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The 1880 Morgan silver dollar benefited from two years of experience in minting these “new” silver dollars at the US Mints in Carson City, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. The 90% silver and 10% copper composition of the piece made this silver dollar coin very difficult to forge.
One of the other major factors which skews the price of the 1878 Morgan silver are the “tailfeathers” of the eagle. There are three known combinations of tail feather varieties. The coin can have either eight tailfeathers, 7 over 8 tail feathers, or seven tailfeathers.
The logical answer was to use gold for the higher values and silver for the lower ones. A dollar in the early 1880s would be worth around $25 today – so a silver dollar as the main coin made a lot of sense – not too much – not too little – it was pitched just about right.
In another twist to this remarkable story, the first “1804” silver one dollar coin was actually minted in 1834. This came about because the US Department of State wanted to organise a “gift” for Asian leaders when it was organising a trade mission.
The silver spot price is quoted in US dollars – to find the local spot price this dollar rate is simply converted into the local currency – whatever prices silver price is quoted in, it is always for one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.
Back in 1921, the world was a different place. America only ended World War I with Germany, that year, by signing the Treaty of Berlin – until then it was still, officially, at war.
The cost of that war was astronomical – and this affected the American economy – not even the 1921 silver dollars escaped these effects.