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 Silver Dollar - Key Date - Pcgs Certified ** Good 06 ** NrRare 1893-s Morgan Silver Dollar! Great Condition! The Key Date & No Reserve!!!1893-s Pcgs Vg08 Morgan Silver Dollar (zz14)Rare Sealed Morgan Silver Dollar Carson City, Nv Bank Roll (#16) Full Stack1885-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated Blast White! Pq++ 1885-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like Pretty 1890 Pcgs Ms62 Rainbow Toned Morgan DollarLot Of 3 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #278Lot Of (41) Morgan, Peace Silver Dollars, Date Set, 1890 Cc, 1921 1878 - 1935 $11889 Cc Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar No Reserve!!!Lot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781884-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1878-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1892- Cc Pcgs Xf45 Morgan Silver Dollar-- Old Green Holder Carson City Key Date1891-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1891-cc Morgan Dollar Proof-like - Pcgs Ms 62 Dmpl Certified & Graded Rattler1885- Cc Pcgs Ms 64 Morgan Silver Dollar-- Carson City Frosty White1879-cc Morgan Silver Dollar- Rare Key Date- Large Estate- XfLot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781893-s Morgan Dollar Almost Uncirculated Rare!!1890-s Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1891-cc Morgan Silver Dollar. Spitting Eagle! Pcgs Ms 64. Key Dated Morgan Dol *pcgs* 1889-cc Very Fine 30 -for The Grade Its A Great Coin1878 Morgan Silver Dollar - Ngc Certified 8tf Vam-18 Ms641885-p Ngc Ms62 *star* Beautiful Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar!1889 Cc $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Genuine Carson City! Semi-key Date!1895-o Morgan Silver Dollar Uncirculated Blast White Proof Like Rare 1880 Cc Morgan Reverse 1878 Dollar White Coin Key Date Carson City Mint Issue 1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar... Gem BuSealed / Unopened Uncirculated Rare Gsa Morgan Carson City Cc Silver Dollar1880 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar #18369 High Grade Coin Us Mint Rare Key Date Estate1880-s Morgan Silver $1 - Redfield Collection Grade - Paramount Int. Coin Corp.1890- Cc Pcgs Au 58 Morgan Silver Dollar-- Carson City Key Date1892-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated Blast White! Pq++ ZkcszTougher Dated Gem Morgan Dol *pcgs* 1885-cc Ms-65 White & Clean For The Grade !!Original Roll 1896-p Morgan Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Certified Ms641903-o Morgan Silver Dollar.....rare Coin.....beauty!1890-cc Morgan Silver Dollar $1 - Pcgs & Cac Ms62 Dmpl Certified & Graded1903-o Morgan Silver Dollar1883-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gsa Hoard Pcgs Ms64+ Gold Silver Collect Rare Coin!1881-cc Morgan Silver Dollar.1893-cc "carson City" Morgan Dollar Silver Us Coin Rare Key Date $1 Vf Xf1883-o Ngc Ms62 *star* Stunning Rainbow Toned Morgan Dollar!1888 S Morgan Dollar Key Date 100% White Original Obverse Is Proof LikePremium Pcgs/cac Ms66+plus 1884-cc Carson City Morgan Dollar "blast White Pq+++"1878-cc Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Mint Uncirculated White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1889 Cc Morgan Dollar Xf Detail1902-s Us Morgan Silver Dollar Ngc Au55Lot Of 4 Uncirculated 19th Century Morgan Silver Dollars #2781889 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar Rare (carson City Very Beautiful Detail) Genuine1878-cc Morgan Dollar, Pcgs Ms-65 Cac, Spectacular Tone (estatesale Is Now Dkrc)Lot Of 50 Morgan Silver Dollars1880s, Dollar, Morgan, Ngc Ms 66pl, Beautiful Prooflike Surfaces Roll (20 Coins) 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars.. Au/better1881-s Morgan Silver Dollar Gem Uncirculated Blast White Deep Mirror Proof Like 1880-cc ~ Morgan Silver Dollar ~ Uncirculated ~ Has Lots Of Marks & Some Scuffs1897 Morgan Dollar Proof-like - Pcgs Ms 63 Dmpl Certified & Graded Rattler1882-cc Morgan Head Silver Dollar Uncirculated In Case Carson City Cc 1902-s Morgan Silver Dollar. Better Date!