The mints involved were Philadelphia (no mint mark), San Francisco (S), New Orleans (O), Carson City (CC), and Denver (D).
For yearly mintage figures see the Red Book.
Most of the time when Jesse James and his brother Frank robbed a bank, the money they grabbed were Morgan Silver Dollars. The Morgan is still around today as a part of American monetary history, and it has been the most popular collectible investment coin over the last 40 years. The origin of the Morgan Silver Dollar was the Bland-Allison Act passed in February 1878. It restored legal-tender status to silver money. The law required the treasury to purchase $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of silver each month and to coin it into silver dollars at the ratio to gold of 16 to 1. This legislation was brought about by pressure from the Congressional proponents of "free silver". They wanted the government to issue silver coinage and support their interests in Western silver mines.
The new dollars were to contain 412.5 grains of .900 pure silver. This was a return to the standard set in 1837 and required a design change, to differentiate the new silver dollars from the heavier trade dollars made between 1873 and 1885. Both Charles Barber and George Morgan submitted new dollar designs; however, Morgan was given the commission and initialed both sides of the coin with the letter M.
The investors and owners of Western silver mines decided to keep the price of silver bullion artificially high by selling large quantities of silver to the government; however, the demand for silver dollars was not large because the public was unaccustomed to using the large silver coins and found them inconvenient. Two rolls of Morgan Dollars made a lethal weapon of a woman's purse. Government stockpiles of silver dollars grew. This had a beneficial side effect, the Morgan dollars were used as backing for the government's huge constant issue of currency. People saw strength and stability in paper money that could be redeemed at any time for silver dollars.
Even though millions of these coins were melted over the years, a large quantity remained in treasury vaults. They were finally released in 1971 and 1972 because we came off the gold and silver standard. By January 15, 1980 the bull market for silver had sent the value of silver bullion to nearly $52 per ounce. This was caused by the Hunt Brothers attempt to control the silver market. The government stopped the silver commodity trading on January 17, 1980 by only allowing of the sale of silver contracts, no buying of contracts.
The first Morgan Dollar minted in 1878 was given to President Hayes, who had vetoed the act under which it was struck. Eventually, the dollars began to circulate but mostly in the West, where silver coinage was needed, and in the South, where Southerners preferred them to Yankee greenbacks. Morgan Silver Dollars were also used in gaming tables in Nevada. Today they are collected as appreciating assets and investments.
Morgan Silver Dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904 then stopped. Minting was resumed for one year in 1921. The Denver Mint only minted Morgans in 1921.
In 1878 Morgan Dollars were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Carson City. New Orleans started minting Morgans in 1879. When a branch mint made a coin the mint mark is on the reverse at the bottom, just above the D and O, if no mint mark is visible it was minted in Philadelphia.
During the past 30 years, silver dollars have been leading the market in demand and price appreciation. At times it seems as if the values of these coins will never stop rising. Silver dollars are a very sound investment and a source of great satisfaction for collectors. The constant demand for all dates and mints of the Morgan Dollars causes prices to push to new heights with no end in sight. In the last 2 years Carson City Dollars have doubled at the wholesale value.
Click here for an article on Collecting Silver Dollars.
Click here for Grading Standards for Morgan Silver Dollars
CC Mint Morgan Dollars
O Mint Morgan Dollars
S Mint Morgan Dollars
P Mint Morgan Dollars
D Mint 1921 Morgan Dollars
Susan B. Anthony Dollars
Sacagawea Golden Dollars
Books on U.S. Dollars
Dansco Dollar Coin Albums
H.E. Harris Dollar Folders
Whitman Silver Dollar Coin Folders
Whitman Dollar Coin Albums
Kointain Clear Coin Holders
Dollar 2x2 Plastic Coin Snaps
Plastic Silver Dollar Coin Holders
Silver Dollar Cardboard Coin Holders
Round Dollar Tubes
Square Dollar Tubes
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