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Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars. Photo KnowInsiders

What is Morgan Dollar?

The Morgan dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904, in 1921, and beginning again in 2021.

Large, heavy, handsome, historic and struck in .900 fine silver, the legendary Morgan silver dollar has been appropriately nicknamed the "King of America's Coins"! Morgan silver dollars are prized mementos of 19th-century America, and, as official issues of the United States Treasury, they are genuine pieces of history. These coins were minted when the nation was still young and life was indeed a daily adventure... a time of gunslingers, cattle barons, riverboat gamblers, railroad tycoons and dancehall queens. And a time when money meant large, hefty silver dollars, not credit cards and checkbooks!

Morgan Silver Dollars are Very Hard to Collect

One of the most coveted desires of collectors for decades has been to assemble a full set of Morgan Silver Dollars. Since many of the rarer branch mint and year-date issues were destroyed alongside the more common coins as a result of the Pittman Act, this task has proven to be extremely difficult. The exact number of Morgan Silver Dollars is not actually known, but collectors all over the world undoubtedly hope to complete their full collection of these rare coins.

Morgan Silver Dollars were nicknamed “Cartwheels”

Morgan Silver Dollars were mostly circulated in the West. Because of their large size and weight, the coins were nicknamed "cartwheels" by cowboys in the Old West.

What is a Morgan Dollar worth?

Depending on the condition and scarcity of the coin in question, you can pay anywhere from as little as $10 to as much as $100 and more for a Morgan Silver Dollar. As expected, those coins that have been well-preserved over the years are the ones that will sell for the highest prices.

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars

1. 1892 CC – Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo eBay

Year: 1892

Mint Mark: CC – Carson City

Value: $8,500

#Produced: 1.3 million

Apart from the year, you can also use a magnet to test your coin. Fake Morgan Dollars often have traces of iron while authentic coins are 90% silver and 10% copper. So if your coin reacts, it’s counterfeit. Try using an app to spot fakes. Precious Coin Tester works fairly well.

2. Complete 11 Coin Set GSA Hard Pack Morgans

Year: 1879 to 1891

Mint Mark: CC – Carson City

Value: $28,500

Why were Morgan Dollars restricted to the specific years we listed? It has a lot to do with the laws regarding silver, so you’d have to follow up those legalities. Focus on the Free Silver (1800s), Coinage (1873), Bland-Allison (1878), and Sherman Silver Purchase (1890) Acts.

These acts controlled how and when silver coins could be minted. The Free Silver policy meant miners could take their ore to mint and have it coined for peanuts. Later acts forced the government to buy set amounts of silver from miners every month, or as a bulk purchase.

Check More: How and Why the US Dollar Becomes the Global Currency

3. 1895 Proof

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo uscoinbook

Year: 1895

Value: $30,000

Mint Mark: Proof

# Produced: 880

In 1895, the Philadelphia coiners are said to have struck 12,000 business strikes and 880 Proof issues. But none of these business strike coins exist today. Of the 880 Proof coins, around 700 exist today. Even though these coins are highly coveted, some collectors ignore them and confine themselves to the business strikes of other dates/mints. EF-40 of the 1895 can be collected for $30,000!

What is Morgan Silver Dollars Future Value?

The future value of a coin is something that is fairly easy to determine, especially when you know that the coin is no longer being produced. When it comes to the Morgan Silver Dollar, these coins have not been on the US Mint’s production lines for nearly 100 years, which means that the value of the coins is always on the rise. As the years pass, you can bet that there will be fewer and fewer Morgans on the market. Knowing this, it goes without saying that these coins will only ever grow more costly as time moves forward. For this reason, there has never been a better time than now to get your hands on a Morgan Silver Dollar.

4. 1895S

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo aliexpress

Year: 1895

Value: $81,000

Mint Mark: S

# Produced: 400,000

The 1895‑S Morgan is a scarce, low-mintage, key-date San Francisco Mint issue. Only 400,000 silver dollars of this "S" Mint date were struck. As early as the mid-1950s, the 1895‑S Morgan was considered rare. During the silver melts of the last century, millions of 90% silver dollars were melted and mintages dwindled further. Out of the original 400,000 1895‑S Morgans minted, only 8,000 -17,900 survive, according to numismatic expert Q. David Bowers. This makes them one of the rarer issues of the series.

Discover how the Panic of 1893 caused by railroad and bank failures and politics played a part in the creation of the very desirable rare 1893‑S and scarce 1895‑S Morgan dollars. To learn more about these silver dollars, read Low-Mintage Period Morgans by the late Paul Green.

5. 1904-S Morgan Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo Pinnacle

Year: 1904

Value: $81,500

Mint Mark: S

# Produced: 2.3 million

The 1904-S is less known and less rare than the 1903-S. This is not a bad thing since the issue still possesses value and it makes for more pieces out there to be found. This coin has strong value starting at the VF level while XF coins are worth hundreds and AU coins are worth upwards of a couple thousand. This rounds out our list with yet another S-Mint issue with value in lower grades.

6. 1892 S Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo coin exchange

Year: 1892

Value: $130,000

Mint Mark: S

# Produced: 2,744,000

This 1892 Morgan Silver Dollar is marked by an “S” to show that it was minted in San Francisco. It consists of $20.2 worth of melted silver, though in certified MS+ condition by a coin grading company, this silver dollar is worth at least $130,000.

An 1892 Morgan Silver Dollar sold for $460,000 in 2009 at a Heritage Auction. However, this does not typically reflect the value of these coins.

7. 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo eBay

Year: 1896

Value: $140,000

Mint Mark: O

# Produced: 4,900,000

This Morgan dollar was minted in 1896 at the New Orleans mint, hence the mint mark of “O” below the wreath on the reverse side. MS+ condition coins are worth $140,000 at auction. The New Orleans mint produced over 427 million coins in total, including almost 5 million of these silver dollars.

The New Orleans mint was decommissioned during Reconstruction after the Civil War. In subsequent years, it has served as a U.S. Coast Guard storage facility, fallout shelter, and storage facility.

Check More: How Many US Dollars Exist in the World?

8. 1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo govmint

Year: 1895

Value: $165,000

Mint Mark: O

# Produced: 450,000

The New Orleans mint struck 1895-O coins with an aim to just make as many silver dollars as possible in the least amount of time. The coins looked terrible because of the space between the die and the coin. Of the 450,000 that were minted, some were put up in storage, some melted and the rest (around 100,000) were put up for circulation. They are quite rare in Mint-state conditions and even an MS-60 costs around $18,000. You could try collecting an AU-50 at $1900.

With a certified MS+ rating by a top grader, this coin can sell for $165,000. Only 450,000 were ever made. There’s a 2005 Red Book record of an 1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar coin selling for $575,000, but this is not the norm.

When a coin is certified MS-65 by a major coin grading company, it is not only certified as being in top condition with few blemishes or scratches, but also for being uncirculated. MS-65 or “gem uncirculated” status is the second-highest grade possible behind MS-70 (“perfect uncirculated”).

9. 1893 O Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo mint

Year: 1893

Value: 180,000

Mint Mark: O

# Produced: 300,000

Only 300,000 1893 Morgan Silver Dollars were ever minted. They came out of New Orleans worth 1.00 USD in the twilight years of the Morgan dollars. In certified mint condition, this coin can auction for $180,000.

Like many of the coins from this era, the 1893 Morgan dollar is made from 90% silver and worth more even in poor condition than its weight in silver, which is about .773 ounces.

The Comstock Lode practically saved the New Orleans silver minting industry after the Civil War shut them down due to the resulting metal shortage. To boost silver’s value, Western mining conglomerates lobbied for legislation that made Morgan dollar minting feasible again through large silver purchases. In 1879, the New Orleans silver minting facilities started up again.

10. 1886-O

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo Littleton Coin Company

Year: 1886

Value: 225,000

Mint Mark: O

# Produced: 10 million

The 1886-O Morgan dollar had one of the highest mintages for a New Orleans issue. However, the scarcity of survivors points to the majority of the mintage being melted under the 1918 Pittman Act. Most of the coins on the market today are worn pieces that entered circulation near the time of striking.

Few 1886-O Morgan dollars were disbursed from Mint vaults in the first half of the 20th century. If any were present in the great Treasury disbursals in 1962–1964, they were unnoticed.

Because the 1886-O is one of the rarest of condition rarities of the entire Morgan dollar series, counterfeits of high grade examples are a danger. Criminals will affix fake mint marks onto high Mint State 1886 Morgans from the Philadelphia Mint to make them appear to be 1886-S or 1886-O mintages.

11. 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo heritage auction

Year: 1884

Value: $250,000

Mint Mark: S

# Produced: 3,200,000

Over 3 million 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollars were produced, making it technically one of the more plentiful Morgan Silver Dollars on this list. Due to the slightly larger volume, the coins that command the top end of the price range of $250,000 are the ones certified MS-65, or uncirculated, by coin grading institutions.

This means that in reality, very few 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollars are bought, sold, or circulated to maintain their value, adding to their rarity.

The San Francisco branch of the US Mint was established to process the influx of gold during the California Gold Rush in 1854. Affectionally known as “The Granite Lady,” the building that minted the 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollars is one of only a few structures that survived the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. It was used as the city’s mint until a new one opened in 1937.
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12. 1889 CC Morgan Silver Dollar

Year: 1889

Value: $280,000

Mint Mark: CC

# Produced: 350,000

The Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars were struck from 1878 using the Silver from the Comstock Lode. The city from Nevada state had a very small population back then and the production of the Silver dollars put a serious financial strain in the small city. The production was stopped for three years and commenced production again in the second half of 1889. The 1889-CC is understandably a rare specimen as only 350,000 were struck. An EF-40 would be ideal to collect as it would cost around $3500.

Only 350,000 of these coins were ever produced. This could be why a particularly pristine one can sell for even more. According to Heritage Auction records, one of the 1889 Morgan dollars sold in 2009 for $500,000.

The Carson City Mint, distinguished by the mint mark, “CC,” was opened in 1870. Despite being created in 1863, at the peak of the silver boom due to the discovery of the Comstock Lode, its opening was delayed. Although its minting operations closed in 1893, in 1895 the Carson City Mint’s building served as the gold and silver U.S. Assay Office, where precious metals are tested for purity and value. Due to its short operation, coins minted here are generally highly valued.

13. 1901 P Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo something borrowed

Year: 1901

Value: $425,500

Mint Mark: P

The 1901 Morgan Silver Dollar from the Philadelphia mint is the next most valuable in the list. Even though the mintage was 6.9 million, they are rare in Mint-state conditions as probably almost all of them were placed in circulation and the rest melted because of the Pittman act. 813 Proof coins were struck and sell at around $3500 at PF-63 conditions. There are also the Double-die reverse error issues that go up to $5000 at MS-60. If you cant afford the higher grades, the business strikes could be had at around $2500 in MS-60.

Many of these coins sell for around $3,000. The truly valuable ones feature minting errors. For instance, Double Die Reverse errors can increase the value. It was a P Morgan certified MS-65 or “uncirculated gem” that sold for the full value listed here.

The Philadelphia Mint was established to create a continental national mint after the Constitution was ratified. This led to the Coinage Act of 1792 and the creation of the U.S. Mint. You have to remember that Philadelphia at this time was the nation’s capital. Logically, it housed the first mint. The same Coinage Act also established the dollar unit and decimal coinage system that we still use today.

14. 1893 S Morgan Silver Dollar

Top 14 Most Valuable and Rarest Morgan Dollars
Photo GovMint

Year: 1893

Value: $550,000

Mint Mark: S

The 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar was struck in the San Francisco mint under the back-drop of the Economic depression. After the Sherman Silver Purchase act of 1890, the Morgan Silver Dollar production was reduced dramatically in 1893. Just 100,000 of them! There are a very few left for collectors and the ones that are available demand a huge premium in the Mint-state conditions. Your best bet would be to collect a VF-20 coin that would put you back by around $7250.

Tips For Reselling The Most Valuable Morgan Dollars

The coin trade can seem deceptively simple, but here are some pro tips to try:

• Sell low-quality coins to silver stackers at the current market price.

• For coins that seem premium, it may be worth getting them graded.

• Double-check the coinage years and mint marks to help you catch a fake.

• If you’re looking for comps online, use ‘sold’ listings instead of open auctions.

• Consider the date of the sale. Last month’s $500 coin might be barely $50 today!

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