1891-O Morgan Silver Dollar - Many Die Cracks

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Morgan Dollar

As one of America’s most collected coins, the Morgan Dollar is widely considered to be the best silver dollar design of all time. The popular coin was introduced in 1878, a few years after the Mint Act of 1873 that discontinued the Seated Liberty Dollar. The Morgan Dollar continued to be minted every year until 1904. Following the Pittman Act of 1918 — which allowed previously minted silver dollars to be converted into bullion — the U.S. Mint began striking Morgan Dollars again in 1921 after a seventeen-year hiatus. The design was quickly replaced by the Peace Dollar later that year.

An immediate hit among U.S. citizens at the time, the Morgan Dollar was designed by George T. Morgan. Morgan, an English-born immigrant, served as an assistant engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. On the obverse, the design featured Lady Liberty, facing left, and wearing a Phrygian cap. The depiction of Liberty is widely thought to be Anna W. Williams, an art student and schoolteacher from Philadelphia, although Morgan never confirmed this.

Also on the obverse, “LIBERTY” is inscribed on a band over the Phygian cap. Wheat and oak leaves are spread along the rim of the cap. The Latin phrase, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” curves along the top rim of the coin. Thirteen stars — representing the thirteen original colonies —  adorn the lower half of the coin along the rim with the minting date at the center.

The reverse of the Morgan Dollar features a bald eagle with its wings spread. Surrounding the eagle is a small wreath. In its claws, the eagle clutches onto a branch and three arrows. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is inscribed above the eagle’s head, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is inscribed surrounding the eagle, and “ONE DOLLAR” is inscribed along the bottom rim of the coin. 

The Morgan Dollar has several different varieties, overdates, and mint mark combinations that make acquiring all types of Morgan Dollars particularly complex. The coin was minted in five different locations including Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. While Philadelphia Morgan Dollars had no mint mark, “D” represented the Denver Mint, “S” represented the San Francisco Mint, “O” represented the New Orleans Mint, and “CC” represented the Carson City Mint. 

There are a total of ninety-seven different date and mint mark combinations, excluding overdates and other unique varieties. Some key dates are the 1888-O “Double Lips” variety, 1889-CC, 1893-S, 1895-S, and 1921-D. What’s particularly interesting about the 1921-D Morgan Dollar is that it is the only dollar in the series minted in Denver because the Denver Mint opened in 1906 while the design was on hiatus.

Weight: 26.73 grams
Composition: 90% Silver (0.7734 troy oz), 10% Copper
Diameter: 38.1 mm
Edge: Reeded
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City

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