The 1880 Morgan Silver Dollar is named after its British-born designer, George T. Morgan, who created the images while working as the assistant engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. Struck from 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921, the coin is composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Millions of these coins were made at different mints in America over the years; however, the 1880 Morgan Silver Dollar has one of the most interesting production histories.
In 1880, the mints at Philadelphia (no mintmark), New Orleans (O), San Francisco (S) and Carson City (CC) were responsible for striking Morgan Silver Dollars. While some of these coins have survived in excellent condition, many are heavily damaged, making it hard for collectors to find pristine examples. Proof specimens are also available but, again, many have been mishandled or show signs of damage.
As previously mentioned, 1880 Silver Dollars are among the most interesting issues from the Morgan Silver Dollar series. Although Morgan Silver Dollars have always been popular, collectors are fascinated by the 1880 coins because the series year contains two major varieties.
The most common 1880 Silver Dollar is known as the “Normal Date” variety, with 1880 struck neatly on the obverse. Then there’s the other variety, often called “1880 over 79” or “Overdates.” These coins were originally produced using the 1879 dies and later changed to show the mintage year as 1880. It can be incredibly difficult to identify these coins because the 79 is so well hidden under the 80.
All four mints produced “Overdate” coins during 1880, which means there are many “1880 over 79” varieties. The 1880 Silver Dollars struck at the Carson City Mint tend to be worth a lot more than those minted at the other three locations because of the very low mintage number.
When it comes to the rest of the obverse design, all 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars feature a left-facing Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap and a ribbon inscribed with LIBERTY. She is encircled by thirteen stars and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse displays a beautiful eagle with widespread wings hovering above a wreath of laurel with in God we trust above his head. Other reverse engravings include ONE DOLLAR and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
1880 Morgan Silver Dollars are among the most popular collectible American coins and investment vehicles to ever exist. Fully backed by the U.S. Government, these coins always attract the attention of serious coin enthusiasts and can be collected by condition, mintmark or variety.
Despite an alarming number of 1880 Silver Dollars falling victim to the melting pots, quantities are plentiful. Even though the quality varies from one coin to the next, 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars can still be found in higher grades. Budget-conscious collectors can also find plenty of low and medium grade coins including “Overdate” issues. The proof strikes are particularly rare and, as a result, have performed well as investments.
If you’d like to find out more about 1880 Silver Dollars, please don’t hesitate to contact Capital Gold Group. You can call us or get in touch via email with any questions or to place an order. Don’t forget, we’re also happy to discuss your special order requests, whether it is a Morgan Silver Dollar or any other rare coin.