10 Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars: A Complete Guide

What comes to mind when you think of the Morgan Silver Dollar? Perhaps your brain wanders to the late 1800s- a time of horses galloping off into the sunset, of revolutions, of a new country. Or do you think of the news of the Morgan Silver Dollar’s recontinuation in 2021? Perhaps you’re thinking of the elegant beauty of the dollar’s name, silently mouthing, Morgan Silver Dollar. Whatever it is, I’m sure a complete guide to the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars will interest you.

Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars

What is a Morgan Silver Dollar

A Morgan Silver Dollar is a dollar coin of the United States that was minted first from 1878 to 1904 then in 1921 and finally from 2021 to the present. It was designed by United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan and was the very first silver dollar minted after the passage of the Coin Act of 1873.

What Are Morgan Silver Dollars Made Of

  • 90.0% Silver   10.0% Copper (1878–1904, 1921)
  • 99.9% Silver (2021–present)

10 Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars In the World

Below, I have listed the 10 most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars.

No.
Name
Year
Grade
Value
1
1895-O $1
1895
PCGS MS 67
$575,000
2
1893-S $1
1893
NGC MS 67
$546,000
3
1889-CC $1
1889
PCGS MS 68
$531,000
4
1892-S $1
1892
PCGS MS 67
$460,000
5
1896-S $1
1896
PCGS MS 69
$402,000
6
1883-O $1 Branch Mint Cameo
1883
PCGS PR 67
$270,000
7
1891-CC $1
1891
PCGS MS 68
$195,000
8
1884-CC $1 Branch Mint Cameo
1884
NGC PR 66
$184,000
9
1879-O $1
1879
PCGS PR 64
$176,000
10
1880-S $1
1880
PCGS MS 69
$162,000

1. 1895-O $1

Value: $575,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1895-O $1

This specimen of the 1895-O $1 has an illustrious and renowned history, having first been plated in Wayne Miller’s Textbook then spoken of in Dave Bowers’ Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, and finally auctioned by Superior Galleries in 1986. This coin was sold on November 3, 2005.

Seldom do you see coins minted simply for the purpose of meeting a quota, deliberately poorly minted and doomed for the fate of bulk storage. In 1895, the New Orleans mint was tasked to produce “as many silver dollars as possible in the least amount of time.” Knowing that most of these coins wouldn’t ever be used for commerce, the workers consequently created “terrible-looking coins.”

This widespread lack of workmanship only highlights the value of this specimen- a perfectly formed coin. Boasting top-notch quality, sparkling luster, and full detail, this specimen is the only coin in this batch that is graded MS 67.

Silver dollars minted in 1895 were of overall terrible quality compared to those of preceding and succeeding years. These dollars are valued from 30 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the condition. 450,000 total dollars were minted at the Philadelphia mint, according to Gainsevillecoins.com.

2. 1893-S $1

Value: $546,000

Grade: NGC MS 67

1893-S $1

Possessing superior condition, this specimen is often speculated to have been one of the coins minted solely for the purpose of examination by the Assay Commission. Different from most high-grade 1893-S coins, this specimen possesses an elegant satiny finish rather than the typical thick frosty mint luster. Boasting brilliant surfaces with striking details and extraordinary preservation, this coin is incredibly valuable.

This specimen is the only 1893 silver dollar graded MS 67 by NGC and is one of only two examples considered a Superb Gem, solidifying its identity as the centerpiece of any Morgan Silver Dollar collection. It was sold on August 12, 2011, at the 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin and Platinum Night Auction as #1158.

1893 was an exceedingly eventful year for Morgan Silver Dollars. On November 1, 1893, the silver purchase clause of the Act of July 14, 1890, was repealed, greatly decreasing the mintage levels of 1893. In addition, the Panic of 1893 resulted in the closing of businesses and banks as well as the loss of jobs for 4 million people. The price of silver decreased, causing people to redeem government notes for gold rather than silver, further decreasing the demand for silver coins.

Overall, very few silver dollars were minted in 1893 compared to former years. According to silverrecyclers.com, only 378,000 dollars were minted at the Philadelphia Mint, 677,000 at the Carson City Mint, 300,000 at the New Orleans Mint, and 100,000 at the San Francisco Mint. Today, these silver dollars are valued from 18 dollars to six hundred thousand dollars depending on condition.

3. 1889-CC $1

Value: $531,000

Grade: PCGS MS 68

 

1889-CC $1

Out of the 350,000 total Morgan Silver Dollars minted in Carson City in 1889, about 250,000 to 325,000 were melted, making the 1889-CC $1 coin extremely rare. Only eight such coins were graded by both PCGS and NGC as MS 65 or finer, making this specimen even more valuable. First applauded by the well-known expert of Morgan Silver Dollars, Wayne Miller, as well-struck, this coin was then praised by Dave Bowers for its “excellent definition of details” until finally being mentioned by the Red Book of Morgan Dollars, eventually selling for $531,000 on January 9, 2009.

Enjoying mottled gold toning with smooth silver surfaces, this specimen is strikingly beautiful and proof-like, well worth the $531,000 it sold for.

After the suspension of the Carson City Mint in 1885, Morgan Silver Dollars were not produced by the Carson City Mint until late 1889. This same year, Edward O. Leech from Columbia University took over as the director of the Philadelphia Mint. As stated above, only 350,000 1889-CC dollars were produced, valued at anywhere from a thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to usacoinbook.com.

4. 1892-S $1

Value: $460,000

Grade: PCGS MS 67

1892-S $1

Having original patina on both sides, shades of amber-gold, dashes of icy blue, clean surfaces, bold strikes, and beautiful luster, this specimen is one of a kind. 1892-S $1 coins graded as highly as PCGS MS 67 do not make frequent appearances in auctions, and the last MS 67 coin offered before this specimen was all the way back in 2004, making this specimen all the more valuable. This specimen sold for $460,000 on January 9, 2009, as part of the 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121.

In 1892, 1,036,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in Philadelphia, and 2,744,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in New Orleans, according to Wikipedia, considerably more than in the years mentioned above. 1892 Morgan Silver Dollars can be worth anywhere from 36 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

5. 1896-S $1

Value: $402,000

Grade: PCGS MS 69

1896-S $1

Rarely do you ever see a coin graded MS 69, only one step away from the unimaginable MS 70, the highest ever possible grade given to a coin. Essentially perfect, this specimen is the only 1896-S $1 coin to ever be awarded the MS 69 grade. Only one blemish- a tiny mark situated in between the border and the 11th star has denied this coin the coveted MS 70 title.

Although over 5 million 1896-S $1 coins were minted, very few such coins are in an uncirculated state, and this 1896-S $1 issue is often considered the “Most Wanted” of all issues of the Morgan Silver Dollar, according to Heritage Auctions. 1896 was a monumental year for the Morgan Silver Dollar, as this was the year in which the model for George Morgan’s Morgan Silver Dollar design, Anna Williams, also known as the Goddess of Liberty pictured on the obverse of every single Morgan Silver Dollar, got married. According to usacoinbook.com, 1896-S Morgan Silver Dollars range in value from 61 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on condition.

6. 1883-O $1 Branch Mint Cameo

Value: $270,000

Grade: PCGS PR 67

1883-O $1

You may be wondering: Why is the name of this coin different from those above? What does the PR stand for in PCGS PR 67? Well, this coin is an incredibly special and valuable coin called a proof. In numismatics, a proof is a coin that was made for the purpose of not circulation but for “checking the dies and for archival purposes” as well as the collection of coin collectors. Proof coins are of superb, uncirculated condition and worth leagues more than their peers.

According to Walter Breen’s Proof Encyclopedia of 1977, this specimen was created specifically for the purpose of presentation to officials for a celebration regarding either the cotton industry or “the establishment of Tulane University as the State University of Louisiana.” Recognized as a proof since 1894, this specimen rightfully boasts of magnificent surfaces, reflective fields, beautiful mint frost, strong cameo contrast, and exceptional quality even for proofs.

Morgan Silver Dollars minted in 1883 are valued from 36 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over 12 million Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in 1883.

7. 1891-CC $1

Value: $195,000

Grade: PCGS MS 68

1891-CC $1

Similar to the 1883-O $1 Branch Mint Cameo coin, this 1891-CC $1 coin may also be a proof, as suggested by Dave Bowers in the 1997 catalog of the Eliasberg Collection. After comparing this coin to a written report of other 1891-CC $1 coins determined to be Proofs, Bowers found this coin to be of much higher quality than the proofs. Although not yet formally labeled as a proof, this specimen of the 1891-CC $1 coin is comparable and very well “may be in a class of its own.”

Having deeply mirrored fields, delightful cameo contrast between devices and fields, and a dash of champagne on the reverse, this coin has a few design elements with a slight lack of crispness that deters it from the title Proof.

In 1891, a total of 5,260,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted at the San Francisco Mint, 8,693,000 at the Philadelphia Mint, 7,954,000 at the New Orleans Mint, and 1,618,000 at the Carson City Mint. The value of these Morgan Silver Dollars ranges from 35 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on mintage location and preservation condition, according to somethingborrowed.com.

8. 1884-CC $1 Branch Mint Cameo

Value: $184,000

Grade: NGC PR 66

1884-CC $1

One of the only four 1884-CC Proofs, this specimen possesses a bold strike, perfect surfaces, and mirror-like fields. Struck from VAM-3 dies, this coin has a beautiful red undertone peeking below cobalt-blue shades. Faint remnants of roller marks can be seen above Lady Liberty’s ear, likely caused by the setting of dies too far apart before the minting.

Morgan Silver Dollars minted in 1884 cost anywhere from 28 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on mint location and condition, according to usacoinbook.com. 14,070,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted at the Philadelphia Mint in 1884, 1,136,000 at the Carson City Mint, 9,730,000 at the New Orleans Mint, and 3,200,000 at the San Francisco Mint, according to coinvalues.com.

9. 1879-O $1

Value: $176,000

Grade: PCGS PR 64

1879-O $1

Sold on August 9, 2013, as part of the 2013 August 8-10 US Coins Signature Auction- Rosemont #1188, this specimen of the 1879-O $1 coin is one of the finest of the four known 1879 Proofs. Listed in the second edition of the Wayne Miller Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook as well as published in the October 9, 1995 issue of Coin World, this specimen has a few minor flaws, such as overpolishmed surfaces, faint traces of die rust, and a beveled appearance.

Possessing hints of beautiful champagne and lavender toning, deeply mirrored fields, and minty frost, this specimen is stunningly attractive. It belongs to the finest coin collection.

In 1879, 14,806,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were minted at the Philadelphia Mint, 756,000 at the Carson City Mint, 2,887,000 at the New Orleans Mint, and 9,110,000 at the San Francisco Mint. These Morgan Silver Dollars are worth anywhere from 35 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on condition and mintage location, according to coinvalues.com.

10. 1880-S $1

Value: $162,000

Grade: PCGS MS 69

 

1880-S $1

Considering almost 9 million Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in 1880, making this year’s series one of the most collectible series ever, with 180,000 coins graded PCGS and even hundreds of coins graded PCGS MS 68, there are surprisingly few coins graded PCGS 69- five. This specimen was the first of all five 1880 PCGS MS 69 coins to appear in a public auction and was sold on January 21, 2021, for $162,000.

This flawless specimen possesses a beautiful gold and violet patina with hints of lavender and thick frosty mint luster as well as a complete strike.

As mentioned above, almost 9 million Morgan Silver Dollars were minted in 1880. These coins are valued at anywhere from 30 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on condition.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve read all about the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars, perhaps you’ll be interested in Mercury Coins, Chinese currency, or whatever else. Visit our other articles, and you’ll find them as enjoyable to read as this one. Please leave all comments, questions, or concerns down below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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