King of American Coins; 1878-1921
- Designer: George T. Morgan
- First Issued: 1878
- Last Issued: 1921
- Minted At: Philadelphia, Carson City, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco
- Silver Content: .77344 oz. Pure Silver
The Comstock Lode… the Silver King… Leadville… Tombstone… Virginia City…
The names of these legendary mines and mining towns conjure up visions of a very special time in our history, a time when thousands of Americans descended on the western frontier, convinced that all a man needed was a little luck and the sweat of his brow to build a fortune.
It also was a time when one of our nation’s greatest treasures was born… a coin that would help build a civilization out of a hostile wilderness.
The Birth of a Silver Treasure
By the 1870s, as a result of the big western silver strikes, new silver production had grown from a mere trickle into a raging torrent.
But too much of anything can have a negative effect, and silver prices began to drop as the market became flooded with bullion from the West’s booming mines.
Naturally, the slump in silver prices threatened to rob the miners of their hard-won wealth and to destroy the primary economic mainstay of the newly opened American frontier.
The western mining interests wasted no time in putting their wealth and influence to good use. They lobbied hard for a return to free silver coinage—their solution to the problem of sagging silver prices.
Their efforts were rewarded in 1878 when an unlikely coalition of Republican senators and Democratic congressmen passed the Bland-Allison Act authorizing the minting of a new American silver dollar.
At the time it was obvious that the new coin would add to the wealth of the western mine owners. But no one could have predicted that more than a century later this heavy silver coin could add to the wealth of many modern American investors.
George Morgan and the Goddess of Liberty
In 1876, a young George T. Morgan left Liverpool, England for an appointment as a special engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. He didn’t know what to expect of his new job and could not have foreseen that his persistence and ingenuity would soon win him a place of honor in American history.
His American career started simply enough: In the first year after his arrival, Morgan was kept busy creating “pattern” or trial designs for half dollar and $10 coins.
The obverse of these coins was to feature the face of the “Goddess of Liberty,” and Morgan felt that he needed a live subject to pose for the work. His search for a perfect model eventually led him to Miss Anna Willess Williams.
At first, it appeared as though Morgan would have a difficult time convincing Miss Williams to pose for his coin design since it was considered mildly scandalous in 19th century America for a proper young lady to be employed as an artist’s model. Eventually, however, friends of the shy, 19-year old young woman persuaded her to take part in the project.
An American Classic
In a word, Morgan’s completed design was a classic. It featured in Mint Director Henry Linderman’s words, “…a free cut head of Liberty crowned with a Phrygian cap decorated with wheat and cotton, the staples of the country…On the reverse, surrounded by an olive wreath, is an eagle with outspread wings bearing in his talons a branch of olives and a bundle of arrows—emblems of peace and war.”
Perhaps the most important feature of Morgan’s design was that it required relatively little striking pressure from the coining press. So, when Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act, unexpectedly authorizing the immediate striking of a new silver dollar, Morgan’s nearly completed design was chosen.
In fact, Morgan’s design was so popular with mint officials that it was chosen in place of a design that had been created by the mint’s Chief Engraver, Charles Barber. Apparently, Barber never forgot how his design was passed over. Morgan later complained that Barber provided little help on the silver dollar project and seemed to resent the Englishman’s success.
Yet despite Barber’s lack of cooperation, the “Liberty Head,” or Morgan silver dollar, flourished and was widely renowned for its classic beauty.
An interesting note: Miss Williams’ identity as the model for Liberty was intended to be kept secret, but it wasn’t long before a sharp-eyed newspaperman recognized her likeness on the silver dollar. The shy, young woman was soon besieged by thousands of letters and visitors anxious to meet Miss Liberty… an unwelcome flood of attention that followed her for quite some time.
The Morgan Silver Dollar’s Remarkable Investment Credentials
Many Morgan silver dollars are well over a century old, and when located in true, investment-grade condition, these coins offer investors a better chance to strike it rich than most 19th century silver miners ever had.
It wasn’t very long ago…as recently as the early 1960s…when you could walk into just about any bank in the country and buy a bag of these historic silver coins for as little as $1,000—their face value. And many farsighted investors did just that—reaping absolute fortunes as Morgan silver dollar prices surged ahead through the years.
Today, if one of those original mint bags were to come on the market, it would probably be worth a minimum of $40,000, but likely as much as $100,000 or more. It’s no surprise that Morgan silver dollars have earned a reputation as America’s number one silver investment coin.
That reputation is built on more than just past performance. It is also built on a foundation of solid market fundamentals—fundamentals that offer potential for further gains in the future.
Growing Demand and Static Supply: A Formula for Profit
Millions of Morgan silver dollars have been circulated, lost, damaged or melted since they first appeared in 1878. More than 270 million Morgans were melted as a result of the Pittman Act in 1918 alone. Only a small percentage of the original mintage survives today in investment-grade condition.
And, unlike most other investments, the supply of investment-grade Morgan silver dollars can only get smaller. No more of these classic coins will ever be minted…no more will be produced to meet collector and investor demand.
When more and more buyers are chasing a static or shrinking supply of a product, prices tend to rise. Rising prices for investment products, in turn, tend to further stimulate demand and deplete supply.
It’s a profitable circle that holds promise for investors and collectors who acquire authentic, investment-grade Morgan silver dollars at today’s affordable prices.
A Very Special Centennial
The timing for acquiring Morgan silver dollars has never been more advantageous. That’s because this year, 2021, is the 100th anniversary of the last year of issue of George T. Morgan’s numismatic masterpiece.
To commemorate that milestone, the United States Mint will be producing new silver dollars in 2021 replicating the original Morgan silver dollar design… and issuing those new silver dollars to the public. As a result, potentially millions of Americans will be introduced for the very first time to the world of rare coins.
This is all but certain to generate a wave of new demand as millions of new American collectors are introduced to the fascinating history and beauty of the Morgan silver dollar. The natural path for these new collectors to take will be to own examples of both the 2021 reproduction and the 1921 original.
Now is the time to get in… before that new wave of demand hits the coin market and drives prices for Morgan dollars higher.
A Valuable Piece of Americana
To many investors and collectors, holding a heavy, authentic Morgan silver dollar in their hands is a thrill to be remembered. This historic coin is a touchstone of the values and ideals that built our great nation.
Morgan dollars were born in the great silver discoveries of the 1800s…fashioned from silver discovered by prospectors who hacked at the earth with pick and sledge, determined to find their share of the great western riches.
Much of the silver they discovered was struck into Morgan silver dollars, often coming full circle to be spent for hardtack, picks, shovels, whiskey and the necessities of life in a mining camp.
As an investment in history, these Morgan silver dollars yield more than financial returns; they will remain forever as valuable American treasures…enduring reminders of our rich and colorful past.
For more information about collecting or investing in Morgan silver dollars at today’s attractive price levels, call Finest Known today at 1-888-900-9948