Silver Dollar Blog - Description of the Morgan Dollar, Obverse Side

Oct 23, 2011

Let's start today with the basics! Today we are going to help you find your way around the Obverse side of the Morgan Dollar. Just want to make sure everyone has a clear understanding what all the symbols mean on a Morgan Dollar. Below is a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar with points of interest listed.

What does E Pluribus Unum mean on the Morgan Dollar?

Everyone has seen the words. Take a look at the change in your pocket go ahead grab a quarter, penny doesn't matter what you pick up somewhere on that coin you will see the words E Pluribus Unum. The phrase means "Out of many, one"

The U.S. Treasury says the first coin to have E Pluribus Unum on it was the 1795 Half Eagle, a $5.00 gold piece. In 1873 a law was passed that all U.S. coins would have the motto E Pluribus Unum. There was a brief moment in history, in 1834 when the motto was removed from the gold as well as in 1837 when the silver coins also lost the motto.  A law was passed in 1873 stating all coins will have the motto E Pluribus Unum appear on them.

Where can you find the designers initial on the Morgan Dollar?

You can find George T. Morgan's monogram near the Lady Liberty's neck on the obverse side of the Morgan Dollar

Who is Lady Liberty on the Morgan Dollar?

The obverse features lady liberty facing left. A lady by the name of Anna Willess Williams modeled for George T. Morgan 5 times. Morgan said her profile was the most perfect he had ever seen.  She later went on to become a kindergarten teacher.

On top of her head is a coronet which has the words LIBERTY inscribed on it. Tucked between the coronet and the Phrygian cap is an agricultural flora with wheat  leaves and two cotton blossoms tucked in about ear level that look like flowers. A Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap which represents the pursuit of liberty and freedom.

Why are their 13 star on the Morgan Dollar?

There are 7 stars on the left side of the Morgan dollar and 6 stars on the right side. These thirteen stars represent the 13 original colonies.

90% Silver
10% Copper
Year in mint 1878-1901, 1921
Diameter is 38.1mm or 1.5 in.
Mass 26.73 g
Designer: George T. Morgan

Next we will talk about the Description of the Morgan Dollar, Reverse Side.

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