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 Almost Uncirculated Very Rare!!1893 S Pcgs Genuine F Details Key Date Morgan Dollar1878 1880 1881 Morgan Silver Dollars Gsa Cc Carson City1893 S Morgan Dollar Great Eye Appeal Better Grade Key Date San Francisco Mint1893-s $1 Morgan Silver Dollar1878 1880 1881 Morgan Silver Dollars Gsa Cc Carson City1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar S$1, Au, Cleaned, New Orleans Mint Coin (170745n)1879 S Ngc Ms63 Semi Prooflike Electrifying Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar1881-cc Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms64 Dmpl1885-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gsa Hoard Ngc Ms64 Box Included, No Coa *hucky* 1880 Cc Morgan Dollar Ngc Ms 64 Gsa W/ Box And Coa No Reserve**1880-s** Ms 66 Pl Anacs Eye Popper!! Superb Morgan!!Ngc Au-53 1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar - No Reserve! - Attractive Morgan1885 Cc Unc+ Morgan Silver Dollar1889-cc Morgan Dollar Key Date// Choice Vf/xf Sharp Detail!!1884-cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 - Pcgs / Cac Ms65 *no Reserve!1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms61 Old Green Holder1883 Cc Morgan! Moster Black And White Dmpl! 20 Inch Mirrors! Ultra Dmpl1880/79 O Pcgs Ms 62 Beautiful Mint Luster V.scarce Proof Like1901 Morgan Pcgs Au58 $1 Start & No Reserve 1885-o Morgan Silver Dollar Silver Magnificent Rainbow Toned Unc W/ Old EnvelopeKing Of Carson City ~ 1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Vf Xf Bright & Reflective$1.00 1880-cc (3rd Reverse) Morgan Silver Dollar * Pcgs Ms65 Gem! * No Reserve!1880-cc Gsa Silver Morgan Dollar In Box W/coa Free S/h!!!1881-cc Gsa Silver Morgan Dollar In Box W/coa Free S/h!!!1884-o Morgan Pcgs Ms63dmpl Vam 10 [pop 1/1] $1 Start & No Reserve 1881 S Morgan Silver Dollar - Pcgs Ms 65 Pl - Rattler - Great Mirrors!Must See! ~ Pcgs Ms-65 1900-o/cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ No Reserve! 1880 Cc Carson City Vam 6 Top 100 Anacs Ms64 Morgan 90% Silver $1 Dollar Toned!1890 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Certified Pcgs Ms 62 Pl Proof Like1881-cc P.l. Ms+++++ Morgan Silver Dollar From Big CollectionMust See! ~ Pcgs Ms-65 1900-o/cc Morgan Silver Dollar ~ No Reserve! 1893 Cc Morgan Dollar Great Eye Appeal Better Grade Key Date Carson City Mint1880 O Morgan! Highly Reflective Proof Like Pl!! Very Rare! Ms++++ No Reserve!1887 Gsa Soft Pack Morgan Silver Dollar - 90% Silver Dollar1879-s Morgan Dollar Pcgs Ms66 Ogh Stunning1878 Cc Carson City Vam 6 Top 100 Anacs Ms62 Morgan 90% Silver $1 Dollar Toned!1884-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Semi-pl Lustrous***famous Carson City Mint Key Date 1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Certified Pcgs Ms 641879 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Coin #3046 $ Hi-grade$ Us Mint$rare Key Date1878 P Morgan Silver Dollar 7tf Tail Feathers Ms Bu Dmpl Deep Mirror Prooflike1880cc Silver Carson City Morgan Dollar. Lot# 81880-cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Lot # 7Pcgs Ms-65 1889-s Morgan Silver Dollar - No Reserve! - Beautiful Morgan!!1895-s Key Date Gem High Grade Morgan Silver Dollar From Big Collection1890-s Morgan Silver Dollar Roll-20 Coins Gem Brilliant Uncirculated Rare Date1 Roll (20 Coins) 1882 O Morgan Silver Dollars Bu/better Ms Condition Stk# 3-041885-cc Gsa Silver Morgan Dollar In Box W/coa Free Shipping1881 S Morgan Dollar Ms66pl1895-o Morgan Silver DollarUncirculated 1899 Silver Morgan Dollar Free S/h!!1893-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, Rare 'cc' Issue, Vf++1895 S Morgan Silver Dollar Coin #2779 $genuine Us Mint$rare Key Date1880-s Morgan Dollar Certified Ngc Ms63 Pl Old Fatty Ogh Mirrors Proof Like1889-cc Prooflike Morgan Silver Dollar Carson City Rare Key Date!!!Ngc Ms-67 1881-s Morgan Silver Dollar - Beautiful Mint Luster - Must See!1893 Morgan Silver Dollar, Key Date, Choice Bu++ ** Free Shipping!1881 S Pcgs Ms66 Gem Colorful Toned Morgan Dollar1892-cc Silver Morgan Dollar Free Shipping1902-o Morgan Silver Dollar Silver Godzilla Rainbow Toned Unc With Old Envelope