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 * Xf / Au * No Reserve !! * Free Layaway *1921 P Morgan! Gorgeous B&w Cameo! Super Pq! Acg Got This One Right! Unreal Dmpl1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar, Challenging New Orleans Issue, ** Free Shipping!1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Xf 451893 S Morgan Dollar Pcgs Xf Key Date San Francisco Mint1878 Cc Morgan! Unreal Dmpl! Deep Mirrors! Superb Gem Bu++ Thick Cameo! Wow Nr1893 S Morgan Silver Dollar Great Coin No Reserve1880s Morgan Dollar-pcgs Ms64 Exceptionally Intense Aqua/green Rainbow Toning1885-cc Cc Tilted Left * Pcgs Ms66 * Silver Morgan Dollar $2,350+ Vam 3 * Frosty1887 Pcgs Ms65 Gem Colorful Target Toned Morgan Dollar 1895-o Us Morgan Silver Dollar - 90% Silver - Amazing Condition!1883 O Ngc Ms64 Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar1889-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Almost Uncirculated/extra FineRare 1885-cc Morgan Dollar Ngc #3032027-018 Ms-65 Gsa $1 Silver Carson City1885-o Morgan Dollar Anacs Ms64 Rainbow Toned~colorful Toning~ Color1893cc Pcgs Ms64 Morgan Silver Dollar1881 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1883 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs & Cac Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1885-cc Ms64 Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Certified - Super Nice Coin !1886 S Better Date Morgan Silver Dollar Choice+ San Francisco Mint Coin Toning1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 65+ S$1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1881 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc & Cac Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1883 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Proof Like Ms 66pl $1 Us Coin Rare Carson MintRarest Date 1889 Cc Ngc F12 King Of Carson City Morgan Us Silver 1 Dollar Coin 1903 O Morgan Silver Dollar - Uncirculated - Nice Coin1885 Cc Gsa Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc 64 Carson CityScarce 1880 Cc Pcgs Ms62 Uncirculated Carson City Morgan Dollar1889-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Highly Coveted Carson City Issue ** Free Shipping!1895-s Morgan Silver Dollar "vf" *free S/h After 1st Item*1885 Cc Morgan Dollar $1 Pcgs Ms 62 Pl Doily Label1889 Cc Morgan Dollar Excellent Eye Appeal Key Date Carson City Mint Issue1888-s Morgan Silver Dollar, Tough San Francisco Issue! ** Free Shipping!1879 S Morgan! Pcgs Ms64! Near Dmpl Obverse! Gorgeous Mirrors! Semi Pl Rev!1996 American Silver Eagle Pcgs Ms67 Rainbow Toned~colorful Toning~1891-cc * Pcgs Ms65 * Silver Morgan Dollar $4,800++++ Grey Sheet Wholesale White1888-o Pcgs Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 66 ** Exquisite Radiant Mint Luster!1881 S Pcgs Ms67 Morgan Dollar Very Pl Dmpl Looking $20001882 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 6 Morgan Silver Dollars1880-cc 8/low 7 Top 100 Pcgs Ms65 Pl Silver Morgan Dollar Vam 6 $2,800+ Proof Lk1894-p $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Au 581885-cc Morgan Dollar --pcgs Ms65 Gsa1881-cc Ms65 Ngc Gsa Hoard Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollar Rare . 1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms63dmpl Monster Mirrors1884 Ccmorgan! Wow! Superb Gem Bu++ Monster 16+ Inch Mirrors! Black & Snow White1882 Cc Morgan Dollar White Coin Pcgs Ms 64 Pl 1st Generation Holder 1878 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 65 S$1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint Rare 1881-cc Morgan Dollar Ngc #3147119-002 Ms-65 Gsa $1 Silver Carson City1893 O Morgan! Blast White Beauty! Higher Grade! Bu Ms++++ Super Rare! WowRare Estate Found 1893 Cc Carson City $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin» 1895-o « Morgan Silver Dollar Low Mintage!1882-cc $1 Gsa Hoard Morgan Silver Dollar / Carson City / Stunning Coin 1881 Cc Morgan Dollar In Good ConditionFive Original Rolls (100 Coins) 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1893 S Morgan Dollar 100% Original Key Date San Francisco Mint Issue No Cleaning39 Morgan Silver Dollars1884 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 66 $1 Us Coin Rare Carson City Mint 1878-cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 - No Reserve!1881 Cc Morgan Dollar White Coin Pcgs Ms 63 Has Reflectivity Ogh1903-o Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollar