Gold: $1209.47 2018-11-10 12:41:02
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Platinum: $857.01 2018-11-10 12:41:02
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IN Silver Dollars

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Silver Dollars


The United States Mint started producing Silver Dollars when the Coinage Act of 1792 authorized the provision and issue of the first Silver Dollar. Precisely 1,758 Dollars were coined in 1794 and given to important figures by the Mint director, David Rittenhouse. After this first batch, different coins were struck in varying quantities up until 1804. The U.S. Mint then ceased regular production until 1836.

From Morgan Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars to American Eagle Silver Dollars, Rare Dollars are some of the most popular coins ever minted by the United States Mint. Not only do these coins enjoy high demand from devoted coin investors but also professional numismatists. What’s more, coin enthusiasts can find a range of styles and conditions to help add value to their unique collections.

The Most Collected Rare Silver Dollars

To be fair, every Silver Dollar issue will make a great addition to your portfolio or display. But, before expanding your collection, you should take time to learn which are the rarest and hold the most value. We’ve shared some information on just some of the most sought-after Dollars that are still being found on the market today.

Liberty Seated Dollars

Minted from 1840 to 1873, the Liberty Seated Dollar was the second Dollar struck by the United States Mint. These coins depict a seated Lady Liberty on the obverse and a left-facing eagle on the reverse. The most wanted Liberty Seated Dollars are those that were produced the earliest, as are the coins that have been preserved in excellent condition. While not impossible, it is very difficult to find Liberty Seated Dollars that aren’t worn or damaged in some way. It’s also a challenging task to hunt down specimens from 1870 and the 1840s.

Trade Dollars

First struck in 1873, Trade Dollars were made for use in trade in Asia. The United States Mint initially produced these coins to compete with the trade coins being minted by other nations, such as France, Spain, Mexico, and Great Britain. However, they were also later used in American commerce and minted right up until 1885. Designed by William Barber, Trade Dollars feature a seated image of Liberty on the obverse, with a bald eagle on the reverse. As the majority of these coins were exported and circulated, finding higher grade uncirculated examples is extremely challenging.

Morgan Silver Dollars

Without question, Morgan Silver Dollars are among the most desirable coins to come from the United States Mint. Released from 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921, they were the next standard silver dollars to follow the Liberty Seated Dollars. On the obverse is a left-profile of Lady Liberty, and the reverse displays an eagle with outspread wings. There are a number of rare dates to look out for, such as the 1884, 1892, and 1893 issues struck by the San Francisco Mint, as well as the 1886, 1893, and 1895 coins minted by the New Orleans Mint to name a few.

Peace Dollars

Produced from 1921 to 1983, and again from 1934 to 1935, Peace Dollars experienced one of the shortest mintage periods. They were the last true Silver Dollars ever to be struck for circulation by the United States Mint. The images shown on these coins were designed by a U.S. Mint competition winner called Anthony de Francisci, and include a profile of Lady Liberty with windswept hair on the obverse, with a bald eagle sat atop a mountain on the reverse. The 1921 and 1928 issues are the two rarest and most desirable Peace Dollars, along with uncirculated (Mint State) specimens.

GSA Silver Dollars

In case you don’t already know, GSA stands for Government Services Administration, and the GSA revealed GSA Silver Dollars to the public in 1974. The GSA discovered bags of coins containing millions of Morgan Silver Dollars that had been, unknowingly, sitting in U.S. Treasury vaults since the early 1900s. Through a series of government auctions, these bags were sold and the coins were made available to the public. The coins were encapsulated in holders, and the hoard of coins boosted the popularity of Morgan Dollars forever.

So-Called Dollars

So-Called Dollars are, in fact, medals or tokens that are approximately the size of Silver Dollars. Many were struck by the United States Mint to commemorate important figures, places, and events in America. Dating back to the mid-1800s, most So-Called Dollars have a relatively small mintage and are very popular among collectors. However, these coins were overlooked for many years, until Harold E. Hibler and Charles V. Kappen released a book called So-Called Dollars in 1963 that featured nearly one thousand medals that met the So-Called Dollar criteria.

1921 Dollars

1921 was a key year in American coinage history because it was the end of the Morgan Silver Dollars but just the beginning for the Peace Dollar series. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar because millions were produced during its last production year. When it comes to 1921 Peace Dollars, only around 1 million were minted and they were struck in high relief. After 1921, Peace Dollars switched to a low-relief design. Whether it is a Morgan or a Peace, a historically important 1921 Silver Dollar will add tremendous value to any portfolio or collection.

1878 Dollars

Another important year was 1878 because it was when the first Morgan Silver Dollars were minted. Three separate United State Mint facilities coined Silver Dollars in 1878 including Carson City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The coins struck by the Carson City Mint are valued the highest and will feature a CC mintmark on the reverse below the eagle’s tail. Both the San Francisco (S) Mint and Philadelphia (no mintmark) issues command high premiums as well.

1879 and 1880 are also rare finds, especially those surviving with minimal marks and their original luster. Like the 1878 Dollars, specimens struck in 1879 and 1880 at the Carson City Mint are worth more than those minted at other facilities.

1921 Morgan Silver Dollars

After an eighteen year gap in the Morgan Dollar series, the coin returned for the final time in 1921. The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is also the only coin from the entire series to be produced at the Denver Mint. In addition to Denver, the Mints of Philadelphia and San Francisco also struck the coin. Interestingly, every 1921 issue was minted using new dies because the original hubs had been destroyed in 1910. Named after George T. Morgan, the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is highly sought after by collectors for both its numismatic and historical value.

American Eagle Silver Dollars

The American Eagle Silver dollar remains one of the most recognized coins in the world. Originally issued in 1986, American Eagle Silver Dollars feature the same “Walking Liberty” design used on half-dollars between 1916 and 1947. On the reverse is an American eagle under thirteen stars. All coins minted prior to 1999 are in higher demand, with key dates being 1986, 1994 and 1996. It’s also important to know that demand for rare American Eagle Silver Dollars increases every year, and most sell at significantly more than their silver value.

1879 Dollars

In 1879, the United States Mint produced Morgan Silver Dollars with two different reverses. The coins showing a flat-breasted eagle are considered extremely rare compared to those depicting a round-breasted eagle. But the 1879 Morgan Silver Dollar was not the only dollar coin struck in this year. United States Mint engraver, George T. Morgan also designed the 1879 Schoolgirl Silver Dollar that featured a youthful looking Lady Liberty on its obverse. This coin was also produced in copper and lead in addition to the Silver Dollar.

1880 Dollars

The 1880 Silver Dollars were struck at Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carson City, with the most valuable being those that carry the Carson City (CC) mintmark. Dollars produced at the Carson City Mint always tend to carry a premium value because of the very low mintage numbers. Interestingly, some 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars feature a normal date on the obverse, whereas others were struck with an 1879 date. The coins minted with the 1879 date are called overdates and can be incredibly difficult to identify because the U.S. Mint altered them to show 1880 as their mintage year.

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SIGN UP AND GET A FREE GUIDEon best pratices in gold investing by Jonathan Rose

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