Morgan Silver Dollar Specifications and Details

Background and History

Morgan silver dollars are one of the most popular series of United States coins amongst coin collectors. The coin is named after its designer, George T. Morgan. They were struck every year from 1878 to 1904 and revived again in 1921 for a single year. It was then replaced with the Peace silver dollar.

Initially, the coin was created to benefit the silver mining companies when Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act that effectively dictated the number of coins produced each month. The law artificially inflated the price of silver to satisfy the mining interests. Hundreds of millions of these coins never went into circulation and were stored in cloth bags containing 1,000 coins each. The Treasury Department then stored the bags in government vaults.

In 1918 a total of 270,232,722 coins were melted, but many coins remained inside the government vaults for decades. In the 1970s, the United States government decided to sell these coins to collectors. Coin experts were brought in to sort the coins by value. A bidding process was used were the highest bids received the most valuable coins. The coins were placed in a special holder and are prized by Morgan dollar collectors today.

Although the mint produced Proof coins in some years, not all coins that have a cameo contrast are considered Proof coins. Coins that have a Deep Mirror Proof-Like (DMPL) finish were made for circulation. Many circulated coins are worth only their bullion value. However, some Morgan dollars are very valuable.

Detailed Specifications

Issuing Government United States of America
Denomination $1.00 (one dollar)
Coinage Type Morgan Silver Dollar
Mintage Dates 1878–1904, 1921
Production Facilities Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City
Mint Mark Location On the reverse, below the wreath and above the "DO" in DOLLAR.
Composition 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight 26.730 grams
Weight Tolerance (+/-) 0.097 grams
Actual Gold Weight () 0.0000 Troy Ounces (does not contain any gold)
Actual Silver Weight (ASW) 0.7734 Troy Ounces
Actual Platinum Weight () 0.0000 Troy Ounces (does not contain any platinum)
Specific Gravity 10.340
Diameter 38.10 mm
Thickness 2.40 mm
Edge Type Reeded
Obverse Description Liberty facing left, hair in a Phrygian cap, and LIBERTY inscribed on a ribbon or band holding a spray of leaves and sheaves. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above, seven stars are to the left, six stars are to the right, and the date is below. Denticles surround.
Obverse Designer George T. Morgan
Reverse Description Eagle with wings spread holding a branch and three arrows. IN GOD WE TRUST appears in Old English letters above. Surrounding is the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR. Denticles surround the border.
Reverse Designer George T. Morgan
(Krause-Mishler Catalog No.) 110
Notes Both Morgan silver dollars and Peace silver dollars were minted in 1921.

Production Years, Mints and Types

The Morgan silver dollar was minted at the U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. Not all mint facilities made coins in every year of issue. 

Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1878 Philadelphia 8 TF (Tail Feathers)
1878 Philadelphia 7 over 8 TF
1878 Philadelphia 7 TF
1878 Proof Philadelphia 8 TF
1878 Proof Philadelphia 7 TF
1878 San Francisco S
1878 Carson City CC
1879 Philadelphia
1879 Proof Philadelphia
1879 San Francisco S
1879 Carson City CC
1879 New Orleans O
1879 Proof New Orleans O
1880 Philadelphia
1880 Proof Philadelphia
1880 San Francisco S
1880 Carson City CC
1880 New Orleans O
1881 Philadelphia
1881 Proof Philadelphia
1881 San Francisco S
1881 Carson City CC
1881 New Orleans O
Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1882 Philadelphia
1882 Proof Philadelphia
1882 San Francisco S
1882 Carson City CC
1882 New Orleans O
1883 Philadelphia
1883 Proof Philadelphia
1883 San Francisco S
1883 Carson City CC
1883 Proof Carson City CC
1883 New Orleans O
1883 Proof New Orleans O
1884 Philadelphia
1884 Proof Philadelphia
1884 San Francisco S
1884 Carson City CC
1884 Proof Carson City CC
1884 New Orleans O
1885 Philadelphia
1885 Proof Philadelphia
1885 San Francisco S
1885 Carson City CC
1885 New Orleans O
1886 Philadelphia
1886 Proof Philadelphia
1886 San Francisco S
1886 New Orleans O
Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1887 Philadelphia
1887 Proof Philadelphia
1887 San Francisco S
1887 New Orleans O
1888 Philadelphia
1888 Proof Philadelphia
1888 San Francisco S
1888 New Orleans O
1889 Philadelphia
1889 Proof Philadelphia
1889 San Francisco S
1889 Carson City CC
1889 New Orleans O
1890 Philadelphia
1890 Proof Philadelphia
1890 San Francisco S
1890 Carson City CC
1890 New Orleans O
1891 Philadelphia
1891 Proof Philadelphia
1891 San Francisco S
1891 Carson City CC
1891 New Orleans O
Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1892 Philadelphia
1892 Proof Philadelphia
1892 San Francisco S
1892 Carson City CC
1892 New Orleans O
1893 Philadelphia
1893 Proof Philadelphia
1893 San Francisco S
1893 Carson City CC
1893 Proof Carson City CC
1893 New Orleans O
1894 Philadelphia
1894 Proof Philadelphia
1894 San Francisco S
1894 New Orleans O
1895 Philadelphia Although Mint records indicate that business strikes were produced, none are known to have survived.
1895 Proof Philadelphia
1895 San Francisco S
1895 New Orleans O
1896 Philadelphia
1896 Proof Philadelphia
1896 San Francisco S
1896 New Orleans O
1897 Philadelphia
1897 Proof Philadelphia
1897 San Francisco S
1897 New Orleans O
1898 Philadelphia
1898 Proof Philadelphia
1898 San Francisco S
1898 New Orleans O
Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1899 Philadelphia
1899 Proof Philadelphia
1899 San Francisco S
1899 New Orleans O
1900 Philadelphia
1900 Proof Philadelphia
1900 San Francisco S
1900 New Orleans O
1901 Philadelphia
1901 Proof Philadelphia
1901 San Francisco S
1901 New Orleans O
1902 Philadelphia
1902 Proof Philadelphia
1902 San Francisco S
1902 New Orleans O
1903 Philadelphia
1903 Proof Philadelphia
1903 San Francisco S
1903 New Orleans O
1904 Philadelphia
1904 Proof Philadelphia
1904 San Francisco S
1904 New Orleans O
1921 Philadelphia
1921 Proof Philadelphia
1921 Denver D
1921 San Francisco S

Errors and Varieties

Morgan silver dollar collectors look for these popular errors and varieties. These coins usually carry a premium and are valued above a common coin of the same date and mint. Collectors who specialize in Morgan silver dollars collect them by VAM varieties, which are too numerous to be listed here. You can look up specific coins online at VAM World for more information.

Year Mint Mint
Mark
Error/Variety Notes/Description
1878 Philadelphia 7TF Rev '79
1878 Proof Philadelphia 7TF Rev '79
1879 San Francisco S Rev '78
1879 Carson City CC Capped CC
1880 Philadelphia 80 over 79
1880 San Francisco S 0 over 9
1880 San Francisco S 80 over 79
1880 Carson City CC 8 over 7
1880 Carson City CC 8 over high 7
1880 Carson City CC 8 over low 7
1880 Carson City CC 80 over 79
1880 Carson City CC Rev '78
1880 New Orleans O 80 over 79
1882 New Orleans O O over S
1887 Philadelphia 7 over 6
1887 New Orleans O 7 over 6
1888 New Orleans O Doubled Die Obv.
1900 New Orleans O O over CC
1901 Philadelphia Doubled Die Rev.

Mintage Figures

The U.S. Mint produced Morgan silver dollar at five different mint facilities. Where possible, production numbers by strike type are noted.

Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1878 Philadelphia 10,508,600
1878 Proof Philadelphia 500 8 Tail Feathers
1878 Proof Philadelphia 250 7 Tail Feathers
1878 San Francisco S 9,774,000
1878 Carson City CC 2,212,000
1879 Philadelphia 14,806,000
1879 Proof Philadelphia 1,100
1879 San Francisco S 9,110,000
1879 Carson City CC 756,000
1879 New Orleans O 2,887,000
1880 Philadelphia 12,600,000
1880 Proof Philadelphia 1,355
1880 San Francisco S 8,900,000
1880 Carson City CC 591,000
1880 New Orleans O 5,305,000
1881 Philadelphia 9,163,000
1881 Proof Philadelphia 984
1881 San Francisco S 12,760,000
1881 Carson City CC 296,000
1881 New Orleans O 5,708,000
Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1882 Philadelphia 11,100,000
1882 Proof Philadelphia 1,100
1882 San Francisco S 9,250,000
1882 Carson City CC 1,133,000
1882 New Orleans O 6,090,000
1883 Philadelphia 12,290,000
1883 Proof Philadelphia 1,039
1883 San Francisco S 6,250,000
1883 Carson City CC 1,204,000
1883 New Orleans O 8,725,000
1884 Philadelphia 14,070,000
1884 Proof Philadelphia 875
1884 San Francisco S 3,200,000
1884 Carson City CC 1,136,000
1884 New Orleans O 9,730,000
1885 Philadelphia 17,786,800
1885 Proof Philadelphia 930
1885 San Francisco S 1,497,000
1885 Carson City CC 228,000
1885 New Orleans O 9,185,000
1886 Philadelphia 19,963,000
1886 Proof Philadelphia 886
1886 San Francisco S 750,000
1886 New Orleans O 10,710,000
Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1887 Philadelphia 20,290,000
1887 Proof Philadelphia 710
1887 San Francisco S 1,771,000
1887 New Orleans O 11,550,000
1888 Philadelphia 19,183,000
1888 Proof Philadelphia 833
1888 San Francisco S 657,000
1888 New Orleans O 12,150,000
1889 Philadelphia 21,726,000
1889 Proof Philadelphia 811
1889 San Francisco S 700,000
1889 Carson City CC 350,000
1889 New Orleans O 11,875,000
1890 Philadelphia 16,802,000
1890 Proof Philadelphia 590
1890 San Francisco S 8,230,370
1890 Carson City CC 2,309,040
1890 New Orleans O 10,701,000
1891 Philadelphia 8,693,560
1891 Proof Philadelphia 650
1891 San Francisco S 5,296,000
1891 Carson City CC 1,618,000
1891 New Orleans O 7,954,530
Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1892 Philadelphia 1,036,000
1892 Proof Philadelphia 1,245
1892 San Francisco S 1,200,000
1892 Carson City CC 1,352,000
1892 New Orleans O 2,744,000
1893 Philadelphia 389,000
1893 Proof Philadelphia 792
1893 San Francisco S 100,000
1893 Carson City CC 677,000
1893 New Orleans O 300,000
1894 Philadelphia 110,000
1894 Proof Philadelphia 972
1894 San Francisco S 1,260,000
1894 New Orleans O 1,723,000
1895 Philadelphia 12,000 Although Mint records indicate that business strikes were produced, none are known to have survived. Any specimen should be authenticated by a reputable third-party grading service. Beware of removed Mint marks.
1895 Proof Philadelphia 880
1895 San Francisco S 400,000
1895 New Orleans O 450,000
1896 Philadelphia 9,976,000
1896 Proof Philadelphia 762
1896 San Francisco S 5,000,000
1896 New Orleans O 4,900,000
1897 Philadelphia 2,822,000
1897 Proof Philadelphia 731
1897 San Francisco S 5,825,000
1897 New Orleans O 4,004,000
1898 Philadelphia 5,884,000
1898 Proof Philadelphia 735
1898 San Francisco S 4,102,000
1898 New Orleans O 4,440,000
Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1899 Philadelphia 330,000
1899 Proof Philadelphia 846
1899 San Francisco S 2,562,000
1899 New Orleans O 12,290,000
1900 Philadelphia 8,830,000
1900 Proof Philadelphia 912
1900 San Francisco S 3,540,000
1900 New Orleans O 12,590,000
1901 Philadelphia 6,962,000
1901 Proof Philadelphia 813
1901 San Francisco S 2,284,000
1901 New Orleans O 13,320,000
1902 Philadelphia 7,994,000
1902 Proof Philadelphia 777
1902 San Francisco S 1,530,000
1902 New Orleans O 8,636,000
1903 Philadelphia 4,652,000
1903 Proof Philadelphia 755
1903 San Francisco S 1,241,000
1903 New Orleans O 4,450,000
1904 Philadelphia 2,788,000
1904 Proof Philadelphia 650
1904 San Francisco S 2,304,000
1904 New Orleans O 3,720,000
1921 Philadelphia 44,690,000
1921 Denver D 20,345,000
1921 San Francisco S 21,695,000