Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1885-O Morgan Silver Dollar USA - PCGS MS63

The Morgan Dollar is a silver United States dollar coin. The dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904 and again for one more year in 1921. The Morgan Dollar is named after its designer, George T. Morgan, who designed the obverse and reverse of the coin. Morgan's monogram appears near Lady Liberty's neck on the obverse. The dollar was authorized by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. It has a fineness of .900, giving a total silver content of 0.77344 troy ounces (24.057 grams) per coin.

When the dollar was minted in 1878, it was the first dollar issued for American commercial use since the last Seated Liberty Dollar of 1873. The Trade Dollar was minted during this time period but was intended to be used for trade in the Orient. The dollar was continuously minted until 1904 when the supply of dollars in circulation was high and there was an absence of silver bullion. Then in 1918, the Pittman Act called for over 270 million coins to be melted for silver content. In 1921, the coinage of the Morgan Dollar resumed for that year and was replaced by the Peace Dollar commemorative that would become standard issue. Since 1921, many Morgan Dollars have been melted. Melting has mostly occurred when silver prices escalated because these dollars yield silver bullion. Although Morgan dollars were minted in large quantities from 1878 through 1904, when production ended because of a silver shortage, very few have survived until today.

Further melting occurred in the 1960s and 1980s when silver prices skyrocketed. Only about 17% of the total number of Morgan silver dollars minted have survived, and only a tiny fraction of those in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, making them genuinely scarce coins.

Mint marks appear underneath the tail feathers of the bald eagle on the reverse between the letters "D" and "O" in "DOLLAR". Mint marks include:

CC - (Carson City Mint in Carson City, Nevada)
D - (Denver Mint in Denver, Colorado)
O - (New Orleans Mint in New Orleans, Louisiana)
S - (San Francisco Mint in San Francisco, California)

*Note that the absence of a mint mark is indicative of a coin minted at the Philadelphia Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Of all these mints, the coins from Carson City hold more value because of their usually low mintages, as well as a western connection. All proofs for the Morgan series were minted at Philadelphia, but proof 1921-S coins are known to exist. Four special coins were struck at the Denver Mint in 1921 over a San Francisco Mint die. These four coins are known as the 1921 D over S morgan dollars.

Source: wikipedia
More info and mintage details HERE.


  1. Nice pictures. The silver Morgan dollar is one the most collected and studied coin here in US.
    The 1884-S graded MS68, the highest known grade for a Morgan, has a market value of between $750,000 to $1 million!

  2. Thanks for visiting.

    Common date circulated Morgans sells for less than $20 while high grade ones averages from $50 to $500 with some rainbow toned ones going for more than $1000. A quick scan on Ebay US will give you a good idea about the liquidity and market value as it is one of the most traded coins on Ebay.

    High grade key dates are very sought after and fetches very good premium.

    This make Morgan collecting very interesting as well as rewarding too.


  3. Here in Sweden Morgan Dollars are rather difficult to come by. I've got a couple of them, and they're among my favourite numismatic coins. Great pics by the way, I'll be sure to read more on this blog!

  4. Hi Silverymynt,

    Thanks for visiting.

    Some said that the Morgan Dollar is extremely common. This is very true indeed as it attest to the fact that its the MOST collected coin in American history. If it isn't common, how can it be the most collected?

    That said, collecting high grade Morgans and key dates is very rewarding. Prices are extremely volatile and definitely not for novice as one need to be very familiar with the various grades and different varieties. Common date circulated Morgans are worth only their silver content and carries little if no numismatic value at all.

    PCGS has a very detailed writeup on Morgan collecting. Visit this URL:

    Hope this will help you appreciate your silver Morgan Dollar more, cheers!

  5. Thanx for your reply :)

    Well, I'm quite new to coin collecting, and the grading isn't my strongest side yet. The Morgans I own aren't very valuable anyway, but I like the coins considering the content of silver and the historic value.

    I sometimes write about them in my blog, hoping my readers will learn about them. Thanx for the link by the way, I'll check it out and visit your blog in the future!