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    

$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc-mint & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1903 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1878 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1888 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1881 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1879 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1891 & Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll S-mint And Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll Cc-mint And Cc-mint Morgan Dollar Ends$20 Silver Dollar Roll 1891 & 1889 Morgan Dollar Ends1890-s Pcgs Ms64 Pq Looks Nicer! Semi Pl Silver Morgan Dollar $1 1893-s $1 Morgan Silver Dollar1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar Bold Fine+ Condition. Series Key San Francisco Issue$20 Silver Dollar Roll - Cc Mint & O Mint Morgan $ Ends - Cartwheel Luster$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous Morgan Dollar "cc" And "cc" Minted End Coins1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 66 * Scarce This Nice, Lustrous Better Date!1881-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Superb Gem Mint State++ ** Nearly Flawless Beauty1893-s Morgan Dollar * Extra Fine Detail *1895 O Morgan Silver Dollar Au+ Details1893 Morgan Silver Dollar, Super Slider, Choice Au++/unc Key Date, ** Free S/h!1891-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Superb Gem Mint State++ **beautiful Toning1895-o Silver Morgan Dollar Uncirculated Key Date!$20 Silver Dollar Roll - Cc Mint & 1878 Mint Morgan $ Ends - Cartwheel Luster1893 S Morgan Dollar "rare" 100,000 Mintage "rare"$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous Morgan Dollar 1881 And "cc" Minted End CoinsEstate 1889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar *** Very High Grade Key Date Coin Rare***1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Nice Ms-641881 Morgan Silver Dollar Proof, Impressive Superb Gem Pf++, Only 984 Minted!1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar Extremely Fine Very Rare! Key Date!!$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. Gorgeous Morgan Dollar "o" And "cc" Minted End Coins1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar Fine Rare! Key Date!!$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. 1899 Morgan Dollar And 1894 Morgan Dollar End Coins 1893 Morgan Silver Dollar, Low Mintage Key Date, Bu++/choice Bu ** Free Shipping1888-p Pcgs Ms65 Pq Colorful Rainbow Obv W/rim Toned Rev Silver Morgan Dollar $11902 S Morgan Silver Dollar Brilliant Frosty Hi Grade San Francisco MintRare 1893-s Morgan Dollar Pcgs Xf25 Silver Dollar$20 Silver Dollar Roll- 1881 & 1878 Obverse Morgan Dollar Ends- Cartwheel Luster2008 “w” $25 (1/2oz) Gold Buffalo In Ngc Ms70 **key Date** (c10.7)1885 Cc Carson City Morgan Us Silver Dollar 1.00 S$1 - You Grade It - D891893-o Morgan Silver Dollar, Desired Choice Au+ Key Date, ** Free Shipping!1887-p Pcgs Ms65 Monster Pq! Colorful Rainbow Toning- Silver Morgan Dollar $11895 S Morgan Silver Dollar, Middle Grade, Scarce Date, Original Looking Coin $1$20 Silver Dollar Roll - Cc Mint & 1878 Mint Morgan $ Ends - Cartwheel Luster$20 Silver Dollar Roll - Cc Mint & Cc Mint Morgan $ Ends - Cartwheel Luster$20 $1.silver Dollar Roll. 1885 Morgan Dollar And 1892 Morgan Dollar End Coins 1885 Pcgs Ms65 Cac Gem Colorful Toned Morgan Dollar1893-cc Morgan Dollar.!! Key Date. ! Nr.!!Estate 1891 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Vam-3 ***high Grade Key Date Coin Rare***1878 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar 1894 P Morgan Silver Dollar Unc Details...very Nice12+ Lbs Of Old U.s. Silver Morgans, Peace Dollars & Other Great Old Coins~ Lot#91894 P Morgan Dollar Xf In Grade Scarce Philadelphia Mint IssuePow 1886-p Ms65 Target Rainbow Toned Pcgs Monster Pq Clean Face Silver Morgan $11893-s $1 Morgan Silver Dollar - Pcgs G DetailsUnited States Of America Dollar Morgan 1903-o Pcgs Ms 65+1890-cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Ms-64 Pcgs, White, High Luster1904 Morgan Silver Dollar, Proof, Deeply Mirrored Choice Gem Pf++, Tougher Date!1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar $1 Nr No Reserve Free Shipping Pq Wowzer! 1902-o Target Rainbow Toned Obv&rev Pcgs Ms65 Silver Morgan Dollar $11878 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Looks Unc Au-58