The classic Morgan silver dollar is America’s most-collected coin, it’s a staple of the numismatic market and an exciting adventure for coin collectors. Morgan Dollars contain three-quarters of an ounce of 90% silver, mined from Nevada's legendary Comstock Lode, and are known as a "Silver Cartwheel," because of how light reflects off the surface, when mint state coins are turned. Morgan dollars are part of Americana, born in the Wild West. From 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921, Morgan Dollars were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City, and Denver. The Morgan Dollar is a coin of historical significance and considered a work of art. The history of this popular silver dollar variety is unparalleled as a testament to the phenomenal growth of the early 20th century.
Holding a Morgan in your hand takes you back to the Old West, reminiscent of America’s ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Morgan Dollars invoke images of western salons and honky-tonks, with cowboys raising the stakes at poker games, and stagecoach robberies from outlaws looking to score a cache of these big, beautiful silver dollars. The promise of silver riches turned small Nevada mining camps into large bustling cities and created many wealthy entrepreneurs. Many people in the East considered these silver dollars too large and bulky for daily commerce, so they were mainly circulated in the South and in the Wild West, where many farmers, housewives, and businessmen counted on them as every day money, making the Morgan Dollar America's "workhorse" coin. These silver dollars are reminiscent of Tombstone poker games with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, stagecoach holdups and bank robberies by Jesse James, and in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, where sharp-shooter Annie Oakley, would use them as a targets, shooting holes dead-center.
George T. Morgan Design
This large, heavy, handsome, historic silver dollar was named after its designer, George Thomas Morgan, the 7th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. His iconic design is one of the most recognized coin designs in the world. The obverse bears a beautiful close-up profile of Lady Liberty facing left, wearing a Phrygian crown that symbolizes freedom, encircled with a ribbon inscribed with LIBERTY. Above the crown are cotton and wheat that decorate the ribbon that symbolized the reconciliation of the North and South following the Civil War. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above Liberty’s head, with 13 stars below. There is a single small “M” at the base of Liberty's neck as a tribute to the designer, George T. Morgan. The Morgan reverse features an eagle with wings outspread with the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST above. Encircling the coin above is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA with the denomination, ONE DOLLAR, with stars on either side. The eagle is clutching both an olive branch and 3 arrows in its talons, symbolizing peace, yet readiness for war. Below the eagle and around its sides is a wreath of laurel to honor the nation’s achievements. The ribbon which ties wreath together is another “M” for Morgan. Below the wreath is where the Mint marks are located.
There were 657 million Morgan Dollars produced in 96 different date-and-mint combinations, over the 27 years of Morgan production. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Morgan Dollars were melted. Today, the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most colorful and treasured relics of America’s western frontier, and an inspirational coin that collectors are drawn to because of their historical significance.