The Morgan silver dollar was minted following one of the largest silver rushes in history. So much silver flooded the market after this rush, the government bought up much of it to mint into the silver Morgan dollars. Of the millions of Morgan dollars that were minted over a couple of decades, only a few remain because so many of them were melted down for their silver content in the early 1900's. The rarity of the Morgan dollar comes from World War I. During the wartime, the United States needed funding. In order to provide funding for the war, the government passed an act to melt down Morgan dollars for their silver. In addition, because the dollars are very pure in silver, many have been melted down for bullion.
Morgan Dollars were struck without interruption from 1878-1904, then again in 1921. U.S. Mints that produced Morgan Dollars include Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Denver, and Carson City. Mintmarks for all mints except Philadelphia were placed on the reverse of the coins just beneath the ribbon bow of the wreath.The designer of the Morgan Dollar is George T. Morgan.
Obverse: Lady Liberty is portrayed as a goddess, wearing a Liberty Cap with the word "Liberty" inscribed on a ribbon. The cap is also adorned by two cotton blossoms and two heads of wheat, which are symbolic of America's agricultural heritage. Thirteen stars represent the original 13 colonies. George T. Morgan's small initial "M" is featured at the base of Liberty's neck. The motto "E Pluribus Unum" and the date complete the design.
Reverse: The central design is an American eagle with outstretched wings. It holds an olive branch of peace and the arrows of war in its talons to indicate that although America is a peace-loving nation, she will defend her borders against attack. The motto "In God We Trust" in Gothic script appears above the eagle, while a laurel wreath surrounds the lower half of the design. The mint mark of coins struck at the branch mints appears below the bow in the wreath. Finally, with the help of a magnifying glass, it is possible to read Morgan's tiny initial "M" on the left loop of the ribbon tying the wreath.
Location of the mint mark on Morgan Silver Dollars struck at the branches of the United States Mint.
$1 Morgan Dollar (1878-1921)
Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 26.73 grams
Diameter: 38.10 millimeters
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, Denver, and San Francisco
$1 Morgan Dollar Interest: 1893 S Morgan Silver Dollar in in certified mint state could be worth $550,000; 1901 Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could be worth $350,000; 1889 CC Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could be worth $300,000; 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could be worth $215,000; 1893 O Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could be worth $190,000; 1892 S Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could be worth $180,000; 1895 O & 1896 O Morgan Silver Dollar in certified mint state could each be worth $160,000.