THE MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR: HISTORY, GRADING, AND VALUE
The Morgan Silver Dollar is a treasured piece of American history and is one of the most popular series of US coins. These coins gained popularity in the mid-1970s. If you are interested in owning this piece of American history, keep reading to learn about the Morgan Silver Dollar’s history, grading, and value.
THE HISTORY OF THE MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR
The 1792 Mint Act allowed the United States to strike coinage. It established Silver Dollars as the highest denomination of silver coins. The first US silver dollars were produced in 1794, but American merchants kept the heavier/more valuable Spanish coins and exported them to Europe. Silver Dollar coinage was suspended in 1804.
Fast-forward to February 1878, the Bland-Allison act mandated the purchase of several million dollars worth of silver each month and coin them into silver dollars. They were used to artificially stabilize the price of silver instead of for actual commerce.
The first Morgan Silver Dollar was minted in 1878 at the US Mint in Philadelphia. Over the years of this coin’s production, this mint series was also produced at New Orleans (mintmark O), San Francisco (mintmark S), Carson City (mint mark CC), and Denver (mintmark D)
They were produced from 1878 to 1904 and resumed production in 1921
In 1921, there was a rebirth of the Morgan Silver Dollar, and over 86 million 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted one last time.
THE GRADING OF MORGAN SILVER DOLLARS
There are a few details that affect the grading of Morgan Silver Dollars. For example, the hair that covers Lady Liberty’s ear often does not fully strike on mint condition state or uncirculated coins. This lack of detail can be confused with signs of wear from circulation. The high points on the eagle on the reverse side and on Lady Liberty on the obverse will show the most signs of wear; it’s important to closely inspect these details before determining the coin’s grading.
Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollars will only have extremely minor signs of wear and abrasions; these signs of wear should only be visible on the highest points of the coin. Mint State-63 coins will have no traces of circulation wear, but there may be a few minor impairments on the mint luster. Mint State-65 coins have minimal contact marks and bag marks, while Mint State-67 coins will be nearly perfect with small hairlines that can only be seen with magnification.
THE MOST VALUABLE MORGAN SILVER DOLLARS.
The most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in 1884, 1889, 1892, and 1893. The most valuable 1884 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in San Francisco and are worth up to $10,000. The most valuable 1889 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in Carson City and are worth up to $23,000. The most valuable 1892 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in San Francisco and are worth up to $41,000. The most valuable 1893 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in San Francisco and are worth up to $160,000.
If you’re interested in purchasing Morgan Silver Dollars, our numismatics experts are here to help you purchase the best option for your personal collection. Contact us to learn more.
**Prices stated in this article are subjective and not intended to project actual value. All coin prices are dependent on several factors including and notwithstanding, condition, demand and availability, just to mention a few.
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