Key Dates for Morgan Dollars

One of the most popular U.S. coin types that coin collectors strive to have in their collections are Morgan dollars. This coin was first crafted in the 1870s in four major U.S. cities. The cities where the coin was minted were Philadelphia, Carson City, Denver, and New Orleans. This coin is named after its designer, which is highly unusual as coins back in that time period were traditionally named after a person of influence. The designer’s name was George T. Morgan.

Morgan dollars were crafted with an image of Lady Liberty on the front side of the coin. The backside of the coin contained an image of our national bird, the eagle. Most coins today may look like they are actually silver, but they are made up mostly of other metals like copper and only look silver. This particular dollar coin was made from over 90% silver. This is one aspect that makes the coin so valuable and why it appeals to many collectors.

The value of these Morgan dollars is determined by the key date of the coin. If you have one of these beautiful coins, you can find the date it was produced beneath the picture of the eagle on the backside of the coin. The location where the coin was minted will be noted by a letter. A coin that was produced in San Francisco will have an “S” stamped on it followed by the year of its production. If it was produced in Carson City it will have “cc” stamped on the back.

There are several ways you can find the exact value of the Morgan dollars in your collection. You will need to find a few books at your local bookstore to help you price the value of the coin. A good book can tell you how much a coin from a specific city and year is worth. This will not take into consideration any scratches or other damage the coin may have sustained as this can either increase value or diminish the value. It might be best in this case to take your coin to a professional grader who can tell you exactly what it is worth.

One important key date to look for on a Morgan dollar is any coin made from Carson City between the years 1878 to 1892.  Coins that were minted in San Francisco from 1886 to 1895 are also key dates.

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