The Silver Dollar first joined US coinage just before the conclusion of the 18th century, and made an immediate impact. Though the coins were great due to their higher face value, the design found on them was nothing to write home about. That all changed in the late 1870s when the Morgan Silver Dollar was brought to the market. This coin was an immediate hit thanks to its beautiful design.
Nowadays, though these coins are no longer being produced, they are extremely popular in the eyes of the collectors. The reason for this is due to the fact fewer and fewer of these coins are on the market with each passing year.
For coins that are more than 100 years old, the condition of the coin is something that is always called into question. Most of these coins have been heavily circulated throughout their lifetime, and with that knowledge it goes without saying that many of these pieces have been damaged to some extent. This is why collectors carefully analyze the surfaces of a Morgan Silver Dollar prior to ever making a purchase.
Normally, a person who is looking to have the condition of their coin officially judged will send the coin away for grading at the hand of some professional company. Knowing that not everyone has the money to send their coins away for grading, we have provided below an outline of the most popular coin grades as well as their characteristics.
Uncirculated: A coin that is determined to be Uncirculated is one that never spent any time exchanging hands. These coins will appear to be pristine and are exactly that. The overall texture of the coin will have been perfectly preserved, and even the coin itself will have a nice luster. For collectors, these coins are the most desirable.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is determined to be Extremely Fine is one that spent only a little bit of time in circulation. These coins will appear to be free from any flaw, but upon closer inspection you will see some signs of wear and tear including light scratching. Collectors still strive to get their hands on these coins because they are still in decent shape.
Fine: A coin that is determined to be of Fine grade is one that has spent a good bit of time being circulated. These coins will show some signs of damage, but for how long they were in circulation the overall damage will be fairly light.
Good: Good is the worst grade a coin can receive and is indicative of a piece that has been heavily damaged. These pieces will have been smoothed thanks to the changing of hands over the years. In fact, some of the imagery may be hard to make out with the naked eye due to the damage. Though in poor condition, these coins are still added to collections all the time.
As far as grading the Morgan Silver Dollar is concerned, you need to take into consideration the type of coin you possess and the condition it is in. For one, the condition of the coin means everything to collectors so if the coin is in great shape it will naturally sell for a higher price. Secondly, because there were multiple types of these coins minted every year, the exact type of coin you possess will play into the asking price. Listed below is a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you might be asked to pay for a Morgan Silver Dollar given its condition and type.
1886 Morgan Dollar
|1886 Morgan Dollar||N/A||N/A||$39||$41|
|1886 Morgan Dollar (O)||N/A||N/A||$45||$75|
|1886 Morgan Dollar (S)||N/A||N/A||$105||$150||Source: Red Book|