The Morgan Dollar is one of the most storied coins in American history. Its origin can be traced to the discovery of the Comstock Lode during the late 1850’s in what is now Virginia City, Nevada, one of the largest silver strikes in history, and the political pressure for government intervention that followed the subsequent drop in global silver prices. In 1878, the United States Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act, requiring the Treasury Department to buy large amounts of silver – two to four million troy ounces a month – for the production of coins. The Treasury Department decided to strike dollar coins with the incoming silver and the Morgan Dollar was born.
Morgan Dollars were minted from 1878 through 1904, and again in 1921, in Philadelphia (no mintmark), San Francisco (“S” mintmark), New Orleans (“O”), Carson City, Nevada (“CC”), and Denver (“D”). Each Morgan is composed of .900 fine silver, yielding a total silver content of .77344 troy ounces per coin, and measures 38.1mm in diameter. The coins take their name from their designer, the British engraver George T. Morgan. Morgan recruited a Philadelphia schoolteacher named Anna Willess Williams to pose as Lady Liberty for the new design, and it is her portrait that occupies the obverse of the coins. The reverse, or back, of the coins displays a heraldic eagle holding the traditional American symbols denoting strength at peace and in war, a clutch of arrows and an olive branch, in its talons.
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|.7734 troy oz