One consideration to measure a particular set’s overall appeal is by the breadth of intriguing stories that surround the series. There can’t be any other set that has so much interesting information associated with so few issues. Indeed, there are so many interesting stories that surround the CC Morgan Dollar that you could write a book . . . To be sure, information is what makes collecting rewarding, and Adam feels so strongly that every collector should own this book, that he will include a copy in your first shipment for free.

Morgan Dollars were issued by Carson City from just 1878 to 1893. The basic mint series is but 13 coins, yet the set can be expanded to a 30-coin collection, if you desire the major varieties. You can get the detailed issue listing we call the “Collector’s Checklist” from Adam’s book, or print the page by clicking the link below.

The design of the Morgan Dollar is a truly unique and fascinating story. When British engraver George T. Morgan needed a model for the “Miss Liberty” that would adorn the coin’s obverse side, he located a young Philadelphia schoolteacher by the name of Miss Anna W. Williams to sit as a model. For the sake of propriety and the young lady’s privacy, Morgan took great steps to ensure that the young model’s identity would be a secret. However, the secret was soon out and newspapers tracked her down, quite possibly leading to the dissolution of her engagement to be married.

On the coin, Lady Liberty wears wheat and cotton in her hair, to symbolize the reconciliation of the northern and southern states, and the cap of liberty on her head, symbolizing a hard-fought freedom. The reverse side of the Morgan Dollar features the majestic American bald eagle, holding the arrows of war and olive branch of peace in its talons.

These features, as well as the stories that go along with them, result in great appeal by coin collectors of all types. The fact that these silver dollars represent one of the greatest and most important eras of our still young country gives the Carson City Morgan Dollars superior historical value as well. Add to this the fact that some Morgan Dollars, including those coins that feature eight feathers in the eagle’s tail rather than the standard seven, are among the rarest of silver coins available, and you can see why the appeal and reputation of these beautiful coins is forever cemented in the annals of numismatics.

On the coin, Lady Liberty wears wheat and cotton in her hair, to symbolize the reconciliation of the northern and southern states, and the cap of liberty on her head, symbolizing a hard-fought freedom. The reverse side of the Morgan Dollar features the majestic American bald eagle, holding the arrows of war and olive branch of peace in its talons.

These features, as well as the stories that go along with them, result in great appeal by coin collectors of all types. The fact that these silver dollars represent one of the greatest and most important eras of our still young country gives the Carson City Morgan Dollars superior historical value as well. Add to this the fact that some Morgan Dollars, including those coins that feature eight feathers in the eagle’s tail rather than the standard seven, are among the rarest of silver coins available, and you can see why the appeal and reputation of these beautiful coins is forever cemented in the annals of numismatics.

RARITIES BLOSSOM FROM LARGE SCALE DESTRUCTION

Although hundreds of millions of Morgans were minted between 1878 and 1904, rarities in the Morgan Dollar series are mostly due to large scale meltings, which disposed of most of the rarer branch-mint issues and apparently all 12,000 of the 1895 Philadelphia business strikes. It is estimated that nearly half of all Morgan Dollar coinage was destroyed from 1883 to 1964, partly as a result of the Pittman Act of 1918 mandate, but also during World War II. Millions more were melted in the years around 1979, when silver approached the $50 per ounce price level. Today, it is estimated that only 15-17% of all Morgan dollars produced still exist.

PUBLIC APPRECIATION FLOURISHES AFTER TREASURY HOARD DISCOVERED

At one time, Morgan Dollars were simply not that popular with collectors. Even as the hobby of numismatics became more popular in the 1930s, most collectors preferred smaller denomination coins which were readily available in circulation. However, by the late 1930s, some dealers discovered that uncirculated Carson City silver dollars, with a then-market value of over $5, could be obtained from the Treasury Department’s Cash Room. More than a few dealers quietly availed themselves of this opportunity throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Then, in the early 1960s, with the U.S. dollar’s devaluation, opportunists recognized the benefit of redeeming silver certificate currency notes for silver coins at the Treasury.

When the government closed that window of opportunity in 1964, 2.9 million silver dollars remained in treasury vaults. As it turned out, almost all of them were Morgans with the coveted “CC” mark of the Carson City Mint. When this fact became public, it touched off even greater excitement throughout the numismatic community. In January 1970, seven semi-trailer trucks under heavy guard moved approximately 77 tons of silver dollars from the Treasury Department to the West Point Depository.

LET THE SALES BEGIN!

The Government Services Administration (GSA) managed the release of this unique hoard of 900,000 “CC” dollars. The GSA conducted seven sales beginning in October 1972, and then fortuitously concluded sales during the 1979-1980 peak of the spectacular silver bull market. Though the voluminous releases could, and did, saturate the coin marketplace, the inflation of the ’70s mopped up the hoard as if it had been planned by anyone other than a government. The skyrocketing silver prices added an element of speculation to the purchase of these hundred year old “cartwheels,” ordering limits were imposed and over 900,000 Carson City silver dollars were sold.

The sales proved to be an amazing venture from the time the government became aware of the millions of historically-important and valuable Carson City silver dollars in its possession in 1964 to the 1980 conclusion of the GSA sales totaling nearly $100 million.

ORIGINAL GSA CASES NOW CERTIFIED BY PCGS AND NGC