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Silver Dollars (1794-1935)

Silver Dollars (1794-1935)

Morgan Silver Dollars were the Last to be Minted with Silver Brought into the U.S. Mint by the Public

The minting of Silver dollars, like the Morgan Silver Dollar, in the U.S. was strongly influenced by Silver prices and the intrinsic value of Silver coins when compared with the face value. The Liberty Dollar was the last Silver dollar minted prior to the Coinage Act of 1873, which was introduced to change the U.S. Silver policy so that U.S. currency was no longer backed by Silver. Prior to introducing the Morgan Silver Dollar in 1878, and prior to the Act, the mint was obligated to mint Silver coins, like the Liberty Dollar, with Silver bullion brought in by the public, for a small fee. Many felt Silver dollars could no longer be minted this way because the cost to strike a Silver dollar was considerably less than the face value.

Without the act, a Liberty Silver Dollar would have been minted for a fraction of the price of its face value, which would have created an increase in the money supply, and inflation as a result. So, no Silver dollars were produced until the Morgan Dollar in 1878, after the Bland-Allison Act was passed. With this Act, the Morgan Silver Dollar debuted, replacing the Trade Dollar (circulation strikes 1873-1878) which was a trade coin and not currency. Under this act, the Morgan Dollar was produced by the mint with Silver purchased by the treasury at market value.

Morgan Silver Dollar Design

The Morgan Dollar was named after its designer George T. Morgan. Unlike the Liberty Dollar, the Morgan design purposefully used an American woman to represent Lady Liberty. The woman to grace the Morgan Silver dollar was finally found, after Morgan’s friend, artist Thomas Eakins, recommended Anna Willess Williams of Philadelphia. Her profile is on Silver dollars minted between 1878 and 1904, and then one final time in 1921.

Morgan Dollar Value

The rich history of the Morgan Dollar, and its link to the changing stature of Silver and the story behind this Silver coin’s creation, adds to its value. The Liberty Dollar also has great historical value, as it is the last Silver Dollar minted prior to the Coinage Act of 1873. These Silver dollars are ideal for collectors due to their historical value and Silver content. Buy the Seated Liberty Dollar, Morgan Silver Dollar or the Peace Dollar and invest in Silver and a piece of U.S. history.

What's the value of my Silver Dollars?

The value of your Silver dollars depends on their Silver content, mintage, scarcity and condition. The most valued Silver dollars among collectors and investors are the 1921 Morgan Silver dollar, which have great historical and numismatic value.

Popular Silver Dollars

Silver Dollars FAQ

Where is the best place to purchase Silver Dollars?

While there are many places where you can purchase Silver Dollars, buying from APMEX offers a smooth, secure online experience. Our website is designed to make the shopping experience straightforward and hassle-free, with detailed information about every product we sell. For example, since there are many different kinds of Silver Dollars available on the market, it is essential to know the design, condition, and year of issuance before making a purchase. Early Silver Dollars, minted before 1804, can have a very different value than a more recent Peace Dollar. Convenience is something to remember when you purchase Silver Dollars, because as you see the value of your investment grow, you may want to add to your collection. Once you set up an account with APMEX, purchasing again in the future become even more accessible, which is why so many consider our website the best place to buy coins such as the Silver Dollar.

What is the correct size of a Silver Dollar?

The correct size of a Silver Dollar will depend on which country the coin belongs to. All dollar coins issued by the U.S. Mint, including the well-known Peace Dollars made from 1922-1935, are 3.1 mm thick with a diameter of 38.1 mm. The popular Morgan Dollar, issued from 1878-1904 is the same size. Other countries that use the term dollar to refer to their currency have Silver coins produced in slightly different sizes. Canadian Silver Dollars are 2.95 mm thick, with a 36 mm diameter. While the Australian Mint does not issue a dollar coin, they do produce Silver coins that measure 4 mm thick, and 40.6 mm in diameter.

Are Eisenhower Silver Dollars valuable?

Valuable primarily for their historical significance, Eisenhower Silver Dollars are important to own as part of any U.S. coin collection. This series was released shortly after the death of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, created to commemorate his legacy. President Richard Nixon signed the legislation. Because these coins contain only .3161 oz. fine Silver, the Precious Metals value is lower than other American Silver Dollars. Still, the collectible value remains strong for those interested in U.S. history, and the handsome design depicted on the obverse. Specific examples from the series, such as the 1972 High-Relief coin, garner a premium price due to their distinctive beauty. The 1976 Silver Proof Eisenhower Dollar is also widely collected, due to a beautiful depiction of the Liberty Bell against the moon, and being a commemorative edition for the U.S. Bicentennial.
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