a milestone of American coinage, popular with collectors and the general public alike.
George took on his task with determination, refining his skills with drawing classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he worked on his ideas for the coin.
The obverse design depicts a profile portrait of Liberty, based on drawings Morgan had completed of teacher Anna Willess Williams, whom Morgan thought to have a perfect profile. Encircling the portrait are 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies of the United States, plus the words "E. PLURIBUS UNUM" and the issue date of 1921. The reverse design shows an eagle with wings outstretched, based on drawings Morgan had completed from nature. The eagle clasps arrows representing America's ability to defend itself and an olive branch representing peace. The eagle is shown with a heraldic shield and above a wreath tied with a ribbon, which encircles about 2/3 of the coin. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "In God We Trust" and the value of "ONE DOLLAR" are also struck on the coin. It was a design which was to become iconic, and that is still much-loved and collected today. Add this landmark coin to your collection today.