Silver Dollar Blog Posts - November 2012

Re-Cap on the Bland-Allison Act

Nov 15, 2012

We hear Bland-Allison Act a lot when collecting Silver dollars. You might have read it once and forgotten the little details about it. So today we're going to re-visit that time in history. 

In a nut shell - In 1878 congress stated the U.S. Treasury must buy at market price $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of silver each month. This silver would be put into circulation as silver dollars. 

With a bit more detail - Before 1873 the United States was using a bimetallic money standard. With the Coinage Act of 1873 the Untied States no longer backed both silver and gold. The only standard was the gold standard now. Before the public could bring both gold and silver to have it converted into coins. Now the treasury would only take the public's gold and mint it into a coin. Although you could still have silver minted into trade dollars.

Of course the silver mining companies gave it the name "The Crime of 73". This act also reduced the domestic money supply which in turn raised interest rates which hurt the farmers and anyone who carried a large amount of debt. Times were tough during this period and before the act was passed too. We have the Black Friday panic of 1869, Chicago fire of 1871, the influenza in 1872 and now we have the demonetization of silver in 1873. The Long depression was not just felt in the United States it went worldwide starting in 1873 and going all the way through 1879.

Here comes the Bland-Allison Act in 1878 that requires the United States Treasury to purchase at the market price $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of silver each month. This silver was to be minted into silver dollars at a ratio to gold of 16 to 1. The president at the time Rutherford B. Hayes vetoed this act but congress overrode his veto and the act was passed. At first the Morgan was called a Bland dollar later in the twentieth century they started calling them Morgan dollars.



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Why low Mints between 1892-1895?

Nov 07, 2012


Many factors contributed to low numbers from 1892-1895 for the Morgan Silver Dollar. 

When the Sherman Silver Purchase Act came about in 1890 it stated the Treasury had to purchase $4,500,000 Silver each month. One thing to note the Treasury didn't have to mint this silver into silver dollars right away. They looked around the vault and saw lots of uncirculated silver dollars which slowed down production. The government purchased the silver with Treasury notes which could be redeemed in either silver or gold. How would you choose to redeem your money silver or gold? Most choose gold which caused a fear of the gold reserves dwindling to nothing. 

Cleveland was re-elected in 1892, he opposed the silver interests.By 1893 Cleveland had taken the Sherman Silver Purchase to Congress and had it repealed. Now you have a president that opposes the free coinage of silver, a year of panic as the gold reserves get low. A farm depression going on, a business slump abroad. 

The Comstock mines for the Carson City mint had slowed down on their output. U.S. Mint director at the time closed the coining department for a bit and had all silver sent to San Francisco, the refining department stayed open. The final blow to Carson City being closed for good was when an investigation into ingots returning from the melting room returning much lighter. In the end $75,549.75 of gold went missing! 

When Mckinley was elected in 1896 things changed a bit for the silver interest groups. Now it seemed there were more weighing in for silver than against. 


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