The purpose of today’s article is to provide you with insight that only coin dealers typically possess so that you can sell Morgan silver dollars like a pro. While we’re probably not going to make any friends within the industry by sharing this information, we thought that it is important to share, not only because we believe in complete transparency, but also so that you can sell your Morgan silver dollar coins for more – no matter where you are or who you choose to do business with.
The first tidbit of information that we wanted to share is that not all Morgan silver dollars are created alike. This means that some silver dollars are lower mintage or rare coins, while others are common date coins. Furthermore, even common date Morgan silver dollars in high-end condition can sell for a nice premium due to the quality (or lack thereof) of the Morgan silver dollars minted by a particular mint in a certain year.
As a bit of history, Morgan Silver Dollars are 90% silver coins designed by George T Morgan. They were minted from 1878 – 1904, and again in 1921 at several different mint locations, including San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver, Carson City, and Philadelphia.
You can identify the mint location by searching for a “mint mark” on the bottom of the reverse side of the coin. Coins minted in San Francisco are identified by an “S” mint mark, New Orleans with an “O,” Denver with a “D” and Carson City with a “CC.” Coins minted in Philadelphia don’t contain a mint mark.
We’ll share some insight on Morgan silver dollars produced at each of the above-mentioned mints and will begin our discussion with Carson City silver dollars, the most recognized and popular Morgan silver dollars in the market today.
All coins minted at the Carson City Mint are lower mintage coins that sell at a premium. The lowest mintage Carson City coins, which in turn are the most valuable silver dollars, are those minted in 1885, 1889, and 1893. These rare Morgan silver dollar coins can sell for as much as $1,000 if high-end condition. It’s important to properly preserve these coins, as the prices are directly proportional to the condition of the coins.
The Carson City Mint produced coins until 1893, was used as an assay office until 1933, and was subsequently sold to the State of Nevada. It now operates as a museum, which has become a popular tourist destination.
Some of the most popular and collected Carson City coins are GSA Carson City Morgan silver dollars. These are uncirculated Morgan dollars that were found as a hoard at the New York Federal Reserve. The government approved the sale of these coins to the public in 1970 and they were subsequently auctioned off from 1972 – 1974.
Most New Orleans minted coins, with the exception of those minted from 1893, 1895, and 1903 are common date coins. These coins, in general, are less valuable than Carson City coins but can sell for hundreds of dollars if in high-end condition. As with the Carson City silver dollars, the value of these coins is based on the coin’s condition, so proper care should be taken to preserve these coins.
The New Orleans Mint, along with the Carson City Mint, is no longer in operation. It was decommissioned in 1911 and currently serves as a museum. The other mints that we have highlighted in this piece are all still active mints.
The San Francisco mint was known for producing a lower quantity of silver dollars than the New Orleans, Denver, and Philadelphia mints. As such, there are several years in which these coins had a mintage of 1.5 million coins or less. All of these coins will sell at a bit of a premium due to the lower number of coins produced.
Years in which San Francisco issued Morgan silver dollars were produced with mintages of 1,500,000 or less include: 1886, 1888, 1889, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1902 and 1903.
The 1893-S Morgan silver dollar is the second-lowest minted Morgan silver dollar, with a production of only 100,000 coins. Not surprisingly, it’s also the second most valuable coin in the Morgan silver dollar series, with values exceeding $1,000, even in poor condition.
The Philadelphia mint, in general, produced more silver dollars than the other mints; therefore, it’s common for most of your silver dollars to not contain a mint mark. However, as with the other mints discussed thus far, there are some lower mintage/key date coins that sell for a premium.
Lower mintage Philadelphia issued silver dollars include: 1893, 1894, 1895 and 1899. While there are only a few key date Philadelphia minted silver dollars, Philadelphia is home to the most valuable Morgan silver dollar in existence.
The 1895 Morgan silver dollar, which is a proof coin, is the lowest minted Morgan silver dollar with a production run of only 880 coins. Even lower condition examples of this coin can sell for $10,000 or more. Considering the high value and propensity for these coins to be counterfeited, we recommend that you only consider purchasing graded coins when it comes to this iconic coin.
The last mint that produced Morgan silver dollars is the Denver mint, but they only began minting silver dollars in 1921. More than twenty million Morgan silver dollars were produced by the Denver mint in 1921, making this one of the highest minted Morgan silver dollars. As such, these coins tend to trade at silver bullion rates and only sell at a premium when in uncirculated condition.
Values tend to increase when these coins are certified by a reputable third-party grading service, such as NGC or PCGS. In particular, the San Francisco and Denver coins are difficult to find in higher-end condition and can sell for hundreds of dollars in a grade of MS65 or higher.
To round out our discussion today, there are a few examples of highly minted coins that sell for a fairly substantial premium in uncirculated condition due to the poor strikes from that particular year. Examples include the 1883-S, 1884-S, 1886-O, 1896-O, 1896-S, 1897-O, 1898-S, 1899-S, 1900-S, 1901, 1901-S and 1904-S. As you can see, the San Francisco mint had a reputation for producing some less than stellar examples of Morgan silver dollars.
Many of the same principles that we discussed with the Morgan silver dollar also apply to Peace dollars. However, unlike the Morgan silver dollar, Peace dollars were only produced at three mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco.
We hope that our article today on how to sell Morgan silver dollars like a coin dealer provided some insight that will help you to receive more when you sell your Morgan silver dollars. Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers is one of the most knowledgeable buyers and sellers of Morgan silver dollars in the industry and would love the opportunity to earn your business. Feel free to contact us with any questions that you might have.