The Morgan Silver Dollar was first introduced in 1878, but it was by no means the first of its type. Silver Dollars had become a mainstay of American currency back in the 1700s, but up until the Morgan was produced, these coins were generally unappealing in their design. The Morgan Silver Dollar changed that thanks to its extravagant design and appeal to the American Spirit. Though these coins have not been minted for well over 100 years, they are still extremely popular amongst collectors of all types.
Thanks to the age of these coins, however, there is no guarantee that the coin you purchase will be excellent condition. Because collectors only want coins that have been well-preserved over the years, finding excellent coins is never an easy task.
For collectors, the prospect of purchasing a coin from the 1800s is a daunting one simply because it is impossible to tell what condition the coin might be in. While some pieces have been well-preserved over the years, others have been heavily circulated and have incurred a lot of damage as a result. This is why collectors will always closely analyze a coin’s condition prior to making a purchase.
Normally, the process of analyzing the condition of a coin is something best left to the professionals. Understanding that sending a coin away for grading is an expensive, timely process, we have provided below an outline of the different popular coins grades as well as their characteristics.
Uncirculated: Uncirculated coins are those lucky few that never spent any time on the open exchange market changing hands. These coins have been kept in excellent condition throughout their lifetime and appear as though they were just minted. For collectors, Uncirculated coins are the best of the best and are the preferred addition to any collection.
Extremely Fine: If a coin is receiving of an Extremely Fine grade, this means that the coin was only circulated for a short period of time. As a result, these pieces have almost no signs of wear and tear except for that which you can see under close inspection. For collectors, some prefer these over Uncirculated coins because they are less expensive yet still look great.
Fine: A coin that is deserving of a Fine grade is one that was circulated for a decent bit of time, but has not incurred the types of damage that are typical of heavily circulated coins. These coins will show signs of wear and tear ranging from scratching and chipping, to the general wearing down of the coin’s texture thanks to the changing of hands.
Good: Good is the worst grade a coin can receive and is one that is indicative of a coin that has been extremely heavily circulated. These coins will show ample signs of damage, and in most cases the damage is such that the overall condition of the coin is poor. Collectors will never scoff at these pieces, but it is understood that there are better-preserved pieces out there.
When it comes to determining a price for the Morgan Silver Dollar, there are a few factors you must take into consideration. For one, there were multiple types of these coins minted every year so the exact type of coin you own will play into the asking price. Secondly, the condition of the coin plays into the asking price in that better-preserved coins will carry a higher price tag than coins in poor condition. Below is a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you can expect to pay for an 1881 Morgan Silver Dollar given its condition and type.
1881 Morgan Dollar
|1881 Morgan Dollar||N/A||N/A||$39||$42|
|1881 Morgan Dollar (CC)||N/A||N/A||$425||$440|
|1881 Morgan Dollar (O)||N/A||N/A||$39||$41|
|1881 Morgan Dollar (S)||N/A||N/A||$39||$41||Source: Red Book|