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. Series Key San Francisco Issue. Choice Xf++ 1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar, Scarce Low Mintage Key Date, Choice Au++/unc!$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc-mint And Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous Morgan Dollar "cc" And "cc" Minted End Coins1893 Morgan Silver Dollar, Super Nice Near Gem Bu++/gem Key Date, ** Free S/h!1881 Cc Pl / Dmpl Ms++ Bu Deep Mirrors ~ Key Date Morgan Silver DollarPcgs Vg-08 1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar. No Reserve$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Beautiful 1892 And "s" Mint Morgan Dollar Ends #a 1889-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Au55 Very Rare This Nice!$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous Morgan Dollar "p" And 1893 Minted End Coins1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 61 ** Better Date, Very Pq For Grade, Ogh!$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous "cc" And "cc" Minted Morgan Dollar End Coins1881 S Pcgs Ms65 Cac Gem Rainbow Reverse Toned Morgan In An Old Rattler Holder1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Combined Shipping!!1878 S Morgan! Pcgs Ms64 Cac Dmpl! Incredible Piece! Coin Looks 65! Super Pq++++$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous 1894 And "s" Mint Morgan Dollar Ends #b 1879-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Rev. '78, Pcgs Ms 64 * Blast White Better Date, Cac1892-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Nice Pl Look, Gorgeous Near Gem Bu++/gem Key Date!1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar, Very Lustrous Choice Bu++ Better Date, ** Free S/h!1885 Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 64 ~rainbow Toning Color !Authentic Us Morgan Silver Dollar 1893-s ( Morgan 1878-1921)1895-s Morgan Silver Dollar~rare Date & Mint~1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Scarce Semi-key, Second Owner!20 Silver Dollar Roll "1883" And "cc" Morgan Dollar Ends1878-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 64 ** Ogh, Cac Certified, Pq Better Date!1893 Morgan Silver Dollar, Very Nice Choice Bu++ Key Date, ** Free Shipping!1895-s San Francisco Mint Silver Morgan Dollar Free Shipping1882-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Deep Mirror Proof-like, Solid Gem Bu++ Dmpl!1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar Coin #9546 $ Hi-grade$genuine Us Mint$rare Key Date1893-cc Silver Morgan Dollar Coin F-12w Anacs Certified1894-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Avidly Pursued Better Date, ** Free Shipping!Morgan Silver Dollar Proof Set 1889-cc 1895 1893-o 1893-s 18781895-o Morgan Silver Dollar Better Date--combined Shipping!!1879-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Capped, Vam-3 Top-100, Choice Au++/unc Key Date!1882 Carson City Morgan Silver DollarKey Date ~ 1894 S Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Rare High Grade ~ $1 No Reserve Au Lot$20 Morgan Silver Dollar Roll 1901 Front & S-mint On Back 20 Coins Total N/r1895-s Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Xf 45 ** Very Nice For Grade, Should Be Au 50!1879 O Morgan Dollar * Cameo Dmpl * Gem Bu Unc Ms * Monster High Grade Dpl1893 Cc Morgan Dollar Fine + Stored In Leather1891-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Super Lustrous Near Gem Bu++ Tougher Date, Free S/hMorgan Silver Dollar 1887 P Pcgs Ms 64 Pl Under Grade Wow Coin Pq Satin Gem!1902-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Tough Choice Au++ Better Date, ** Free Shipping!1903-o Unc Morgan Silver Dollar~rare Date & Mint~breast Feathers~1880-s Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 Dmpl Very Pq Looks 64 With Deep Rainbow Toning1878 8tf Morgan 1$ Pcgs Graded Ms63 Blazing Prooflike! Free Shipping Never TaxPcgs 1900 O/cc Xf40 Morgan Dollar $. (cac Certified)Ultra Dmpl ~ 1885 O Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Ms Pl Bu ~ $1 No Reserve Deep Mirrors$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc And Cc Morgan Dollar Ends1885-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Semi-pl, Nice Bu++/choice Better Date, ** Free S/h!1879 S Rev Of 78 Morgan! Superb Gem Bu +++ Ultra Proof Like! Insane Pl! Wow Coin1879 S Pcgs Ms65 Gem Original Colorful Toned Morgan Dollar In A Old Rattler1893-p Morgan Silver Dollar Better Date/higher Grade--combined Shipping!!1878-cc U.s. Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Graded Circulated! Carson City Hoard! Nr!$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc And Cc Morgan Dollar Ends20 Original Silver Morgan Dollars/ Roll 1900-0 Brilliant Unc. Tougher Date1894 S Au-58 Morgan Silver Dollar .999 Fine Silver Ngc Graded1878 8tf Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 ** Cac Certified, Super Pl Look, Tough!1891-cc Morgan Silver Dollar No Reserve$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc And Cc Morgan Dollar Ends