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The Morgan Dollar-A Brief History

You will find much more buying and selling information on the Morgan silver dollar and 11 other popular U.S. 90% silver coins in my eBook The Last US 90 Percent Silver Coins

The Silver Morgan Dollar remains one of the most popular of all historic U.S. silver coins. Designed by George T. Morgan, the Silver Morgan (officially known as the Liberty Head silver dollar) remains a favorite of both casual and serious coin collectors.

The Silver Morgan Dollar is one of the few U.S. coins produced by five different U.S. Mints during its mint life from 1878 through 1921: Carson City; Denver (1921 only); New Orleans; Philadelphia; and San Francisco.

Minting of the Silver Morgan was suspended in 1904 due a government shortage of silver. In 1921, production resumed in a big way with over 86,000,000 minted. Later that year the Morgan dollar was replaced by the Peace Silver Dollar.

It is reported that less than 20 percent of all Silver Morgan Dollars minted still exist, due in large part to: 1) the Pittman Act of 1918 permitted the melting of 270,232,722 Morgans to build up silver reserves; and, 2) unknown millions were turned in and melted as silver climbed to $50.50 per ounce in 1980.

The Morgan Silver Dollar - Useful Facts

The Morgan silver dollar features the head of Lady Liberty Silver Morgan Dollar Obverse View Silver Morgan Dollar Reverse Viewon the obverse side and the spread-winged eagle on the reverse (click on either image of this Morgan 1878 Silver Dollar to see a larger picture). Several small variations were made to this coin over its mint life.

The mint mark is on the reverse side below the ribbon loops (click on the above right image - the red dot is where the mint mark is located). Mint marks are "CC" for Carson City, "D" for Denver, "O" for New Orleans and "S" for the San Francisco Mints. If no mint mark appears, it was minted in Philadelphia.

Morgan silver dollars are 90% silver and 10% copper. Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollars contain .7734 Troy ounces of pure silver (24.0566 grams) with a gross weight of .859 Troy ounces (26.728 grams). Circulated Morgans are considered to contain .7650 Troy ounces of pure silver due to the "wear factor" in handling these coins. Circulated silver coins (including Morgan silver dollars) are referred to as "junk silver" but this is the kind of "junk" you want to own.


The value of a circulated Morgan silver dollar can be determined by multiplying the current spot price of silver (found on the Home Page) by .7650

Example: $20.00 x .7650 = $15.30






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