Morgan Silver Dollar

Morgan Silver Dollar

Coins available in PCGC & NGC varieties, always selling below national suggested retail price.

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Morgan Silver Dollar Quick Facts

  • Best known American silver coin
  • 657 million minted 1878-1904, 1921
  • Born of the “Free Silver” movement
  • Highly prized by collectors and investors

The story of the Morgan silver dollar has a ring of familiarity to it. The Panic of 1873 plunged Americans deeply into debt and the cry went up for currency expansion to lessen the burden. The Greenback Party wanted to turn to the printing presses, and came close to putting a president in office when organized labor joined their camp.

When those efforts failed they turned to silver. America and Europe had demonetized silver and production was at record highs, so its price had plummeted. Under heavy pressure from inflationists and the mining industry, which desperately needed a sharp increase in demand, the government passed the Bland-Allison Act.

The Act called for the mintage of one silver coin for every 16 gold coins. The compromise satisfied no one. The increase in demand was insufficient to halt silver’s slide and the cheapened currency outraged supporters of the gold standard.

By the last decade of the 18th century the free silver movement had gained considerable support, prompting the government to pass the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, increasing government silver purchases. Once again it was an unsatisfactory compromise to the movement and the intensity of their political involvement grew.

Free silver’s fate was sealed when Grover Cleveland, a staunch supporter of the gold standard, was elected in 1892. The Panic of 1893 was reason enough for Cleveland to secure the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, and interest in free silver surged. The movement enlisted William Jennings Bryant for their final run at the presidency in 1896 and 1900, but when he failed to gain office, the movement died.
Throughout its dramatic history the Morgan Silver Dollar was minted in an unusual number of variations, accounting for their exceptional popularity today. Mintage ceased in 1904, but following legislation calling for the melting and restriking of silver dollars in 1918, the Morgan reappeared for a final issue in 1921, sharing mintage with the new Peace Dollar.

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