3 Most Valuable Morgan Dollars

Posted on

Often referred to as the “King of America’s coins,” the Morgan Dollar is a widely cherished numismatic treasure, fascinating collectors for decades. Despite their ubiquity, however, the values of these iconic coins exhibit an exceptionally diverse range. This article will explore why that is and answer the question What are the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars?, highlighting:

  • The origins of these legendary coins.
  • The elements that make Morgan Dollars valuable.
  • The three most valuable Morgan Dollars.

For a comprehensive list of which Morgan Dollars are valuable, watch this informative video:

What makes a Morgan Silver Dollar valuable

Before answering the question of “What is the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollar today?”, let us first review some fundamental attributes of this esteemed coin.

Where valuable Morgan Dollars were minted

Since their inception in 1878, Morgan Dollars have been minted at various locations across the United States, with each mint leaving its distinctive mark on these iconic coins. Exploring the regional nuances in production reveals subtle variations that enhance the individuality and desirability of Morgan Dollars. As most coin connoisseurs will know, these are the distinct mint marks that characterize valuable Morgan Dollars’ different production locations:

  • Philadelphia: No mint mark.
  • San Francisco: “S” mint mark.
  • Carson City: “CC” mint mark.
  • Denver: “D” mint mark.
  • New Orleans: “O” mint mark.

mint mark on Morgan Dollar







Purity of the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollars

Morgan Silver Dollars minted between 1878 and 1921 were crafted from a durable composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. This alloy adhered to the specifications outlined in the Coinage Act of 1837, a law designed to ensure the consistency and reliability of coins by regulating their metal content. Essentially, the Act aimed to prevent fluctuations in the value of currency by establishing a standardized composition for coins.

Notably, a commemorative issue of the Morgan Dollar released in 2021 marked a departure from the coin’s traditional alloy with a composition of 99.9% pure silver. This adjustment aimed to acknowledge contemporary numismatic preferences while upholding the coin’s enduring legacy and intrinsic value.

Browse through more rare silver coins beyond valuable Morgan Silver Dollars.

What year Morgan Dollars are valuable?

With a substantial minting period spanning four decades, from 1878 to 1921, the Morgan Dollar series naturally encompasses several key dates. Numerous Morgan Dollar coins stand out as rare or significant, presenting collectors with a diverse range of numismatic treasures. Some examples of the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollar years carrying unique historical and numismatic importance include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 1878: Morgan Dollars produced in the series’ inaugural year hold a special appeal as the first standard silver dollars minted since the enactment of the 1873 Coinage Act. Struck in Philadelphia, three different reverse designs were created that year, with the first variety featuring an eagle with eight tail feathers being especially highly prized.
  • 1879-CC: Carson City Mint has always held a certain mystique, due to its relatively brief operational period, adding to the desirability of the 1889-CC Morgan Dollar. With a low survival rate, this coin constitutes a particularly hard-to-find issue.
  • 1884-S: The uniqueness of the 1884-S coin lies in its departure from the typical fate of Morgan Dollars. Unlike most of its counterparts, which were bagged and stored for future release, almost all of the 1884-S Morgan Dollars were circulated.
  • 1892-S: The 1892-S Morgan Dollar, while minted in higher numbers compared to its Philadelphia counterpart, is considered exceptionally rare, particularly in mint state. This is because the majority of San Francisco coins either entered circulation or were melted in 1918.
  • 1893-S: What makes the 1893-S coin a key date in the series is that only a mere 100,000 of it were struck, marking it as the lowest mintage for any business strike in the Morgan Dollar series.
  • 1895: An anomaly in the series, the 1895 Morgan Dollar holds unparalleled value as one of the most valuable Morgan Dollars. With no official circulation coins minted that year, the few proof coins produced make it a numismatic gem.
  • 1903-O: The 1903-O Morgan Dollar, once deemed the rarest in the series, gained legendary status due to its scarcity. Originally believed nearly extinct despite a mintage of 4.5 million, its unexpected resurgence in the early 1960s, when a cache of coins stored in Philadelphia vaults was discovered, astonished collectors.
  • 1921: What makes a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar valuable is that it was the final year of Morgan Dollar production, marking the end of an era. Coins from the Philadelphia Mint and especially the Denver Mint from this year carry historical weight, appealing to collectors drawn to the concluding chapter of the series.

1921 Morgan Dollar






Are Morgan Silver Dollars valuable for any other reasons?

As exemplified by the key date coins discussed above, Morgan Dollars command numismatic interest for a wide array of reasons. Among the factors that make Morgan Silver Dollar most valuable and contribute to their status as numismatic gems are the following:

  • Historical significance: Morgan Dollars connect collectors to pivotal moments in American history, as they were minted during a transformative era in American history. Emerging in the aftermath of the Coinage Act of 1873, Morgan Dollars encapsulate the nation’s economic and social evolution.
  • Noteworthy design: Crafted by George T. Morgan, Chief Engraver at the US Mint between 1876 and 1925, the Morgan Silver Dollar is celebrated for its elegant design. This features Lady Liberty’s profile on the obverse and the heraldic eagle on the reverse. Notably, the inaugural issue of the coin displays eight tail feathers on the eagle, with the fascinating 7 over 8 Tail Feathers variety adding a unique touch to certain coins.
  • Limited production numbers: Morgan dollars exhibit varying mintage numbers throughout their production, with later editions often surpassing earlier releases. The factors influencing mintage, such as economic conditions and silver supply considerations, contribute to the rarity of specific years, irrespective of high production numbers.
  • Survival rates: Numerous Morgan Dollars have low survival rates. Many coins were subject to melting, circulation wear, or hoarding, leading to a reduced number of well-preserved specimens and making the Morgan Dollar most valuable in the world of numismatics.
  • Minting Errors and varieties: The Morgan Dollar series showcases complexity and diversity, captivating collectors with the thrill of numerous unique anomalies. Variations including double dies, overdates, and the distinctive Carson City mint mark contribute to the series’ rich numismatic tapestry.

3 most valuable Morgan Dollar coins

As mentioned earlier, the price spectrum for Morgan Dollars is extensive. On the lower end of the scale, collectors can acquire these iconic coins for as little as $30. This affordability renders them an excellent choice for entry-level collectors to begin their numismatic journey.

However, the coin series also allows numismatists with a bigger budget to explore more exclusive and rare specimens, with some Morgan Dollars reaching several thousand dollars or even more in the upper echelons of the market. For those seeking high-value acquisitions, we will now highlight three of the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollar value coins that will make a great addition to your collection.

1891-CC: one of the most valuable VAM Morgan Dollars

1891-CC Morgan $1 Top-100 VAM-3 Spitting Eagle NGC MS65

  • Country: United States
  • Metal: Silver
  • Year: 1891
  • Why it is valuable: Most coin connoisseurs will, beyond a doubt, give the same answer to the question “What are the most valuable Morgan Dollars?”, citing the 1891 “Spitting Eagle” variety of the coin. Minted in Carson City and considered a minting anomaly due to a die clash, i.e. where the dies clashed during the striking process, this coin is characterized by the fact the eagle on its reverse appears to have an open beak, creating an illusion that it is “spitting” feathers. The “VAM” designation of this specific coin signifies that it is a recognized variety by numismatists, adding to the coin’s historical and collectible value.
  • Check our most current price here.

1891- CC Morgan Dollar







1892-CC: one of the most valuable CC Morgan Dollar coins

1892-CC Morgan $ PCGS

  • Country: United States
  • Metal: Silver
  • Year: 1892
  • Why it is valuable: The 1892-CC Morgan Silver Dollar is considered one of the most valuable Morgan Dollar coins for several reasons. Firstly, it was minted by the Carson City Mint in what were relatively low numbers for that year. Moreover, this coin boasts a storied history, with its scarcity shifting dramatically in the late 1950s with a Treasury release that prompted a surge in prices in the 1960s and 1970s. High-grade specimens of this coin are very rare, with estimates plummeting from MS-60 to MS-65 or better.
  • Get our most current price here.

1892- CC Morgan Dollar







Photo by PCGS

1889-CC: one of the most valuable Morgan Dollar dates

1889-CC $1 Morgan

  • Country: United States
  • Metal: Silver
  • Year: 1889
  • Why it is valuable: The 1889-CC $1 Morgan stands as a numismatic treasure with a compelling backstory. Minted in the final quarter of 1889 at the Carson City Mint, only 350,000 were struck, primarily entering circulation. As the most elusive Carson City Morgan and what many consider the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollar today, its scarcity is underscored by the low survival rate, making high-grade examples exceptionally rare.
  • View our most current price here.

1889-CC Morgan Dollar







Photo by PCGS

To read more about the 1889-CC coin, i.e. one of the most valuable Morgan Silver Dollar dates, click here.

Where to buy the most sought-after Morgan silver dollars

With a rich and eventful history that traces its origins to the late 1800s, Morgan Silver Dollars have transcended their utilitarian origins to become cherished artifacts in the world of coin collecting.

To acquire the most sought-after Morgan Silver Dollars that have stood the test of time, consider using Blanchard. Renowned for its expertise in the field and unwavering commitment to authenticity, Blanchard stands as one of the most reliable sources for coin enthusiasts looking to enhance their collections. Blanchard’s long-standing presence in the numismatic community attests to its dedication to preserving the legacy of iconic rare American coins and providing collectors with genuine pieces of history.

Do not hesitate to reach out to Blanchard’s team of experts for valuable insights, including guidance on which Morgan Silver Dollars are valuable and more.

Want to read more? Subscribe to the Blanchard Newsletter and get our tales from the vault, our favorite stories from around the world and the latest tangible assets news delivered to your inbox weekly.