1889 Morgan Silver Dollar | Market Analysis & Value

Throughout history, Morgan Silver Dollars have always done well when it comes to their value. Among the highest quality of any coins ever minted in the United States, this series attracts the attention of collectors everywhere.

Fashioned out of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, each Morgan Dollar is made out of precisely .77344 troy ounces of pure silver. As of late, the live spot price of silver has been on an increasing trend and has remained over the $30 mark for quite some time now.

Even just since 1970, the value of Morgan coins alone has increased by nearly 400 percent. Although the rising price of silver has something to do with the value increase, the rarity of these coins plays a major role as well. In a poor condition, an 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar may be worth about $26, while one in a high quality or perfect condition could rack in somewhere around $280. In a “poor condition,” a coin reflects its age in the level of wear it has.

It has clearly been well circulated in its time. A coin in a “perfect” condition appears flawless, uncirculated and may even come along with its own certification papers. Because these above mentioned prices do not follow any sort of standard grading scale for coins, it is important to check the value of your coins with a professional dealer.

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However, a person cannot simply walk into a coin dealer’s shop with a bunch of coins and expect the dealer to sort them all out for him. This is an easy way for a new, inexperienced collector to get ripped off. In order to get the most out of these coins, it is very important for the collector to sort, organize and research them himself. A coin collector should always know exactly what he has and at least approximately how much each of his coins is currently worth, since prices of coins and the metals in them constantly fluctuate on a daily basis. Only then can he truly get the most out of the coins on the market.


My Grandfathers Coin Collection

After my Grandfather had passed on to a better place, I found myself helping family sort through his belongings he left behind. It was pretty amazing when we found a box that was tucked away in his closet in the back corner.  It was my Grandfathers coin collection.  My Grandfather was not only prolific with his collection, but also knowledgeable about the value of the coins he kept and left behind.

If you are so fortunate to find such a collection, it is important that you take the time to research the collection carefully. You may find some rare coins in the collection that are not only historically valuable; indeed you may find some with considerable monetary value.

One such coin that may boggle the mind if it is included in the collection is the Morgan Silver Dollar. This coin was minted at several mints all over the USA, including Carson City (mint mark CC), New Orleans (O), San Francisco (S), and Philadelphia (no mark). Indeed, 35 million of these silver dollars were minted, but only 811 proofs were minted in Philadelphia. The proofs are highly sought after by numismatist for their historical value and other collectors for the high monetary value (Proofs are currently at $2,000 to $2,400)

So, why are these particular coins so special among collectors when so many were minted? What happened is that in 1918 Senator Key Pittman sponsored a bill that called for silver coins to be melted into bullion to sell. Once the bill was passed 270,000 were melted. Later, in 1942 the Silver Act was passed that called for more silver coins to be melted into bullion. That bell resulted in another 52 million silver coins being melted. As a result of those two acts, any silver coins left, especially among the Morgan Silver Dollars, are highly prized.

If you are so fortunate as to find a circulate silver dollar (one used for commerce) in the collection you may have a $30 coin in your hand. But if you actually find a Proof coin that was minted with a special high gloss stamp and it is in pristine condition, you may have a very, very valuable coin worth considerably more than the one dollar value stamped on the coin.


Before you attempt to sell or trade a Morgan Silver Dollar from 1889 do your research. Learn the markings that show where the coin was minted and then and then shop it around to make sure you get the best deal available.

Morgan Silver Dollar Price Guide

The 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar is like the Holy Grail to coin collectors who seek to collect not only valuable coins, but historically important coins. These coins offer a little something to every numismatist, or people who collect coins. The monetary value is significant for some coins depending on their quality due to the silver content in each coin.

Descriptive points of the Morgan Silver dollar

According to the Morgan Silver dollar price guide, the price of the coins fluctuates depending on the silver’s current price spot. The value of a coin is based on a certain criteria above the silver to copper ratio. It is also based on its physical condition and whether it was used for commerce or if it is an actual proof coin.

Before you buy or sell a Morgan Silver dollar you need to do your own research on your coin or on the one you are thinking of buying. You should learn the price of 1889 silver dollar based on its history, where it was minted and its particular characteristics. It is all well and good to have your coin examined by a respected coin dealer, but you should have a reasonable knowledge about the coins first to assure you are getting quality advice and prices.

The 1889 Morgan silver dollar specific details:

  • 90% silver to 10% copper ratio; the silver is weighted at exactly .77344 troy ounces.
  • The Morgan was minted at several locations, but only one location functioned for minting Proofs. You should learn the mint marks of the coins:
    • CC = Carson City, where 350,000 Morgan coins were minted in 1889 beginning in October of that year; therefore the low number of coins minted.
    • O = New Orleans, where 11,875 million coins were minted.
    • S =San Francisco, where 750,000 were minted.
    • No mark = Philadelphia, where 21,726 million were minted, including 811 proofs.
    • Lady Liberty or Miss Liberty is on the Front of the coin with the words, “E Pluribus Unum” and the coin’s year.
    • The reverse side has the Bald Eagle and the coin’s value (which is $1) on it with the words, “United States of America”. The mint mark is located below the bow in the eagles talons.
    • The edges of the coins are grooved.

Among the four mints, only Philadelphia minted proofs, so if someone tries to convince you that a coin they are offering you that has the marks of the other mints is a proof, you now know better. Only 811 proofs were made, so if you find one, you have found something truly rare.


Why so valuable?

You may have noticed that a very large number of coins were minted and you may wonder why they are so valuable if there are so many. Well, there is a pretty good reason for why the value of 1889 silver dollar is so high.

In 1918, Senator Key Pittman sponsored a bill that called for silver coins to be melted into bullion for sell. The bill passed and as a result of the nearly 35 million coins minted, more than 270,000 were melted into bullion.  The Silver Act of 1942 melted 52 million more silver coins, including Morgan Silver Dollars. Due to all that melting of silver coins, surviving coins are more valuable.

Most of the coins that have been circulated via commerce that have survived are currently valued at approximately $30. If you find a proof that is in pristine, perfect condition you may have something very valuable on your hands. Remember, proof coins have no mint mark because the proofs were all done at only one of the four mints. If you find such a coin with a high gloss and very strong minting features your coin may be valued at $2,000 to $2,400.

Basic terms to get you started

It is important that you learn the different terms regarding these coins and that you perform due diligence to learn and understand how coin collecting and trading is done to assure you get or pay the right price for the coin.

  • Circulated: Used in commerce
  • Uncirculated: Not used in commerce
  • Proof: minted with special, high gloss and well defined features.
  • Mint: Uncirculated condition with no wear on the features and good shine.
  • DO NOT POLISH: This decreases the value of the coin

Silver Melt Value – How Much Is Your Silver Dollar Worth?

When you find a rare coin, or even one that seems so fascinating at the time that you happen to pick it up, you tend to hold onto them. There often comes a time, however, when you decide that you no longer have a need for that coin or simply need a few extra dollars in your pocket. This is true no matter what kind of coin it is. Finding the silver melt value for the coins that you have is one of the first things that you should do if you are going to get back their true value in cash and get the most for your investment.

The True Value of a Morgan Silver Dollar

The value of silver coins tends to fluctuate so it is important to do your research before you sell. There are several websites available that provide a simple formula for finding the value of your coin in particular, but you must first know what it is that you have in order to know what numbers to put in for an accurate silver melt value. There are coins that have a lower percentage of silver in their makeup, which will affect the overall melt value because this is one of the primary factors after the current market silver prices. Knowing the value of the other metals in the makeup of the coin is also important so that you can get the full value of the coin by adding the values together. Although the silver is worth more, you must consider all of the information.

The 1889 Silver Dollar – A Coin Collectors Favorite

One of the most common coins among collectors is the 1889 silver dollar. The value of 1889 silver dollar is based primarily on three factors due to their popularity in the investment community. That is the current price of gold, which changes daily, the actual silver content of the coin, and supply and demand among investors. This means that higher demand for the coin is going to lead to higher prices that will be paid.  The current melt value of 1889 silver dollar is approximately $24.61 based on current silver prices and the 90% silver content. Although for some this may not seem like a lot, you have to consider the fact that the coin only has a $1.00 face value.

The value of silver coins will vary from day to day, but you can be sure that the value will gradually increase as factors change in the economy. To some, it may not be worth melting down the silver for the current price when selling it to investors will often fetch a much higher price, but knowing the true melt value of your coin is beneficial information when it comes to not only collecting, but also knowing when is the best time to get rid of the extra coins in your safe. Depending on where you decide to sell your silver dollar, you may be able to sell for the actual collectors value, or you may have to settle for the current markets melt value, and knowing the difference will go a long way in getting you what you deserve.

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar Proofs: A Real Gem Among Collectors

Morgan Dollars are, to collectors, among the most beautiful coins produced in the United States. Their quality and design, especially in some of the earlier years, make them superior to other U.S. coins. Perhaps undeniably the most desirable year of the Morgan Silver Dollar series is 1889. There are different versions of the 1889 coin, depending on the minting location, all ranging in value, but by far the highest price and the highest quality coins are the proofs.
Even though over 23 million 1889 Morgan Silver dollars were minted, millions were melted and destroyed in 1918, during the Pittman Act, and in 1942, during the Silver Act. Because of this, this, despite the massive production of 1889 coins they are one of the rarest Morgan Dollars available for collecting.
The highest possible quality coin a person can find is the proof quality, where the coins are made in special dies to have more detail and luminosity. However, out of the millions of 1889 coins minted, only 811 were made as proofs. All of the proofs were produced by one of the four minting locations for this coin, the Philadelphia Mint. These proofs are so rare that out of all the dates in the Morgan series, the 1889 silver dollar has the third lowest number of surviving proofs, with just the 1888 and 1921 coins having less. These survivors, because of their rarity and quality, now bring in a lot of money for those who own them, valued anywhere between a whopping $2,000 and $2,400.
The Philadelphia Mint did not use minting marks, so coins without them at the time were most likely from Philadelphia. Because the Carson City Mint, the San Francisco Mint and the New Orleans Mint all decided not to produce any proof coins during the year of 1889, none of the authentic proofs for this year have minting marks on them.
The highest quality coin produced in 1889 was undoubtedly the 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar in proof quality. Their extremely high value due to their rarity makes them enviable among coin collectors. If a person gets his hands on one of these coins, he can definitely consider himself lucky.

Getting the Most Out of the 1889 Silver Dollar

Purchasing an 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar can prove to be a rewarding and beneficial experience. Here are some tips as to how collectors can get the most out of these precious coins.
To comprehend the value of these coins, a collector must first do some research on his own. He must understand the coin market and have a basic knowledge of the different classifications of coin conditions. In basic terms, a circulated coin is one that has been used in commerce while an uncirculated coin has not. A proof is a more valuable version of a coin, as it has been made differently. Proofs are pressed two or even three times rather than one and therefore have more detail. The dies, or molds, used to create proof coins are also specially polished and treated.
Sometimes, coins are valuable even when they are in a well-worn condition. In this case, it is important to remember never to clean coins, as it only dramatically decreases their value and makes it harder to determine whether or not they are authentic. Oftentimes new collectors make the mistake of cleaning them in hopes of raising the value, but this always does more harm than good. It is extremely easy for dealers to point out a coin that has been cleaned, so do not ever try it.
When first going into the coin collecting business, whether for a profit or simply as a hobby, it is wise to find a local coin dealer with experience and get to know him. Then if the collector ever needs a more expert opinion, he always has someone to ask for help. However, it is important to be careful when selling these coins, because sometimes dealers will take advantage of inexperienced sellers. They can show disinterest in a particular coin, even when it is valuable, to make the seller downgrade its worth, and then purchase it at less than its actual value. They may also buy a bunch of coins at a set price without identifying to the seller a particularly value one that may be in the group.
Coin collecting is indeed rewarding, but does take time, effort and understanding. With some practical knowledge on how to do it, collectors can find themselves that much ahead of the game.

Introduction to Morgan Coin Values

Owning an 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar can be a profitable experience, but first, the owner must determine the value of the coin. Even though taking it to a professional is a convenient option, a person must always have some idea of determining coin value on his own.
When determining the value of any coin, there are always several factors that mix into the final price. The first step to understanding this is by knowing the main way that the coin market functions. Should a coin dealer run out of stock of a certain issue, the only way he can get more of the coin is by purchasing it. Quite obviously he cannot simply call the mint and ask for more to be made, because these coins with which he is dealing are no longer made. Since each year the date on a coin changes, the only way he can replenish his inventory is through purchases. He must buy the coin from either another dealer or someone else who owns what he is seeking. When he makes a purchase, he pays for the wholesale price of the coin, or the actual solid value. He then sells the coin again for its retail price, or price in order to make a profit from it.
Coins have their own classifications according to their current condition. The scale ranges from “poor” to “proof” with proof being the highest possible value. Specifically, the classifications from lowest to highest are poor, fair, good, fine, extra fine, uncirculated and proof, with even more specific subdivisions. These pinpoint grades help to determine and ensure the final value of a coin. Uncirculated coins are those which have never been used in commerce, and their lack of wear reveals this. They are in mint condition, or close to it, so naturally they will be of a higher value. Proofs are coins that have been specially made by the minting facility. They are usually pressed two or three times rather than one, so they have finer detail than an average coin.
Understanding the way coin values work is important for coin collectors, and taking that first step into this vital knowledge begins here.

Physical Characteristics Of The 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1889 silver dollar, designed by George T. Morgan, has turned into one of the most valuable silver coins in the industry, worth considerably more than an average Morgan dollar. It is a highly coveted coin among collectors.
Depending on the location at which the coin was minted, an 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar may have a CC mint mark if coined in the Carson City Mint, an O mint mark if coined in the New Orleans Mint, an S mint mark if coined in the San Francisco mint, or even no mint mark at all if coined in the Philadelphia mint. In order to find the mint mark or lack thereof, a person must look on the reverse side of the coin underneath the bow. The location of mintage may have a great deal to do with each coin’s value, so it is imperative that any prospective collector pay attention to it.
Like any true silver dollar, the 1889 Morgan coin features an image of Miss Liberty on the front with circling text reading “E Pluribus Unum” (From Many, One) and the year stated underneath. On the reverse side rests an image of a bald eagle with the value on the bottom and “United States of America” circling the outside edge.
With a diameter of 38.1 millimeters and weighing in at 26.73 grams, the coins’ physical attributes are not out of the ordinary, either, for the time period in which they were created. They have reeded edges, which means they have a series of grooved lines encircling their perimeter, such as with modern dimes and quarters. Their metal content, perhaps one of their best qualities for silver seekers, is 90 percent silver and only 10 percent copper. This means that each Morgan coin contains .7735 ounces of pure silver. Therefore, although the face value is just one dollar, its worth in silver alone is somewhere around $23.59 and changes depending on the spot value of silver at the time.
Despite the production of around 35 million 1889 silver dollars in total, their value today is very high for a coin. With these properties any collector should be able to spot out an 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar and identify its place of mintage. However, as with any coin, if a person is unsure of its authenticity he should have it checked out by a professional.

History of the 1889 Silver Dollar

Perhaps the most coveted of all vintage coins, the 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar can be found in four different versions based on their location of minting.
Silver dollars of the Philadelphia Mint are the only ones without a mint mark at all. This mint also produced the largest number of 1889 Morgan Silver Dollars, totaling a whopping 21.726 million by the end of the year and making it the highest production of any coin in the series between 1878 and 1921.
The Carson City Mint in Nevada, home of the 1889-CC Morgan Dollar, opened for the first time in 1870, but due most likely to economic concerns or partisan politics, shut down in 1885. It did not reopen its doors until July 1, 1889, but due to the need for extensive repair and development after four years of not being used, the first 1889-CC silver dollar was not actually coined until October 1. In total, the Carson City Mint created 350,000 of these coins.
The New Orleans Mint opened in 1838 and operated its business until 1861, where it temporarily stopped business due to the war. It reopened in 1879 and 10 years later ended up producing the 1889-O Morgan Silver Dollar. It continued production until 1909, its final year of operation. Because of this, the coin now serves as a historical relic of this Gulf Coast mint. This minting facility coined a total of 11.875 million 1889-O Morgan Dollars.
The government created the San Francisco Mint to open in 1854 as a result of the California Gold Rush. It was so successful through the years that it expanded its facility in 1874, and in 1889, came out with its own 1889-S silver dollar. All in all, it produced 750,000 of this coin throughout the year, and then closed in 1906 due to an earthquake.
In total, around 35 million 1889 Morgan Dollars were produced by the four minting facilities. To put this number into perspective, keep in mind that between 1794 and 1875, all four mints together only produced a total of just over 20 million silver dollars. Although it was once common and widely produced, the 1889 silver dollar is now one of the rarest and most valuable coins on the market.

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