Guide to Dollar Values
Early U.S. Dollars are rare, particularly in good condition, but the Bust and Flowing Hair versions that still survive are pieces of history. Read More
The Seated Liberty dollar changed weight multiple times through its long run as U.S. coinage struggled with changing Silver prices. Read More
Dollar coins are among the most commonly collected coins, and they saw wide circulation, particularly the Barber and Morgan dollars in the western states. The original American Silver dollar got its inspiration from the Spanish 8 reales coin, or “piece of eight”. This actually caused some issues early in the Silver dollar’s history, as they weighed slightly different amounts but traded on an equal basis with each other and were commonly accepted. Silver dollars usually went to the Caribbean, while the 8 reales circulated in the United States. This caused a halt to dollar production by President Thomas Jefferson.
After the reestablishment of the dollar, it was used up until the point where the Silver dollar was discontinued again due to an upcoming huge reduction in Silver prices because of the Comstock lode and other large discoveries of the white metal. It was reestablished by the 1878 Bland-Allison Act and continued from that point forward. Dollar coins have not been made out of Precious Metals in some time, but older dollars are very popular collectibles.
The Bust dollar types are the earliest versions, minted just after the Revolutionary War and the colonial era. These include the Flowing Hair from 1794 to 1795 and the 1795 to 1804 Draped Bust design with two different reverses. Variations are common with this period of coin (particularly the Flowing Hair) because the dies were individually made, overweight pieces were filed to remove excess, and some had to be weight adjusted with plugs. There are a few very rare 1804-dated dollars, as there was no official strike of them for circulation.
Dollar coins had a moratorium placed on them until 1831, and in 1836 the Gobrecht dollar became the next series. But this rare series did not have a long lifespan, and it was superseded by the Liberty Seated dollar. These were produced from 1840 to 1873, with earlier versions having no motto and later versions having “In God We Trust” above the eagle on the reverse. These are generally more valuable the earlier they are, but rare mintages with mint marks like Carson City or very high quality specimens are prized.
Morgan Silver dollars are the classic dollars most people think of when you say the words “Silver dollar”. They began in 1878 when provision was made once more for the coinage of Silver dollars. These were struck through 1904, when bullion ran out. They resumed once again in 1921 and this last year was a massive mintage. Some of these are highly sought after, particularly proof-like versions and Carson City mint marks.
Peace dollars were struck celebrating the end of World War I. This distinctive design was first struck in a high relief form, but later versions were lowered to make the coin more practical. Peace dollars were struck from 1921 to 1935, and proof-like versions are beloved by collectors.
Bust Silver dollars are much less dependent on coin condition for price than other Silver dollars. They are old, limited in quantity and difficult to find. The earliest versions are worth premium prices even in poor condition. Liberty Seated coins are usually more valuable with age. But like the Morgan dollars that follow, high quality specimens and Carson City mint marks matter for premium.
Morgan and Peace dollars are a great introduction to coin collecting, as they are relatively inexpensive in their lower grades and still have interesting designs. Silver dollars used to be even more easily available before the price of Silver went up, but as these coins are made of 90% Silver, their value regardless of premium has gone up significantly.
The Price Guide
The PCGS Price Guide prices apply only to PCGS-graded coins. The PCGS Price Guide is a guide to assist the coin buying public in determining values for all important United States rare coins. The prices listed in the PCGS Price Guide are average dealer asking prices for PCGS-graded coins. The prices are compiled from various sources including dealer ads in trade papers, dealer fixed price lists and website offerings, significant auctions, and activity at major coin shows.Learn More