When, in 1873, legislation put an end to the then-current American dollar coin's existence, no-one appeared to mourn. Furthermore, there was seemingly no warm welcome for the new silver dollar coin that appeared in 1878. However, the Morgan Dollar went on to be produced until 1921 - after which, it became coveted among collectors and remains so to this day.
The Morgan Dollar was nearly palm-sized and, unsurprisingly, heavy. This could help to explain why the Morgan Dollar never sufficiently developed in popularity to become what might be termed a "people's coin." However, the story of its history and legacy make intriguing reading.
The first Morgan Dollar came off the production line on March 11, 1878, at 3:17 pm. Then at Press 4# in Philadelphia, where most of the coins would be made, that first coin is now displayed at the estate of Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums. The coin's metallic content comprised 90% silver and 10% copper. Morgan Dollar coins were also pressed at Nevada's small Carson City Mint. This facility, which originally entered operations in 1870, produced coins near the Comstock lode but was permanently closed in 1893.
Today, the building houses the Nevada State Museum. The modern scarcity of Carson-made Morgan Dollar coins has helped make them collector's items.
The production of the Morgan Dollar was continuous until 1904 - by which time, more than 500 million of the coins had been struck. For a coin design, a 25-year run was then statuary.
However, despite its long tenure of production, the Morgan Dollar, also made in Denver, New Orleans, and San Francisco during its history, was never truly popular.
Most of the silver coins, the design of each of which came from United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan, were distributed around the West, which was sparsely populated. Large stockpiles gathered - and, in 1918, over 270 million of the coins were melted down for supplying Great Britain with wartime silver. Many collectors today wouldn't even contemplate melting down the Morgan Dollar - which depicts, on the obverse, the face of Liberty in profile and, on the coin's reverse, an eagle holding arrows and an olive branch. Today, a similar image is prominent on the Great Seal of the United States.
Though an additional 86 million Morgan Dollar coins were struck in 1921, here, we are offering pre-1921 versions of the silver coin. We have chosen the mint marks and dates that feature on these coins - though availability will influence your ability to purchase one of our stock. All pre-1921 Morgan Dollar coins are in Almost Uncirculated (AU), if not better, condition.
Each coin weighs 26.73 grams or 0.859 troy ounces. As the silver content is 90%, that adds up to 0.77344 troy ounces in each coin. Carson City coins feature mint marks reading 'CC,' while there are marks of 'D,' 'O' and 'S' on, respectively, Denver, New Orleans and San Francisco coins.
The collecting community's interest in the Morgan Dollar has been stimulated by the dealers who bought the Redfield hoard before slowly dispersing the coins. To this day, the Morgan Dollar is highly desired and famous among still-existing American coins. Features of the Common Date Morgan Silver Dollar Pre-1921:
Each coin's weight is 26.73 grams or 0.859 troy ounces
Each coin's silver content is 0.77344 troy ounces
Each coin's condition is Almost Uncirculated (AU) or better