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One of the most exciting series in numismatics is Morgan Silver Dollars, minted at the famed wild-west mint in Carson City, Nevada. Among the many popular U.S. coins, few are as beloved as the strikingly beautiful, large silver pieces from the days of the American Wild West.

Kit Carson

CC Morgan Silver Dollars are sought after far and wide by both the most experienced of coin collectors as well as numismatic novices. The reasons for this widespread popularity are many, including the superior mint condition of so many coins, the extreme rarity and value of some key dates and die varieties, the low collecting cost of other Morgan dollars, and the great aesthetic appeal of its design, beauty and workmanship. Add to all of this the colorful and storied history of the issue, and the popularized name-sake of the Carson City Mint, American frontiersman Kit Carson, and you can see why this silver piece is so highly coveted worldwide.

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 . . . which is exactly what Monaco’s Adam Crum and his associates have done with Whitman Publishing. 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 Nevada mint was plagued by a number of setbacks in its construction, mostly as result of its remote location and under-funding by the Federal Government. The facility finally began producing coins in 1870. The first coins struck were Seated Liberty type silver dollars, followed by a number of gold coins. Despite significant gold and silver mining in Nevada, the Mint did not produce coins in any great numbers until the production of silver dollar coins was mandated by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, the year the Morgan Silver Dollar was born.

Interestingly, silver dollars were not truly demanded to support the country’s growing economy to act as legal tender for trade, and really did not go into general circulation. Rather, the coins were a result of political pressure being applied to the government by the owners of the silver mines in the Nevada area whose mines were producing enormous amounts of silver from the famed Comstock Lode. The mines needed demand for all of their silver production, and the Morgan Dollar ultimately became the answer. By edict of the Bland-Allison Act, the United States Treasury had to purchase two to four million dollars of silver per month from the mine owners to be struck as silver dollars. These large silver dollars made great treasury reserves . . . more on that in a moment.

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.

Anna Williams, the Morgan Obverse

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.

CC Morgan Dollars

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.

Carson City Mint, Old and New

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

Special Introductory Price for 1884-CC Morgan Silver Dollars

Today, “CC” silver dollars in GSA cases are one of the hottest areas of numismatics. Why? In a word, their relative rarity . . . uncirculated Carson City Morgan Dollars in original GSA cases now represent just a small fraction of all Morgan Silver Dollars remaining today. In years past, before GSA-encased Morgans became so popular, some short-sighted collectors (and even some dealers!) broke the coins out of their original GSA cases because they felt the plastic holders were too big and bulky. Today, however, Morgan Dollars in original GSA cases display a special provenance that other coins simply cannot match

Countless collectors and investors are today able to own a piece of the fantastic Comstock Lode and the silver dollars made famous by “Silver Dick” Bland and the Mint at Carson City. These “CC” dollars will preserve an American numismatic legacy for centuries to come!

Carson City Morgan Dollars, Third Edition

Click the link above to view our on-line inventory of Carson City Morgan Dollars encased in the original holders of the U.S. General Services Administration. As you will see, they are certified and graded by either PCGS or NGC. Of course, coins are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

And, for first-time customers who acquire one or many, we will send a copy of Adam’s book, Carson City Morgan Dollars, absolutely free. This must-have resource gives the collector and investor a detailed insider’s view of today’s market for Carson City Morgan dollars, including VAM varieties and focusing especially on GSA-slabbed coins. Whether you collect by date/mintmark or by variety, this in-depth book will make you a more savvy buyer. Includes condition census, market notes, enlarged full-color photographs, valuations, mintages, certification data, prooflike and DMPL coins, and more.