Most Expensive Coins

10 Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars

10 Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars

The Morgan silver dollar is a United States dollar coin. It was minted from 1878 to 1904, and it began again as a collectible in 2021. It was the first standard silver dollar minted of the Coinage Act of 1873, which ended the free coining of silver and the production of the earlier design, the Seated Liberty dollar. It included 412.5 Troy grains of 90% pure silver (or 371.25 Troy grains = 24.057 g; 0.7734 ozt of pure silver). 

The Morgan coin, named after its designer, U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan, features Liberty’s profile on the obverse, designed by Anna Willess Williams. The reversal side an eagle with outstretched wings. The mint mark, if included, is situated above the “D” and “O” in “Dollar” on the reverse side.

 These Morgan coins are highly preferred collector’s items because millions of them were melted down in 1918, leaving only half of the original mintage.

Modern Morgan Dollars

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation allowing the minting of Morgan and Peace dollar coins in 2021 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the transition from the Morgan to the Peace dollar, aiming to honor this significant evolution of American Freedom. House Bill 6192 (2021 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act) permits the production of Morgan and Silver dollars weighing 26.73g, containing no less than 90% silver (24.057 g = 0.7735 oz). 

On December 18, 2020, the United States Senate unanimously approved the bill, which was subsequently signed into law on January 5, 2021, by President Donald Trump. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee unanimously approved the design on January 19, 2021, with recommendations forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin a day before the conclusion of the Trump administration. There is no specified mintage limit, and minting could not commence until after January 1, 2021.

 Key points of Morgan Dollar:

Factors That Make Morgan Silver Dollars Valuable

Factors That Make Morgan Silver Dollars Valuable:

  1. Year and Mint Mark Impact: The year of production and mint mark significantly influence the value of Morgan Silver Dollars, with certain years and mint marks being rarer and more sought after by collectors.
  2. Condition is Crucial: The condition of the coin plays a vital role in determining its value. Coins in better condition, with minimal wear and damage, command higher prices in the collector’s market.
  3. Rarity and Collection Demand: Morgan Silver Dollars with lower mintages or those that were heavily circulated and subsequently rare are highly valued by collectors due to their scarcity and high demand.
  4. Wide Price Range: Morgan Silver Dollars exhibit a wide price range, with some common dates and mint marks being relatively affordable, while rare varieties can fetch significantly higher prices in the collector’s market.
  5. Value of Preservation: Coins that have been well-preserved, with minimal wear, scratches, or cleaning, retain their value and appeal to collectors, contributing to their overall worth.

Exploring 10 Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars Varieties

Many Morgan dollars minted from 1878 to 1904 avoided melting by entering circulation. While this preserved them from being melted down, it also reduced the likelihood of finding them stored in vaults. Circulation wear diminished the grade and value of numerous coins, rendering certain high-grade Morgan dollars exceedingly rare or nearly impossible to locate, despite lower-grade circulated coins being abundant.

1. 1879-CC Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 756,000

Value: $335-$1,700

The 1879-CC, despite its higher mintage among Carson City Morgan dollars, has a notably lower survival rate. Only 4,100 were found in the GSA hoard, compared to several hundred thousand for 1880–1885 CCs. PCGS estimates their survival at 14,900, with just 207 graded at +65. In contrast, 1880-CCs and 1881-CCs boast 9,750 and 22,000 respectively at the same grade. Only the 1889-CC is rarer than the 1879-CC among Carson City minted Morgans.

History and Trivia:

In 1879, the Carson City mint attempted to change the CC mint mark from small to large, resulting in capped dies and a unique variety of the 1879-CC, some with rusted mint marks. 

Even among these rare coins, the Capped Die version is hard to come around, therefore some collectors explore for both ordinary and Capped Die versions to complete their collection. In 2015, a Morgan dollar coin graded MS-65 from the Coronet Collection fetched in $58,750.

2. 1884-S Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 3,200,000

Value: $32-$290

Despite its relatively high mintage, most 1884-S Morgan dollars entered immediate circulation, unlike others stored by banks. The San Francisco mint didn’t produce proofs. While circulated and low-grade coins are common, mint condition specimens are exceedingly rare. PCGS estimates less than 200,000 survived, with only 1,980 at grade 60 and 5 at +65 grade. No 1884-S coins have been sold in bag quantity, as noted by coin specialist Quentin D. Bowers. The Treasury Department’s mint state coins came solely from coin rolls.

History and Trivia:

In 1884, while New Orleans and Philadelphia mints produced over 9 million and 14 million Morgan silver dollars respectively, San Francisco’s production was comparatively lower at 3 million.

In November 2020, the 1884-S “Wonder Coin” from the Larry Miller collection brought $750,000 in auction, graded MS-68 by PCGS, making it the best certified 1884-S. Among high-condition Morgan dollars, the Wonder Coin is considered one of the rarest.

3. 1886-O Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 10,710,000

Value: $42-$75

Despite a massive production of 10 million, less than 10% of the 1886-O Morgan dollars remain, likely due to many being destroyed under the Pittman Act. Initially not deemed rare until specialists realized their scarcity, they were not found in large Treasury bags or hoards like other coins. PCGS estimates 1 million survived, with 19,000 graded at +60 and only 3 at +65.

History and Trivia:

The New Orleans Mint faced numerous issues throughout its history, affecting the quality of silver coins produced. Weak and sloppy press and die quality were common problems. Most surviving coins show circulation wear atop low production value. Despite low-grade coins being relatively common, GEM value coins are exceedingly rare, with NGC yet to grade any at GEM level.

4. 1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 350,000

Value: $1,150-$7,000

The 1889-CC stands as the rarest among Carson City minted Morgan silver dollars, despite not having the lowest mintage. Similar to the 1884-S, most immediately entered circulation. PCGS estimates 25,250 surviving, with 4,250 at grade 60 or better, and only 7 at +65 grade. Only one was found in the GSA hoard, contrasting with nearly 3 million other 1878–1885 CC coins.

History and Trivia:

The Carson City Mint halted operations in 1885, reopening in October 1889. During October-November, 2,000 coins were produced, followed by 150,000 in December, according to NGC. With silver coins scarce after the shutdown, few 1889-CCs were stored. Despite most being circulated, their scarcity contributes to their value. Counterfeiters often modify an 1889 Philadelphia coin to fake the CC mintmark, which can be challenging to detect.

5. 1893-O Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 300,000

Value: $300-$775

The 1893-O Morgan dollar holds the lowest mintage among all New Orleans issues, resulting in scarcity in both circulated and uncirculated states, particularly in mint condition. PCGS estimates 29,960 surviving, with 5,960 graded at 60 or higher, and only 27 at +65 grade.

History and Trivia:

The 1893-Os were minted in January, with low overall circulation in New Orleans, mostly stored in bank bags. Treasury bags of these coins were sold in the 1940s-1950s, transitioning to coin rolls by the 1960s. Weakly struck and lightly marked, New Orleans silver dollars are hard to find in sharply struck or proof-like conditions.

6. 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 100,000

Value: $5,200-$145,000

The 1893-S ranks among the rarest coins for collectors, boasting the lowest mintage of all Morgan silver dollars. Quentin D. Bowers estimates only 6,000–12,000 still exist, a figure echoed by PCGS at around 10,000. In mint condition, it is exceptionally rare, with only 123 survivors, including merely 18 at +MS-65.

History and Trivia:

Production of this coin series occurred in San Francisco in January. A few mint state coins were found in a bag alongside 1894-S Morgan silver dollars during a U.S. Treasury vault discovery. In July-August 2021, GreatCollections auctioned a grade MS-67 coin with 127 bids, fetching $1,855,000, totaling $2,086,875. Previously owned by the Vermeule family, it remained in their possession until 2001. Its initial auction was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001, but postponed due to the World Trade Center attacks.

7. 1894 Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 110,000

Value: $925-$1,700

Second only to the 1893-S in confirmed low mintage among Morgan dollars, aside from the enigmatic 1895. A few bags survived the Pittman Act, and proofs were minted, concealing its true rarity until the mid-1960s when few surfaced. PCGS estimates nearly 9,000 surviving, with 6,490 at grade 60 or higher. Only 125 are at +65 grade, making higher-level coins comparably rare.

History and Trivia:

The 1894’s low mintage can be attributed to the panic of 1893, which caused a decline in silver coin production after the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. The Philadelphia Mint drastically reduced production from over a million coins in 1891 and 1892 to just 378,000 in 1893 and even fewer in 1894. Although the New Orleans and San Francisco mints still managed a million coins in 1894, production plummeted by 1895, making it a challenging year for collectors.

8. 1895 Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 880 (Proof) and 12,000 (Circulation Strike)

Value: Varies

The 1895 is the rarest of all Morgan dollars produced at the Philadelphia mint, earning it the moniker “King of the Morgans.” No circulation strike coins have ever been found, leading to speculation that they may not have been struck or were lost at sea. PCGS estimates a scant 400 surviving proofs, with 225 graded at 60 and above, and only 20 at +65 grade.

History and Trivia:

The 1895 had a very low mintage across all mints, with only the Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco mints producing any coins that year. The existence of the 1895 circulation strike is only known through Philadelphia mint records, leading some experts to believe it could be a ledger error. The highest price paid for an 1895 proof is $269,500 for a grade 67 coin.

9. 1895-O Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 450,000

Value: $350-$1,200

Similar to the 1893-O and 1893-S, the 1895-O boasts a very low mintage. David Q. Bowers suggests only around 1,000 entered circulation, likely with many melted down, as few were sold by the Treasury in the 1950s and none during the 1960s sale. PCGS estimates over 37,400 survived, with 718 graded at +60 and just 18 at +65 grade. PL and DMPL finishes are exceptionally rare.

History and Trivia:

The New Orleans Mint, notorious for its production issues, prioritized speed over quality during this period, resulting in low overall workmanship even for an O-mintmark Morgan dollar. Consequently, high-quality versions command high prices, with even an MS-60 fetching five figures according to NGC. In November 2005, an MS-67 from the Jack Lee Collection sold for $575,000, while in 2016, an MS-66 from the Rev. Dr. James G. K. McClure Collection fetched $258,500.

10. 1901 Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintage: 6,962,000

Value: $55-$280

Second only to the 1895, the 1901 is the second rarest Philadelphia mint coin. Few entered circulation, likely melted with the Pittman Act. PCGS estimates nearly 700,000 surviving, with 10,000 graded at +60 and only 8 at +65 grade. NGC has graded just 3 at GEM level, with PL or DMPL finishes extremely rare, only two DMPLs confirmed so far.

History and Trivia:

This coin typically exhibits a poor strike and low luster. Due to limited circulation, many survivors have bag marks. The Coronet Collection’s MS-66 grade coin fetched $587,500 in October 2015, the highest bid for a 1901 Morgan dollar to date. Counterfeiters often attempt to capitalize on its value by removing the mintmark on 1901-O or 1901-S coins, as many Philadelphia-minted coins lack a mintmark.

Also Read – Top 11 Valuable Lincoln Memorial Penny


The Morgan Silver Dollar has a unique place in the world of numismatics, being both historically significant and highly sought after by collectors. Its rarity, coupled with its iconic design and silver content, makes it a precious piece of American coinage history. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a novice enthusiast, holding a rare Morgan Silver Dollar is a thrilling experience that attaches you to a ancient era of American coinage.

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