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What You Need to Know Before You Sell Silver Dollar Coins

Many factors go into determining the value of silver dollars, which is why it is important to become familiar with them before making an investment. In this post, we’ll highlight the different types of 90% silver dollars issued by the U.S. Mint as well as the four primary factors that affect the price of silver dollar coins.

Different Types of Silver Dollars

Close-up of the Flowing Hair silver dollar, a rare coin from Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers in Duluth, GA

Before we go further, the first step is to define what we mean by silver dollars. For our purposes, we’re referring to 90% of them issued by the U.S. Mint for general circulation. The U.S. Mint produced them that contained 90% silver until 1935. These are minted from 1878 to 1921 are commonly referred to as Morgan silver dollars, and silver dollars minted from 1922 through 1935 are known as Peace silver dollars. There was also a limited run of high relief Peace silver dollars produced in 1921. Seated Liberty silver dollars, Trade silver dollars, Draped Bust silver dollars, and Flowing Hair dollars preceded the aforementioned coins and often sell at higher rates than Morgan and Peace silver dollars.

What Makes a Silver Dollar Valuable?

On the surface, it might seem like the age of your silver dollar is the primary factor for determining its worth, but this isn’t necessarily the case. What matters most is often the number of coins that were minted. Though most Morgan and Peace silver dollars are high mintage coins, several have sold for a substantial premium above and beyond the silver content in the coins.

A few of the more valuable Morgan silver dollars are the 1893-S, 1889-CC, 1895-O, and 1893-CC; but the king of the Morgan silver dollars is the 1895-P. The Peace silver dollars that sell at premium rates are the 1921-P and 1928-P. These coins, especially in high-end condition, can be worth hundreds of dollars, so it’s important to have a general idea of the value of your items before selling silver coins.

Another factor that will impact the value when you sell silver dollar coins is the survivorship of the coins. Many dollars were initially high mintage coins; however, some of them were melted down in bulk to mint new dollars in subsequent years, leaving fewer coins in circulation. An example of a coin that is more valuable due to its survivorship is the 1889-CC Morgan dollar. Approximately 300,000 of these coins were melted down, making this a relatively rare coin.

Look Out for Wear and Tear

As mentioned earlier, the condition of your silver dollars also impacts the selling price. Even high mintage Morgan and Peace silver dollars will sell for a premium if they are in uncirculated condition. Additionally, some common dollars are difficult to find in uncirculated condition due to poor strikes from the mint in a particular year. For example, an 1883-S Morgan silver dollar is considered a common date coin with a mintage of 6,250,000 coins. However, uncirculated examples of this coin are difficult to find and can sell for over $1,000.

How Old Is the Coin?

Though we mentioned that the total number of coins minted often has a bigger impact, a coin’s age will also affect its worth. Plus, collectors will pay a premium for coins that have historical value. One example is the Flowing Hair silver dollar, which was the first that was minted in the U.S. These coins, even in relatively poor condition, are typically more valuable because of the demand for such a unique piece of American history. Speaking of history, it’s rumored that silver from George Washington’s silverware collection was used to produce some of the first dollars minted in the United States.

Once you’re familiar with your coins, we recommend that you do your due diligence before selecting a coin dealer. At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we’re a member of several reputable industry organizations, such as the American Numismatic Association and Certified Coin Exchange. As the leading coin dealer in the Atlanta area, we’re happy to buy and sell silver coins, gold coins, rare coins, and more. To schedule an appointment with a member of our staff, call 404-236-9744 or complete our online form.

Image courtesy of Flickr

Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at http://atlantagoldandcoin.com to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com or at 404-236-9744. Be sure to "like" Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers on Facebook , follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their RSS feed to receive the latest news, tips and expert advice on old, rare, collectible and bullion coins.