Silver Morgan Dollars

Few American coins can claim such a following among collectors and have such a unique history as the silver Morgan Dollar which was produced between 1878-1904 and then again in 1921.

Silver Morgan Dollar

Owing both to their age as well as other factors affecting their rarity and condition, the silver dollars can vary wildly in their numismatic value. Some, even in lower grades can sell for thousands of dollars while other more common examples can be purchased in Mint State grades for less than $100.

Morgan Dollar Silver Melt Values

An important factor in the value of the silver Morgan Dollars is that each contains .77344 ounces of silver when first struck by the United States Mint. As such, low grade "silver junk coins" will always have a solid melt value even if their condition is so poor that collectors are not interested in them.

For example, if the spot price of silver is at $20 an ounce, a Morgan Dollar would have an intrinsic or melt value of $15.47 (not accounting for any wear and tear which may have reduced the amount of silver still present in the coin). Many of them through history have been removed from circulation and melted due to their silver content.

Current values for the silver coins can be obtained from several locations including price guides, coin dealers and auction sites. A few with more searchable may be found below from eBay here:


Silver Morgan Dollar Information

Silver Morgan Dollars were first issued in 1878 following the passage of the Bland-Allison Act. The coins marked a resumption of silver $1′s after a five year absence from American coinage. Their purpose was to help stabilize the silver market after the discovery of the Comstock Lode had depressed market conditions. It was thought that by having the government buy silver for the coin production, the market would improve.

The coins are struck from 90% silver and were produced at several U.S. Mint locations throughout their history, including Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carson City. Carson City Morgan Dollars typically command the highest premiums from collectors owing to their rarity and western connection. By 1904, production of the coins ceased as demand was low and bullion supplies had been exhausted.

An estimated 40% of the Morgan Dollars were melted under the Pittman Act of 1918 which directed the silver to either be sold as bullion or re-minted as other coinage. Production of the Morgan’s resumed in 1921 for a portion of the year before the Mint replaced the design with the Peace Dollar.

Morgan Dollars are named after their designer, George T. Morgan, who placed a portrait of Lady Liberty on the obverse with an eagle shown on the reverse.

1878-1921 Silver Morgan Dollar Specifications

Face Value: $1

90% silver, 10% copper

Total Estimated Mintage:


Diameter: 38.1 mm

26.73 grams

Edge: Reeded
Minting Facility: Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (D), San Francisco (S), New Orleans (O) & Carson City (CC)
Obverse Design: Portrait of Lady Liberty
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Design: image of an eagle
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan



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