Morgan Silver Dollar
Have you caught Morgan mania yet?
The fabled Morgan silver dollar is a very dangerous coin.
It is one of the most treasured and admired coins ever minted in the US. Aficionados and dedicated coin collecting groups all over the world seek them out.
Morgan silver dollars get into the blood in a way that no other coin in the US Mint’s long history of production ever managed (with the possible exception of the St. Gaudens).
Why is the Morgan silver dollar so treasured?
One of the key reasons for this is the sheer number of coins available in different guises. The government built five mints to strike the coins. You could have a Morgan silver dollar from any of one them. Then the span of years over which it was minted – 1878-1904 and 1921.
Add to this the enticing possibility of miss-strikes and other anomalies, as well as the actual condition of the coins. You can see why the United States Mint had such a hit on its hands.
Carson City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Denver are all individual and iconic. Like the coins struck at their mints. The mintmark on a silver Morgan dollar is the key to its real allure. The sheer size of the United States and the logistics of transporting vast quantities of coinage across the country was a problem. The government divided the production between the five cities and created these mints to produce them.
There was a vast variation in the production of coins at these mints. It is well known that the Carson City Mint produced fewer coins. This lack of coins renders kudos and scarcity to any coin which was minted here.
It’s a numbers game
The mintmark is one of the most unique and distinctive features of the Morgan silver dollar. No two are alike. As each mint had a separate mark it could see the coins are unique to you – no other coin offers these slightly eccentric differences. Try a mint location as a conversation starter with a Morgan dollar collector. That will get them onside.
But – it does not stop at the sheer numbers minted at any particular location. Over time, the value of the silver exceeded the face value of the coin. People melted down millions of silver dollars to realize the value of the silver. Collectors still don’t know how many coins from each mint, and from each year, are actually left in circulation.
There are lists of the actual mintage figures available, together with the mint mark and date for each of the Morgan dollar series coins. Each mint kept exact records as a legal requirement of the US Treasury. The mints only included circulation strike coins in the numbers. The government kept many Morgan dollars out of circulation.
The US government kept supplies back in all of the mints and in its vaults. These were used as a means of settling its balance of payments and expenditure.
Some of these stockpiles have since come to light in a number of exciting discoveries.
The General Services Administration found a quantity of Morgan silver dollars sitting in Treasury vaults in 1973. The administration left them there for almost a century. The GSA offered these for sale. Collectors seek them out because of their relative rarity. The coins uncirculated status preserved their condition.
Let’s get “Loded”
The Comstock Lode in Nevada produced the silver the Morgan dollars were made from. The government kept records of the quantities refined as a means of aligning treasury supply and demand. For instance, in 1877, the mine produced $21 million worth of silver ($494,090,625 in today’s money). It also mined $14 million worth of gold (worth $329,393,750 in today’s money).
Together with the discoveries of gold in California, mines like this are the foundations of American wealth. They and produced unsurpassed value. This is why Nevada is known as “The Silver State.”
Put all of these factors together and you have the makings of an enthralling and satisfying hobby.
Coin collecting is as interesting as it is lucrative. Collectors of the rarer Morgan dollars have made sums of over half a million dollars on their coins. Most coins are far more reasonable in price and leave scope to make good profits and add to your collection.
If you start collecting these beautiful treasured heirlooms – be careful!
We warn you – you might not be able to stop…
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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.
Morgan Silver Dollar
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