Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1921): An American Story

Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1921) are essential to any Chicago coin collector. The dollar coins are famous for their quality of strike, beauty, and of course, value. This makes it one of the most collected coins in U.S. history

Morgan Silver Dollars hold a significant place in United States history. In 1873, the United States Mint stopped production of the Seated Liberty Dollar (1840-1873) coin. Silver coins were considered heavy and bulky, and  therefore largely removed from circulation. This act outraged silver miners out West. Miners put pressure on Congress to start production on new silver coins. Thus began production on the new Morgan Silver Dollar. Despite the pressure from silver miners, the silver coins were only minted from 1878-1904, and then again in 1921.

Morgan Silver Dollars Spark Controversy

Even after production started, the coin’s design caused controversy. The reverse of the coin depicts the American eagle’s tail with eight feathers. However, an uneven number of feathers was considered the proper representation of America’s national bird. As public pressure mounted, the U.S. Mint ultimately changed the tail feathers from eight to seven.

But what happened to all those original Morgan Dollars? The U.S. Mint rounded-up all of the unused 8-feathered Morgan Silver Dollars and simply re-struck them with the acceptable 7-feather design. As a result, a small amount of Morgan Silver Dollars are known as the “7 over 8 Tail Feathers” variety.

Eventually, silver supplies started to run out.  Consequently, the U.S. Mint ceased production  of the coins altogether. Oddly, Morgan Silver Dollars saw a slight resurgence in popularity in 1921. In 1921 Denver began striking the coins again, and these coins bear the “D” Denver mint mark. However, in less than a year, the Morgan Silver Dollar ceased production permanently.

Morgan Silver Dollar Values

As a result of the historical significance of the Morgan Silver Dollar, its value hinges on the type of coin in the collection.  Differences in design, year and mint all affect its value.  Consequently, if you are looking to sell Morgan Silver Dollars, it is best to have a licensed appraiser evaluate your coin or coin collection. Kedzie Koins in Chicago will evaluate your coins and pay top dollar for individual coins or your entire coin collection! If you are looking to buy Morgan Dollars, stop in the Chicago coin shop or search their huge inventory in their online store!

Kedzie Koins takes pride in buying and selling rare coins.  We want you to get the best value for your coin collection. If you would like us to evaluate your coin or your collection, please Contact Us to set up an appointment.

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