The Morgan Silver Dollar has long been recognized as one of the most coveted collectible silver dollars from American history. The Morgan Dollars were issued for the second-longest stretch of time, covering 27 years across the late-19th and early-20th centuries, including a final release in 1921. A little more than 40 years after the US Mint ceased production of the coins, a massive hoard of Morgan Silver Dollars was discovered in the vaults of the United States Treasury. Learn more about the GSA Morgan Silver Dollars available to you from JM Bullion.
The term “GSA” stands for the Government Services Administration. When the hoard of Morgan Silver Dollars was discovered in the vaults of the US Treasury in the 1960s, the payout of silver dollars in exchange for US Silver Certificates was halted as the GSA conducted an audit of the Morgan Dollars that were discovered in the vaults.
Morgan Silver Dollars were introduced in 1878 by the United States Mint after a five-year hiatus in the coining of silver dollars in the United States. When the Bland-Allison Act was passed by Congress in 1878, silver dollar coining resumed. At the same time, the United States began issuing Silver Certificates as a form of paper currency. Silver Certificates were issued a face value in US dollars and were redeemable for that face value in silver dollars.
As such, the United States Mint transferred certain amounts of newly minted silver dollars to the vaults of the US Treasury to ensure silver dollars were on hand to payout when Silver Certificates were redeemed by Americans. The hoard of GSA Morgan Silver Dollars was discovered in the 1960s as the US Mint stopped producing silver coins for circulation and the Treasury experienced increased demand for silver dollars as Americans cashed in Silver Certificates in the face of rising silver prices.
The coins of the GSA Morgan Silver Dollar hoard were audited by the Government Services Administration in the 1960s to determine how many coins were in the hoard, what date marks were present on the coins, and which mints had initially issued them. It was discovered during this audit that nearly $3 million in Morgan Silver Dollars were sitting in uncirculated condition in the vaults of the US Treasury. The GSA dispersed the coins to American coin collectors through public auctions that were first held in the 1970s and continued through the early 1980s.
After the audit of the Morgan Silver Dollar hoard, the GSA found that the coins produced by the Carson City Mint in the 19th century represented the vast majority of the hoard. In fact, it has been estimated that 95% of the Morgan Silver Dollar hoard consisted of uncirculated coins first struck at the Carson City Mint as early as 1878. The GSA audit found the following dates and figures for Carson City Mint Morgan Silver Dollars:
As the GSA sought to auction off the Morgan Silver Dollar hoard of coins, each coin was individually packaged for collectors. The coins were packaged first inside of hard plastic GSA holders that came with the name of the mint and the type of coin, often as “Uncirculated Silver Dollar.” The coins were then packaged inside of a presentation box and offered with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Today, it is more common to find the GSA Morgan Silver Dollar coins with only the original hard plastic holder. Many early buyers found the hard plastic holder and box clunky to own. Additionally, some collectors removed the coins to get the specimens certified. As such, finding coins with the original box and Certificate of Authenticity is harder.
You should keep in mind that the coins of the GSA Morgan Silver Dollar hoard were packaged by the GSA more than 50 years ago now. Even though the coins remain in uncirculated condition, the packaging may show signs of its age, as well as wear and tear from handling.
If you have any questions about GSA Morgan Silver Dollars, please don’t hesitate to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.