That’s what critics likely shouted at U.S. Mint officials after the 1878-P Morgan Silver Dollar was first released. Of course, the Morgan went on to become perhaps the most widely collected vintage silver dollar ever struck in American history, but eagle-eyed collectors noted that the Bald Eagle depicted on the reverse sported eight tail feathers – even though this particular eagle should only have seven!
The Mint would try to rectify the problem not once, but twice resulting in not one, not two, but THREE unique collector variations!
8 TAIL FEATHERS – After experts pointed out that eagles have an odd number of tail feathers, a design change was quickly ordered requiring new dies to be made – but not before the original 8 Tail Feathers variety was released for circulation. This design is extremely popular among collectors because it is the lowest mintage of all 1878 Morgans.
7/8 TAIL FEATHERS – Because there wasn’t time to discard the existing dies and wait for new ones to arrive, the mint overpunched the new 7 Tail Feathers design over the older 8 Tail Feathers dies, creating the 1878 “7 Over 8” Morgan Silver Dollar – a first-year “error” that made for a rare and beautiful Morgan.
7 TAIL FEATHERS – The third try was the charm and the 7 Tail Feathers variety finally got it right – the last of three reverse tail feather varieties struck during the coin’s first year. Now with an anatomically correct eagle, the design would be used throughout the rest of the series’ 28-year run.
In this fine-feathered set, you’ll receive one of each of these first-year Morgan varieties: the 8TF, 7/8TF and 7TF Morgan.
Each coin was struck in highly pure 90% fine American silver and comes graded in Extremely Fine (XF) or better condition. You’ll also receive a Morgan Silver Dollar story book and a storycard detailing the history of the mint’s notorious first-year tail feathers mishap.