1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar: A Collector’s Guide

1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar is a fascinating coin for collectors. Struck at the New Orleans Mint, this coin is known for its unique beauty and historical importance. While many of these coins were made, finding one in maximum condition is an actual prize for any numismatist.

History of 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar

The Morgan Silver Dollar was designed by George T. Morgan and minted from 1878 to 1921. The 1896 O Morgan Dollar had a mintage of nearly 5 million coins. However, many of these coins entered circulation shortly after they were minted. Many of these coins were melted down over time, especially through World War I. 

As a result, there are now few excellent situations.

Some of these coins came to light again in Treasury vaults in the 1950s and 60s. However, due to their heavy wear, high-grade coins are hard to find. The coin discussed here is one of the finest known, graded MS-66 and tied for the best graded at PCGS.

Specifications

  • Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
  • Mint: New Orleans
  • Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
  • Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
  • Composition: Silver
  • Fineness: 0.900
  • Weight: 26.73 grams
  • ASW (Actual Silver Weight): 0.7734 ounces
  • Melt Value: $23.45 (as of 6/20/2024)
  • Diameter: 38.1 mm
  • Edge: Reeded

Basic Design

Obverse

The 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar’s obverse has an image of Liberty facing left. She wears flowers in her hair and a cap with a little crown over it. Liberty is surrounded by the words “E Pluribus Unum” and “1896.” The border is circled by thirteen stars, which represent the original thirteen colonies.

Reverse

The reverse side shows a beautiful eagle with its wings spread wide, clutching arrows in its talons, with an olive branch. Over the head of the eagle, the phrase “In God We Trust.” The phrases “One Dollar” and “United States of America” are inscribed along the border, and a wreath surrounds the eagle. The New Orleans Mint can be identified by the “O” mint mark under the wreath.

Rarity and Condition

Despite the high mintage, most 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollars are found in lower grades due to extensive circulation. Coins in VG (Very Good) to EF (Extremely Fine) condition are common and affordable. AU (About Uncirculated) coins are also accessible and frequently found in collections.

However, a Mint State (UNC) coin is difficult to find. The majority of Mint State coins are graded MS-61 or MS-62, usually with important abrasions. Higher grades like MS-65 are rare and have a high cost.

Value of 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar

The value of an 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar depends on its condition. Well-worn coin copies can be purchased for almost the melt value, roughly $23.45. In AU condition, these coins are more reasonable but always sought after. Mint State coins begin at four-figure prices and can get five figures for high-grade examples. An MS-65 coin is listed with an important premium, reflecting its rarity and desirability.

Also Read – 1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar: A Guide for Coin Enthusiasts

Conclusion

Both beginner and experienced collectors find the 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar to be pleasing. Having well-preserved coins and its history make it a mysterious work of numismatic history. The 1896 O Morgan Dollar is a coin that is great to pursue, regardless of how you’re trying to add a circulating coin to your collection or observe a high-grade gem. 

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