Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1921)
Morgan Silver Dollars at BGASC
Silver Dollars have a history that dates back to the early 1800s. There have been several unique designs featured on this US Mint staple, but often regarded as one of the most stunning pieces of coinage ever produced, is the Morgan Silver Dollar. Learn more about Morgan Silver Dollars at BGASC, right here.
Background of the Morgan Silver Dollar
The Silver Dollar was first minted in 1804, however, it wasn’t regularly struck until 1836 when the US Mint increased their overall silver content in coinage to 90%. The Seated Liberty design of Christian Gobrecht was used from 1836 to 1873.
The Coinage Act of 1873 ended the free coining of silver and ultimately ended the production of the Seated Liberty design. This, followed by the Bland-Allison Act, made way for the Morgan Silver Dollar to debut in 1878.
The director of the US Mint, Henry Richard Linderman, asked both the Chief Engraver, Charles Barber, and George T. Morgan to create an obverse and reverse design for the new Silver Dollar. He instructed that the reverse needed to have an eagle with outstretched wings, while the obverse needed to show Lady Liberty. Ultimately, the design of George T. Morgan was selected.
Named after the designer, the Morgan Silver Dollar was struck annually from 1878 to 1904. It made a one-year return in 1921 but wouldn’t be seen again until a century later when the US Mint produced a limited number of collectible coins featuring the Morgan design.
Morgan Silver Dollar Design
- Obverse: Morgan used the likeness of a Philadelphia school teacher, Anna Williams, to create this left-profile relief image of Lady Liberty. She’s seen surrounded by 13 stars which represents the 13 original colonies. Inscriptions read “E Pluribus Unum” while the year of issue is displayed at the bottom.
- Reverse: A heraldic eagle is displayed on the reverse. The eagle is in front-facing relief with a shield on its chest. The eagle is also clutching a bundle of arroans and an olive branch in its talons. Inscriptions include “One Dollar,” “In God We Trust,” and “United States of America.”
Morgan Silver Dollars were struck from 1878 to 1921. A total of 5 US Mint branches struck 656,843,390 of these coins.
- Philadelphia Mint: 305,446,347 (1878-1921)
- New Orleans Mint: 186,097,629 (1879-1904)
- San Francisco Mint: 131,188,373 (1878-1921)
- Denver Mint: 20,345,000 (1921)
- Carson City Mint: 13,766,041 (1878-1885, 1889-1893)
Certified Morgan Silver Dollars
With Morgan Silver Dollars encapsulating many years, one popular option is to look for Certified Morgan Silver Dollars. A Certified Silver Coin is a coin that is graded by a coin-grading provider, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).
While coins are graded on a 1-70 scale, known as the Sheldon Scale, you’ll notice a lot of Morgan Silver Dollars will be graded in the mid to lower 60s, sometimes even lower. The age and the normal wear and tear of these coins make it nearly impossible to get a grade of 70.
Purchasing Morgan Silver Dollars at BGASC
Call 888-992-4272 with any questions you may have regarding these Morgan Silver Dollars. Our team can be reached via email or through our online chat feature as well.