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Silver Dollar

Silver Dollars Morgan Silver Dollars

The Silver Dollar or unit was first authorized in 1792, but the first issues did not appear until 1794. From then until 1804, all Silver Dollars had the edge lettering ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT. Early Silver Dollar coins had several designs including the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, issued from 1794 to 1795, the Draped Bust Silver Dollars, from 1795 to 1804, the Gobrecht Silver Dollars, from 1836 to 1839, the Liberty Seated Silver Dollars, from 1840 to 1873, and the Trade Silver Dollars, from 1873 to 1885. Following these Early Silver Dollar Coins, the popular Morgan Silver Dollars were produced. The Morgan Silver Dollar was made from 1878 to 1921. It is the most popular Collectible Silver Dollar from among these groups. For the average collector, the Early Silver Dollars are too scarce to collect; however, up until the mid twentieth century, Morgan Silver Dollars were available from banks at face value. Obviously Early Silver Dollar coins were not, but many are available today for type collectors, specialists, and investors. While many Early Silver Dollars are rare, many Morgan Silver Dollars are not. There are a few rare dates in the Morgan Silver Dollar series, but most are attainable. Even most key dates are available in circulated condition.

The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar shows a head of Liberty facing right with her hair flowing down her neck. Above her head is LIBERTY with the date below. Seven stars are on each side of the coin between LIBERTY and the date. The reverse shows a skinny eagle perched on a wreath that is tied with a bow and surrounded by the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The Draped Bust Silver Dollar shows a draped bust of Liberty with her hair tied with a ribbon. The word LIBERTY is above and the date is below. Various combinations of stars were to the left and right of Liberty including 10 left and 6 right, 9 left and 7 right, 15 stars and 13 stars on the obverse. For the first three years of the Draped Bust dollar, the small eagle reverse similar to the prior design was used; however, from 1798 to 1804 a modified heraldic eagle was used for the reverse. It had mixed up heraldry with the arrows and olive branch in the wrong talons.

The Gobrecht Silver Dollar coins, which show a seated figure of Liberty holding a shield and liberty cap obverse and his magnificent eagle in flight reverse, are a mixture of circulation issues, patterns, restrikes, and mules, which had mismatched edge devices and designs. The mules and restrikes are usually seen in mint condition. Some were oriented as medals and others had coin alignment. In 1837 the standard weight for the dollar was reduced from 26.96 grams to 26.73 grams, which was another factor that affected the Gobrecht dollars. The Liberty Seated silver dollar replaces the flying eagle with a heraldic eagle. There were No Motto and With Motto issues because in 1866 the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to a banner above the eagle.

The Trade Dollar was issued for export to the Orient. Often seen with chop marks, it portrayed Liberty seated facing left holding an olive branch. In addition to the required inscriptions, it has on its reverse 420 GRAINS 900 FINE and below that TRADE DOLLAR. Morgan Dollar coins were issued from 1878 to 1921. They show a close head of Liberty facing left. She wears a headband inscribed LIBERTY. In her hair are cotton, corn, wheat, and tobacco. She wears a modified Phrygian cap and is surrounded with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, thirteen stars (seven left and six right), and the date. The reverse shows an eagle with wings raised looking left. In its talons are arrows and olive branch. A wreath is below and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST is above. Except for the eagle’s wing tips, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR circumscribe the design.

While not issued continuously, over the years the silver dollar was a main stay of United States commerce. The early silver dollar coins showed a young nation trying to identify itself. In the later years, through the twentieth century, the Morgan Dollar was a vehicle of commerce and later a reserve of silver for banks and a source of collecting adventure upon their release.

Specifications: 1794-1804 (Early Silver Dollar)
Edge: Lettered – HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with decorations
Weight: 26.96 grams
Diameter: 39-40 millimeters
Composition: 89.24% silver, 10.76% copper
Silver Content: 24.06 grams

Specifications: 1837-1921(Gobrecht, Liberty Seated and Morgan Dollar)
Edge: reeded (The Gobrecht Silver Dollar had both plain and reeded edge.)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Silver content: 24.06 grams

Specifications: Trade Dollars (1873-1885)
Edge: reeded
Weight: 27.22 grams
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Silver content: 24.50 grams

Silver Dollars Morgan Silver Dollars


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