Morgan Dollar Key Dates: Unveiling Rare Years and Valuable Varieties

Morgan Dollar Key Dates: Unveiling Rare Years and Valuable Varieties
Posted on March 30, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

Ever heard about the 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar?

It fetched a phenomenal $735,000 at auction and was the most successful Morgan Silver Dollar ever sold. Due to their smaller mintage quantities,Morgan dollars minted in 1893 and 1895 are typically the most valuable.

This helps you understand how Morgan silver dollar key dates make these coins valuable. The Morgan dollar is a dollar coin that was minted in the United States between 1878 and 1904, again in 1921, and again starting in 2021 as a collectible. Since the Coinage Act of 1873, which put an end to the free coining of silver and the creation of the Seated Liberty dollar, this was the first standard silver dollar to be minted.

Several Morgan Dollars in this series are regarded as rare or important dates because they were struck between 1878 and 1921.

If you're still unclear about the significance of Morgan dollar key dates, stay tuned and read this blog post to find out more about them, the reasons why some key date coins are more valuable than others, and whether Morgan silver dollars are actually worth anything.

What are the Key Dates of Morgan Silver Dollars?

In coin-collecting, a "key date" is a date (or date and mint mark combination) of a particular coin series or coin set that is more difficult to locate than other dates in the series.

A key date coin is typically more valuable than other coins in the series and has a lower mintage total. Many coin collectors gather coins to complete a series.

    Why are Some Years of Morgan Silver Dollars Considered Rare or Valuable?

A Morgan silver dollar's value can be significantly influenced by the year it was minted. A 1921 Morgan silver dollar,for example, has a higher mintage number; because of its commonality, its intrinsic numismatic value is not as highly valued as it could be.

On the other hand, rare Morgan dollar date coins from specific mints—like the 1893-S Morgan Dollar—can fetch high prices.

1921 Morgan silver dollar
1893-S Morgan Dollar

Value can also be greatly influenced by the mint mark, which indicates the location of the coin's mint. Because of their smaller mintage quantities, coins produced by the Carson City Mint (CC), for instance, are frequently worth more.

    Historical Significance:

Morgan dollar history

Popular and historically significant, the Morgan Silver Dollar fueled industrialization and allowed the US to expand its western frontier. Coined between 1878 and 1904 and once more in 1921, it is called the "King of America's Coins".

Because they mark the start and finish of a coin series, collectors value the first and last year's coins. It's also important to keep in mind that the Morgan silver dollar collection's original coins date back to 1878. However, the first silver Morgan has several remarkable first-year varieties and marks the beginning of this renowned dollar series.

Popular Demand:

In 1877, there was a growing demand for new silver dollars due to the extraction of large amounts of silver from the Comstock lode in Nevada. The mint director was unhappy with the current design, prompting a new depiction of Lady Liberty.

George T. Morgan created the artwork featuring a profile of Lady Liberty. According to Chase Bank, the main change was portraying Lady Liberty as an American woman rather than a Greek goddess.

The design of the "Silver Morgan Dollar" was based on Anna Willess Williams, who served as the model.

    Story Behind the Design of Silver Morgan Dollar

anna willess williams

Miss Anna Williams, eighteen, was a modest girl studying art in Philadelphia. She preferred to follow her passion as a schoolteacher in relative obscurity rather than pursuing notoriety or fame.

At first, she flatly refused to be asked to model for Morgan.

She then agreed to model for Morgan on the condition that her identity remain anonymous, thanks to the encouragement of her friend Thomas Eakins.

The Morgan dollar was first minted in 1878, the same year the Bland-Allison Act was passed, and the silver dollar design received final approval.

Regretfully, "Lady Liberty's" covert persona on the Morgan Dollar would not last long. A Philadelphia newspaper called Anna Williams "The Silver Dollar Girl" when her identity was made public in the summer of 1879.

This consequently resulted in Miss Anna W. Williams, a teacher at The House of Refuge at the time, receiving an abundance of unwelcome attention. Anna's hesitation to accept recognition reflects her time's principles that valued humility and solitude over public praise.

Luckily for Anna, this brief spike in fame eventually faded. But in the years that followed,Anna would return to the spotlight, and she would always be troubled by her choice to pose for Morgan.

    List of Silver Morgan Dollar Key Dates

The extensive list of Morgan silver dollar key dates is highly collectible bullion coins. These significant moments in history and/or mint locations produce what is regarded as more valuable coins, which collectors are prepared to pay a premium for.

The following is a list of some of the most well-known Morgan silver dollar key dates.

  1. 1886-O

    1886-O morgan dollar

    The 1886-O coin is often struck with some flaws, which is common for early coins minted in New Orleans.There were 10,710,000 coins minted. It is difficult to find this coin in a true uncirculated grade. The price increases significantly from about $500.00 in AU-58 to over $1,500.00 in Uncirculated MS60.

    BOLD offers the highly collectible 1885-O, 1884-O, 1883-O Morgan Silver Dollar coin, and 1815 and 1886 Morgan Silver Dollar in BU condition with investment value at the lowest prices.

  2. 1889-CC

    1889-CC morgan dollar

    There are just 350,000 1889-CC Morgan silver dollars in circulation, making it a very rare coin. Only between 50,000 and 75,000 coins are thought to have entered circulation; the remaining coins may have been melted because they were not required for trade.

    Only one 1889-CC was among the 1.7 million "CC" dollars that the GSA sold in the 1970s.

    The coin is rare in uncirculated grades and scarce in all grades. A well-worn Good-4 coin is worth about $1,000! It is extremely rare to find a low-grade Uncirculated coin for less than $25,000.There are rare examples of this coin that are actually prooflike, and most are found in semi-proof like conditions.

    You can purchase the 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar in brilliant uncirculated condition at BOLD for the most affordable prices.

  3. 1893-S

    1893-S morgan dollar

    With a mintage of just 100,000 coins, the 1893-S Morgan dollar is a significant date in the Morgan dollar series. Few of these coins have remained in mint condition because the majority were required for circulation. The 1893-S is regarded as the series' monarch, and mint state and circulated examples of the coin that are both highly sought-after.

    Please note that the marks on Morgan Silver Dollars, such as "O," "S," and "P," are mintmarks that indicate the locations of the mints where the coins were minted.

    1) "O" signifies the Mint of New Orleans.

    2) "S" signifies the Mint of San Francisco.

    3) "P" signifies the Philadelphia Mint.

    These mint marks tell collectors and historians about the coin's origin and determine its rarity and worth.

  4. 1895-S

    1895-S morgan dollar

    Because of the low mintage of 400,000 coins from San Francisco and the end of mintage at the Philadelphia Mint, the 1895-S Morgan dollar is significant in the history of the Morgan dollar series.

    Many of the 1895-S coins were put into circulation despite their rough storage at the Mint, which is another well-known aspect of the coin.

    The 1895-S is not as difficult to find as the 1893-S, but it is more challenging than the average Morgan dollar. Numerous coins of this type have been discovered in Las Vegas casinos since the 1940s and 1950s, leading to extensive circulation, making this particular date uncommon in uncirculated conditions.

    The majority of 1895-S Morgans are worn and generally fall into the MS63 to MS64 range. Exceptional coins are exceedingly rare and are highly sought after, commanding a substantial premium.

    The Scarce Dates Morgan Dollars and Their Values (1878-1921)

A "Scarce Date" designation for Morgan Dollars denotes a coin that is comparatively challenging to come across within the series, potentially increasing its value among collectors.

  1. 1884-S Morgan Dollar

    1884-S Morgan Dollar

    While frequently found in lower grades, the 1884-S Morgan Dollar is quite rare in Uncirculated conditions. Owning a coin-graded PCGS Mint State 65 could potentially result in a value exceeding $100,000!

  2. 1886-O Morgan Dollar

    1886-O Morgan Dollar

    The 1886-O Morgan dollar had a high mintage for a New Orleans issue, but the scarcity of surviving coins suggests that most of the mintage was melted under the 1918 Pittman Act.

    Many of the coins available today are worn pieces that were in circulation around the time they were minted.

    A small number of 1886-O Morgan dollars were released from Mint vaults in the first half of the 20th century. If any were part of the Treasury disbursals in 1962–1964, they went unnoticed.

    The auction price for an 1886-O Morgan dollar in MS65+ grade is $235,000.

  3. 1892-S Morgan Dollar

    1892-S Morgan Dollar

    As of March 2024, the NGC Price Guide estimates that the value of an 1892 Morgan Dollar in circulated condition ranges from $45 to $17500. On the other hand, 1892 S Silver Dollars in flawless, uncirculated condition can fetch up to $750,000 on the open market.

  4. 1893-O Morgan Dollar

    1893-O Morgan Dollar

    An 1893-O Morgan Silver Dollar's worth varies according to its condition. It is worth about $250 in average circulated (AC) condition, but it could bring up to $180,000 at auction in certified mint state (MS+) condition.

    In particular, its value in circulated condition might range from $200 to $3,900. The worst condition's value is $65, and the uncirculated value is $2,200. It is valued at $110 in heavy circulation, $190 in average condition, and $400 in light circulation.

  5. 1895-O Morgan Dollar

    1895-O Morgan Dollar

    The value of an 1895-O Morgan Silver Dollar depends upon its state. According to the NGC Price Guide, a circulated 1895 Morgan dollar is valued between $155 and $7,800 as of February 2024,while an uncirculated one can fetch as much as $700,000.

  6. 1896-O Morgan Dollar

    1896-O Morgan Dollar

    The New Orleans Mint produced more than two million Morgan dollars in 1896, a first since 1892. A large number of 1896-O Morgan dollars were minted due to earlier years' low mintages.

    After the Mint closed, some bags of 1896-O Morgans were sent to Treasury vaults, but the New Orleans Mint kept them. $345,000 is the auction price for 1896-O Morgan dollars in MS- 66 grade.

    If you want to increase the value of your collection, then get this 1896 Morgan Silver Dollar (BU) at BOLD.

  7. 1901-P Morgan Dollar ($1,000)

    Only 6,692,000 of these Philadelphia Mint coins were struck in the 20th century, making them a rare Morgan Dollar date find. Borderline Uncirculated (AU-58) are priced at the $1,000.00 level. This date usually has a good strike.

    However, this date is only slightly more rare than the 1896-O at the Gem level. Some collectors, who become frustrated when they can't locate a Gem example, frequently replace a Gem circulation strike with a 1901-P Morgan Dollar in Proof.

    Are Morgan Silver Dollars Worth Anything?

Are Morgan Silver Dollars Worth Anything

Yes, Morgan Silver Dollars are valuable.

Collectors and investors appreciate these late 19th and early 20th century coins. Depending on their condition, date, and other elements, Morgan silver dollars can range in value from $20 to tens of thousands of dollars. Well-preserved, highly sought-after Morgan silver dollars can fetch prices ranging from $10 to $100 or more.

The 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar, which brought in $735,000 at auction, was the most valuable Morgan silver dollar ever sold. One of the world's most valuable and sought-after coins, the 1893-S is renowned for its scarcity and excellent condition.

  • Year and Mint Mark

    A Morgan Silver dollar's value can be significantly influenced by the year it was minted and by the mint mark, which indicates the location of the coin's mint. Because of their smaller mintage quantities, coins produced by the Carson City Mint (CC), for instance, are frequently worth more.

  • Condition

    The grade or state of the coin is a significant factor in determining its value. A coin in "Mint State" or perfect condition can fetch a lot more money than a worn coin from the same year and mint.

  • Rarity

    Another important factor in determining value is rarity. This includes certain rare varieties distinguished by particular features or errors in the coin's design or production, as well as the rarity of the coin's year and mint mark combination. The coin's rarity is directly proportional to its value.


In summary, a fascinating world of numismatic history and value can be discovered by investigating the important dates and varieties of Morgan Silver Dollars. Every Morgan Silver Dollar key dates coin conveys a tale of rarity, historical significance, and collector's passion.

From the famous 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollarthat commands record prices at auctions to the elusive key date coins like the 1889-CC and the 1895-S, they are highly sought after by investors and collectors.

With its origins in the Coinage Act of 1873 and its significance in the industrial and frontier growth of America, the Morgan Silver Dollar is a symbol of the country's economic development.

BOLD offers Morgan Silver Dollar coins and Silver rounds at the lowest prices.They capture minds with their rarity, historical significance, and simple beauty.

They are treasured reminders of America's numismatic legacy and artifacts of a bygone era, with a value that goes beyond simple currency.

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