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 Dollar Extra Fine1883 Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms65* Star Rainbow Toned Gem~colorful Toning~ 1921 Pcgs Sample Slab Colorful Toned Circulated Morgan Dollar Ogh1881-cc Gsa Coa * Rare Pcgs Ms65 * Silver Morgan Dollar Vam 2 Frosty Blast White1893 Cc Morgan Dollar! A Semi Key Date Coin! A Mintage Of Only 677,000!! 1889 Cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Nice Coin1885-cc Morgan Silver Dollar1878-cc * Pcgs Ms65 * Silver Morgan Dollar * $1900++ Vam 9 * Rainbow Gold Colors1879-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Prooflike, Near Gem Bu++/gem Bu ** Eye Appealing!1884-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcg Ms-64 Dmpl Gorgeous Deep Mirrors Light Toning1884 Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms65* Star Rainbow Toned Gem~colorful Toning~ » 1894-p « Rare Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 611878 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar - Gsa Soft Pack - Ngc Ms 64 - Vam 11 - Rare Find!1880 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar In Gsa Pack1894 P , 1893 Cc & 1895 S Morgan Dollar 1889 Cc Morgan $1 Pcgs Vf 251893 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar1884-cc Morgan Dollar Exceptional Uncirculated Deep Mirror Proof Like1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar - Altered Surface1879-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Capped Die $1 - Pcgs F15 *no Reserve!1878 Morgan Silver Dollar With 8 Tail Feathers 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollar1893-s Morgan Dollar Almost Uncirculated Very Rare!!1892 Cc Morgan Dollar No Wear High Grade Coin Series Key Date Pcgs Certified1886-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Prooflike, Uncirculated ** Better Date Dollar!1893-cc Morgan Dollar Circulated1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Vf35 *hucky* 1889 Cc Morgan Dollar1878-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Prooflike, Near Gem Bu++/gem Bu ** Free Shipping!Mega Key 1895s Morgan Silver Dollar Spectacular High Grade1879-cc Morgan Dollar About Uncirculated+ Better Date!!Morgan Silver Dollar 1881 C/c Pcgs Ms 641881-cc Gsa Morgan Silver Dollar Uncirculated *hucky* 1880-cc Gsa Morgan Silver Dollar Uncirculated *hucky* 1921 P Morgan! Gorgeous 8-10 Inch Mirrors! Super Rare Dmpl! Gem Bu! Nr1893 S Morgan Dollar Great Eye Appeal Better Grade Key Date San Francisco Mint1881-cc Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms64 Dmpl1895-s Ngc Au Details "key Coin" Morgan Silver Dollar1881cc And 1884cc Morgan Silver Dollars High GradeAntique 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar $1 United States Carson City Mintage Cc CoinMust See! ~ Pcgs Ms-65 1900-o/cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ No Reserve! 1879-cc Silver Morgan Dollar Free Shipping1881-s Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms-63* Star Dramatic Bold Rainbow Star1878-s Pcgs Certified Ms63dmpl Morgan Dollar Rare "doily" Holder Label 1883 Cc Morgan! Moster Black And White Dmpl! 20 Inch Mirrors! Ultra Dmpl1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar "vf"1878 7/8 Tf Strong Morgan Dollar Ngc Ms62. Nice Blast White Looks 63+ 1890 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar - Pcgs Ms 62 - Ogh - Beautiful Coin!Ngc Au-53 1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar - No Reserve! - Attractive Morgan1885 O Morgan Silver Dollar Ms Bu Dmpl Deep Mirror Prooflike Strong Cameo Beauty1886 S Morgan Silver Dollar1882-cc Gsa Morgan Silver Dollar With Mint Error..............no Reserve!1878-s Morgan Dollar Exceptional Uncirculated Deep Mirror Proof Like1895-s Morgan Silver Dollar "nice Circ"1884 O Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms64 *star* Monster Rainbow Toned Very Colorful!1889-cc 1$ Morgan Silver Dollar Ms-63 Pcgs And Cac Certified1880 S Morgan Silver Dollar Certified Ngc Ms 67 Full White1885 - Cc Morgan Silver Dollar .900 Fine Better Date No Reserve L@@k Carson City1886 Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms-63+ Plus Incredible Monster Bag Toned Rainbow 1901-s Morgan Pcgs Ms64 $1 Start & No Reserve