Certified Morgan Dollars
Morgan Dollars were issued from 1878 to 1904 and for one additional year in 1921. Out of all United States coin types, this series is frequently cited as the most popular with collectors. Assembling a complete collection of PCGS or NGC certified coins can be a challenging and rewarding endeavor.
The series takes its name from the designer George T. Morgan. The obverse features the head of Liberty, facing left. She wears a Phrygian cap, ornamented with wheat and oak leaves as well as other agricultural elements. A total of thirteen stars surround the image with the motto "E Pluribus Unum" above and the date below. The reverse of the coin features a bald eagle framed within a small wreath. The eagle grasps a bundle of arrows and an olive branch within its talons. The inscriptions "United States of America" and "One Dollar" surround the image.
During the course of the Morgan Dollar series, coins were struck at Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. A complete basic set by date and mint mark will contain a total of 97 different coins.
For many issues, there are vast numbers of survivors in gem condition since many of the silver dollars were not issued for circulation but stored in vaults for decades. However, there are a few issues which experienced low mintages or low survival rates. The most well known key date coins for the series are the 1893-S Morgan Dollar with a mintage of only 100,000 and the 1889-CC Morgan Dollar with a mintage of 350,000.
Some collectors have a specialized interested in Morgan Dollars which display certain qualities. Some coins are struck with Deep Mirror Proof Like (DMPL) or Proof Like (PL) surfaces. These designations are awarded for coins which have deeply reflective fields that resemble a proof finish. Some examples will also display frosted raised design elements, producing a stunning cameo effect.
Other areas of specialized interest include rainbow toned Morgan Dollars and Carson City Mint Morgan Dollars. The former class of coins will display dramatic colors which have developed naturally due to the years of storage. The latter are coins with the "CC" mint mark, which many collectors will associate with the American Wild West. A famous hoard of Carson City Silver Dollars was distributed by the GSA in the 1970's. Finally, some collectors may collect the series by die variety using VAM numbers.
Morgan Dollars have both a rich history and many potential areas for specialization that can make the series a joy to collect and study. This site products additional basic information on the popular silver dollars, along with a selection of PCGS and NGC certified coins for sale.