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”)



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    

Morgan Dollar Complete Date Set, 1892 Cc 1893 Cc 1895 O 94 O Silver $1 1878-1921No Reserve ~ 1893 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Original Xf ~ Extra Fine Carson CityNo Reserve ~ 1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Bu Rare Carson City ~ Frosty Ms$1 Morgan 1879 Cc Gsa Ngc Ms 63 -rarest Gsa Date, Great Grade, True Auction!!1895-s Morgan Silver Dollar Vf Detail Better Date!!1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Gsa Hoard Ms 65+ $1 Uscoin Carson City Rare CoaNo Reserve ~ 1879 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Estate Sale Brilliant Bu ~ Carson City1891 Cc Morgan Dollar Gsa Graded Ms 62 Pcgs Holder Spitting Eagle1879-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Clear Cc, Challenging Au Carson City Variety!1885 O Pcgs Ms63 Colorful Textile Toned Morgan DollarU.s. 1885-cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Carson City Gem Brilliant Unc In ParamountLot Of 3 Empty Morgan Dollar Gsa Box With Certificate 1883-cc, 1890-cc, 1891-cc1893-s Morgan Dollar * Nice Xf * No Reserve !! * Free Layaway *1883-cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 Graded Ngc Ms-66 Gem Gsa Key Date Box & Papers1885 Cc $1 Morgan Silver DollarMorgan Silver Dollar Set 1895 1889-cc 1884-s 1892-s 1893-s All 5 Coins1882-cc $1 Dmpl Pcgs Ms62dmpl Morgan Silver Dollar Beautiful Mirrors And Cameo1879 Morgan Dollar Outstanding Proof CameoOriginal Roll 1890 Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1879 S Morgan Dollar (non Cc) Gsa Holder Graded Ms 67 By Pcgs1881 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Gsa Hoard Ms 65 $1 Us Coin Carson City Rare Coa1891-cc Tougher Dated Cc Minted *ngc* Ms-63 All White - A Vam-3 Spitting Eagle1881-cc Gsa Morgan Silver Dollar Black Box W/ Box & Coa - #62571882-cc Ms66 Pcgs Ogh Morgan Dollar - Beautiful Blazer - A Real Gem - No ReserveOriginal Roll 1890-s Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 65 S$1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Rarer Cc Mint Issue! ** Free Shipping!1878 Morgan Dollar 8tf Ms 62 Deep Mirror Proof-like Ngc Top 100 Hot Lips Vam 23 1903-o Morgan Dollar Gem Brilliant Uncirculated White Coin! Pq+++++ Excellent1903-o Morgan Silver Reserve!1893-o Silver Morgan Dollar Vf 35 NgcThree Rolls (60 Coins) Pre 1921 Mixed Date Morgan Silver Dollars Extremely Nice 1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar !!1883-cc Ms-66 Superb Gem Cc Morgan Dol *ngc* All White - With Nice Eye Appeal1885-cc Dash Under 8 * Pcgs Ms65 * Silver Morgan Dollar $1,300++ Vam 2a * Frosty1903-o $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Graded Unc Details1881 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Anacs Ms62 Carson City MintFive Original Rolls (100 Coins) 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 65 S$1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1893-o Key Date Ultra High Grade Morgan Silver Dollar From Big Collection1883 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint Rare 1903-o Morgan Dollar Ngc Ms-63 No Reserve1881-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Popular Carson City Issue, ** Free Shipping!1878-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Better Date Carson City Issue, ** Free Shipping!1880 Pcgs Ms63 Colorful Textile Toned Morgan DollarOriginal Roll 1885-0 Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1880 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Gsa Hoard Ms 65 $1 Us Coin Carson City Rare Coa1901-o Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms64 Rainbow Toned~colorful Toning~color1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar - $1 - Anacs - Ef 40 Details *no Reserve*Original Roll 1883-0 Morgan Silver Dollars Bu1901-o Ms 66 Pcgs Morgan Dollar - Stunning Blazer - No Reserve Auction1878-cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Carson City Gsa Hoard1885-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Always In High Demand Bu Carson City Issue!1880-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Beautiful Carson City Issue, ** Free Shipping!1881-cc Morgan Dollar Uncirculated - Gsa HolderKey Date ~ 1879 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Xf Details Carson City ~ $1 No ReserveCarson City ~ 1892 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Rare Key Date ~ $1 No Reserve1881-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Tough Carson City Issue! ** Free Shipping!1886-o Morgan Dollar Average Uncirculated Better Date!Circulated 1880-cc Carson City Mint Silver Morgan Dollar Free Shipping