Everything you want to know about the Silver Dollar Value

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Silver dollar value

It is every coin collector’s dream to find valuable silver dollars – so we are going to take a look at silver dollar value – what makes one coin more valuable than another – and how you can increase your returns on your own silver dollars.

When it comes to value, prices are always determined by two things:

  • The quantity of metal and its purity
  • The rarity of the actual design and the condition of the coin

All US silver dollars (in fact, all silver coins) have what is known as a melt value. This is simply the sum that would be paid on the open market for the weight and purity of silver contained in that particular coin.

The term “melt value” represents the price that would be paid to melt down the silver content of the coin and sell it on as ingots or bullion.

This link shows the melt values of all the major silver coin series produced by the United States Mint.

As you can see from this list – the inherent value of a silver dollar is actually minimal – with the latest series of the American Silver Eagle coin being the most “valuable” in terms of its metal content.

The metal blend varies considerably from coin to coin. Because the refining processes were far cruder back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the coins silver content is nowhere near as pure as it is in today’s examples. Obviously, when the coins are melted down there is much less silver content in the older coins.

Rarity Value Is Key

What are the different factors which make some coins so much more valuable than others?

It all comes down to “numismatics”.

If coin collectors were not looking to keep specific coins, there would be no value other than their metal content and the current price of silver on the open market.

This is really the definition of numismatics – supply and demand – if just 10 coins of a particular type were minted, but 80,000 people wanted one, each coin becomes precious – people would pay far more than its face value to own one.

If you go back and look at the silver dollar values chart, you will see that there is no difference in melt value price between Morgan silver dollars and Peace silver dollars.

There is also no difference in value between the production years of, say, the Morgan dollar or the Peace dollar. Regardless of whether it is an 1878 Morgan, an 1894 Morgan, or an 1895 Morgan – it is still worth the same sum when it is melted back to just silver.

You can see – coin values are simply based on the collectability of that particular coin.

This collectability value has some variables too though. Many factors can alter the value of a coin of the same year.

One of the major variables is the mint the coin was struck at. For example, in the case of the Morgan silver dollar value, coins minted at Carson City were made in less quantity than those minted in Philadelphia.

This means that the Morgans minted in the same year, of the same metal, and in the same design, are more valuable if they carry the mint mark of Carson City (CC) than they are if they have the mint mark of Philadelphia (P or nothing) – this is simply because they are rarer and less easy to come by for collectors.

Another variable is the actual condition of the coin. Whether it is still bright and shiny, or whether it has become stained, worn, or damaged.

How To Beat The Coin Dealers …

There is a known scale of conditions which was put together and is called the coin grading scale.

It covers five main facets of the state of a coin:

  • Strike
  • Surface preservation
  • Luster
  • Coloration
  • Eye appeal

As examination techniques have improved, coin grading has become more refined. Where there were only two grades used when the “Sheldon system” was first muted in the 1940’s – new and used coinsthere are now 11 “letter grades” and 70 “numerical grades!

The letter grades are Basal State (also Poor (PO)), then continuing Fair (Fr), About or Almost Good (AG), Good (G), Very Good (VG), Fine (F), Very Fine (VF), Extremely Fine (EF), Almost or About Uncirculated (AU), Uncirculated (Unc) and up to Brilliant Uncirculated (BU).

All the gradings in the world don’t mean that the “experts” always agree on a coins condition – assessments can vary widely – on expensive coins it can make a huge difference – this is known as coinflation.

On less expensive ones that difference can be disproportionately large – so it is well worth knowing your grades – this way you can spot a mis-graded coin and might well be able to snag a bargain.

A little knowledge goes a long way in numismatics – good luck …

Charles Thorngren

Charles Thorngren

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The Morgan Silver Dollar is an essential part of American History. The first was released in 1878 and became an immediate success. We have sourced 3 different versions of this iconic coin. These will be an investment as well as a family heirloom for generations to come.

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