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