Learn More About Silver Dollars
The term silver dollar gets used frequently. We generally think of a silver dollar to include silver dollars minted between 1878 and 1935. This range includes Morgan dollars from 1878 to 1921 and Peace Dollars from 1921 to 1935.
Although Morgan Silver Dollars and Peace $1 are 90% silver, we do not consider these “junk” coins. A silver dollar does not weigh a full ounce either. As an example, when an ounce of silver is worth $20, the silver content of an old silver dollar is only about $16. However, we always pay over just the silver value. Their pricing is different than the Pre-1964 Half Dollars, Quarters, and Dimes. When you bring a silver dollar to our shop, we look for a combination of three things: date, mintmark, and condition.
Date: The date of a coin matters. Not all “old” coins are worth a lot of money. Old and valuable do not equate. For example, the 1895 Morgan Dollar is a proof-only coin (when it comes without a mintmark). These coins sell for a lot of money at public auction. However, an 1881-S Morgan Dollar (14 years older than the aforementioned 1895 Morgan) is common, even in the best condition.
Mintmark: One of the best mintmarks to look for on a Morgan Silver Dollar is “CC”, which stands for Carson City. This is the mint in which the coin was produced. Due to low mintages, these coins are more difficult to find. In the mid-1960s, the U.S. government released a large hoard of these Carson City Morgan Dollars, making them more common than they used to be. While the 1883-CC is a common coin, the 1889-CC is rare. Once again, the date AND mintmark combination make a difference in price. A low grade CC Morgan Dollar can be purchased for $40, while a top-tier rare date and mintmark combination might bring a thousand dollars or more.
Condition: The condition of the coin matters just as much as the other two factors. A coin that is slick in appearance might only be worth $20, even if the date and mintmark combination are considered slightly more rare. When you cannot read the date or text, the coin is considered a “cull” and essentially worth its silver weight. 3rd Party Grading Services grade coins on a scale of 1-70, with the grade of 70 being a perfect coin. It is not uncommon to see a Morgan Dollar with a grade of 65. Once your coin surpasses 65, it does begin to climb in value much quicker.
There are earlier dollar coins that are silver. Any silver dollar older than 1878 is going to be worth $100 or more. And there are newer dollar coins like Eisenhowers and Susan B Anthony. Any silver dollar from 1970 or newer is still worth face value.