It’s been 100 years since we’ve last seen the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin, but a special non-circulating coin was made and found itself in high demand for the anniversary. The Morgan Silver Dollar is a dollar coin that was originally minted from 1878 to 1904 as well as in 1921. And now, 100 years later, a few lucky Americans are able to own the special coin once again.
The Morgan Silver Dollar Coin was the first standard silver dollar minted after the Coinage Act of 1873. That act provided the opportunity for the mintage of a silver trade dollar. The Morgan Dollar is 1.5 inches across and was named after its designer George T. Morgan. He was the United States Mint Assistant Engraver. Morgan eventually became the Chief Engraver of the US Mint in 1917.
Denomination: $1.0 (One US Dollar)
Gross Weight: 26.73g
Silver Weight: 0.776 oz
Purity: .900 coin silver
Minted: 1878 to 1904, 1921, and 2021
Coin Designer: George T. Morgan
Mint Marks: None, CC, S, O, D
The dollar picked up steam with the passing of the Bland Allison Act in 1878. The act required the United States government to buy large amounts of silver and then turn it into silver dollars. This lead to the Morgan Dollar becoming a very popular American coin.
The Morgan Dollar was made consistently from 1878 to 1904 and was produced in the US Mints of Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Denver, and Carson City. It was once used significantly in Las Vegas casinos for gaming devices and slot machines before casinos made the switch to chips and tokens due to cost.
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1890 was believed to be the cause of the Panic of 1893. Major industrial firms went bankrupt after an increasing amount of silver purchased caused inflation. The treasury had a surplus of silver coins due to the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the minting of the silver dollars started to drop rapidly. The excess silver led to an increase in the mintage of dimes, quarters, and half dollars. In 1904, silver dollar production came back around until all of the purchased silver was used causing an end of its production.
From 1905 to 1920, there were no silver dollars minted by the United States. The Morgan Silver Dollar changed that with a slight comeback in 1921 at the Denver mint but only lasted the year as the Peace Dollar was released to commemorate the end of the first World War. The Peace Dollar ended the spectacular run of the Morgan Silver Dollar. In all, over 650 million Morgan Silver Dollar coins were produced. The Philadelphia mint produced almost half of the coin including a staggering 44 million in 1921.
The coin was generally circulated out in the west. Despite its popularity, many people of the public didn’t like the weight and size of the dollar giving it the nickname the “Cartwheel.” It was one of seven coins George T. Morgan designed and it was made up of 90% silver and 10% copper. A teacher from Philadelphia, Anna Williams, was the model for Lady Liberty which appeared on the coin. Morgan wanted an American woman on the coin instead of a greek-style figure. A bald eagle covered the other side of the coin.
The 2021 edition of the Morgan Dollar was available for purchase back in May of this year and sold out in less than an hour. The price was $85 and the coins started shipping in October. The United States Mint has current plans to annually produce Morgan and Peace Dollars after 2021.