The Morgan silver dollars of 1878 to 1904 and 1921 are probably the most collected U.S. coins other than Lincoln cents. Designed by the U.S. Mint’s special engraver, George T. Morgan, the coin featured a profile of a garlanded Lady Liberty on the obverse, with an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch on the reverse.

When the new design was introduced, the United States had been without a circulating silver dollar since 1873 (there were Trade Dollars, but those were only supposed to be used in the Orient). Smaller denomination silver coins filled in until the Bland-Allison Act paved the way for an official standard silver dollar coin.

That first year, some 20-million Morgans were struck at mints in Philadelphia, Carson City, and San Francisco, but variations in the coin’s reverse suggest it was still a bit of a work in progress. That’s because the tails of some of the eagles on the backs of the coins have eight feathers while other have seven.

Morgans are one of two silver-dollar types scrutinized for their die varieties (VAMs), which are the minute variations caused by the different dies used to strike the coins. Named for authors and coin researchers Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis, VAMs are widely used by collectors to catalog and identify Morgan and Peace Dollars.

For example, VAM-5, minted in Philadelphia in 1878, is considered by VAM enthusiasts to be one of the most prized Morgans around. It is an eight-tail-feather coin, some of whose letters have been doubled during minting. The New Orleans version of VAM-4 from 1888 is the famous "Hot Lips" coin, so called because Lady Liberty’s lips appear to be doubled. Though the top grades of this coin are rather rare and costly, the lower grades are relatively common.

Coinage of Morgans ceased in 1904 due to the exhaustion of silver purchased under the Sherman Act of 1890, and then resumed in 1921. That year, more than 80-million Morgans were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver, but 1921 was also the year that the Morgan was replaced by the Peace Dollar, a coin minted to commemorate the end of World War I a few years earlier.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

VAMworld

VAMworld

This group-authored wiki is devoted to Morgan and Peace dollar die varieties known as VAMs - named after the two co… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1893 S Morgan Silver Dollar - Key Date - Pcgs Certified ** Good 06 ** Nr1893-s Pcgs Vg08 Morgan Silver Dollar (zz14)Rare 1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar! Great Condition! The Key Date & No Reserve!!!Lot Of 3 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #278Pretty 1890 Pcgs Ms62 Rainbow Toned Morgan DollarLot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781893-s Morgan Dollar Almost Uncirculated Rare!!1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 - Pcgs & Cac Ms62 Dmpl Certified & Graded500 Silver Morgan Dollars1885- Cc Pcgs Ms 64 Morgan Silver Dollar-- Carson City Frosty White1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Certified Ms64Lot Of (41) Morgan, Peace Silver Dollars, Date Set, 1890 Cc, 1921 1878 - 1935 $11889 Cc Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar No Reserve!!!Lot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781891-cc Morgan Dollar Proof-like - Pcgs Ms 62 Dmpl Certified & Graded Rattler1889 Cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Genuine Carson City! Semi-key Date!1879-cc Morgan Silver Dollar- Rare Key Date- Large Estate- Xf1878 Morgan Silver Dollar - Ngc Certified 8tf Vam-18 Ms64Amazing Collection Of Morgan Silver Dollars, Over 4 Full Rolls, Some Pcgs/ngc Key Dated Morgan Dol *pcgs* 1889-cc Very Fine 30 -for The Grade Its A Great CoinMs Bu Beauty ~ 1878 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Rare High Grade ~ $1 No ReserveLot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781885-p Ngc Ms62 *star* Beautiful Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar!Gem 1883-o $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Dmpl1883-o Ngc Ms62 *star* Stunning Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar!1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Rare (carson City Very Beautiful Detail) GenuineTougher Dated Gem Morgan Dol *pcgs* 1885-cc Ms-65 White & Clean For The Grade !!1880-s Morgan Silver $1 - Redfield Collection Grade - Paramount Int. Coin Corp.1892-cc Morgan Dollar - Super Nice Pcgs Ms-62 W/ Original Surfaces !$1 1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar, Pcgs Ms63 Rare! * No Reserve!1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar.....rare Coin.....beauty!1897 Morgan Dollar Proof-like - Pcgs Ms 63 Dmpl Certified & Graded Rattler1880-s $1 Ngc/redfield Ms63 Morgan Silver Dollar - No Reserve!1892-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated Blast White! Pq++ Zkcsz1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar1889-cc United States Morgan Silver Dollar Coin Rare Key Date Carson City1893 Morgan Silver Dollar #18466 $ High Grade Coin Us Mint Rare Key Date EstateMorgan Silver Dollar 1880 S Ch Gem Bu Dmpl Cameo Ms+++++++ High Grade!1894 P Morgan Dollar 100% Original Beautiful White Coin1875-s Trade Dollar - Ms-62 Pcgs Retail $1450 Key Date 1894 Morgan Dollar Graded Pcgs F15 - A Nice Choice FineCarson City Sale ~ 1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 No Reserve ~ Rarest Of All Cc1889cc Morgan Silver Dollar - Key Date1882-cc Morgan Head Silver Dollar Uncirculated In Case Carson City Cc 1878-cc Pcgs Ms 66 Morgan Dollar Retail 6,3001878-cc Morgan Dollar, Pcgs Ms-65 Cac, Spectacular Tone (estatesale Is Now Dkrc)1889 O Pcgs Ms 65 Morgan Dollar Retail 6,000Premium Pcgs/cac Ms66+plus 1884-cc Carson City Morgan Dollar "blast White Pq+++"Original Roll 1921-p Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1880-cc Morgan Dollar Gsa Hoard Ms-631881-s Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms65 Rainbow Toned ~colorful Toning~ Gen 2.0 Rattler1884-o Ngc Ms64 *star* Colorful Toned Morgan Dollar!1893 Cc Morgan Dollar Au ** Key Date **1885 Cc Us Morgan Silver Dollar Coin - Rare * Beautiful Condition*1883-cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 - Pcgs / Cac Ms 64 Dmpl Certified & Graded1884-o Morgan Silver Dollar Proof-like Pcgs Ms64dmpl Certified & Graded Rattler1886 Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms65 Gold Cac Lightly Toned ~toning~ Under Graded 1879-cc Silver Morgan Dollar **xf** Us Coin "rare" !!!!!1892 Cc Morgan Dollar Key Date 100% White Coin Original Semi Pl Fields1880-s Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Uncirculated Deep Mirror Proof Like Zzkss