Silver Dollar Blog Posts - February 2012
Another good resource book for all you Morgan Dollar fans! "The Morgan Dollars An In Depth Study" by Dean F Howe is you can purchase on Amazon! Published in 1992 this book dives into statistical facts following the Morgan Dollar that ran from 1978-1904 and then made one more appearance in 1921 for it's final year in mint.
When the Morgan Dollar first came out folks thought it was bulky and hard to carry around, but times have changed and the Morgan Dollar I personally love the weight and feel and how heavy it feels in my hand compared to other coins. So if you want a bit more history on this coin you might want to take a look at this one!
Here is the Official Product Description:
This book is designed to be a working reference manual for the Morgan Dollar Series. It can be used as a desk top companion, or a book to be included in your brief case when you attend coin shows, auctions, or your local coin shop. The "Estimated Remaining Population by Grade" figures represent an exhaustive study. Figures were gathered by tracing the frequency in trading from teletype activity, appearances at coin shows, and auction appearances since 1962. A computer program was designed to assimilate the information for each date and factor the population by grades. The numbers are estimated to be accurate within 10 percent, however this could change if a large hoard of dollars enters the market.
Discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill
Let's step back just a little bit further in history before we go into the crime of 1873.
Between 1792 - 1873 the United States Dollar was backed by both gold and silver at a ratio of 15:1 this was known as bimetallism. Bimetallism is a system of allowing two metals as legal tender at a a fixed ratio to each other. By 1834 the value of silver had dropped to a ratio of 16:1. Silver production was on the rise as was gold with the discovery of gold in California.
What year was gold discovered in California?
The California gold rush began on January 24th, 1848 at the Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The gold rush brought about 300,000 people to California. People from all over the United States and abroad found their way to California. Gold-seekers were also called the "forty-niners" since they were rushing to California in 1849.
At the same time that more gold was being produced so was the silver. Dr. Henry Linderman understood that silver production was on the rise as more and more mines opened more and more silver would be found. Plus the transcontinental railroad would be complete in 1869. Before the market was flooded with silver Linderman called for the demonetization of silver. By doing so he would lower the price of silver which would make it possible to bring cheap Silver in to be coined into dollars thus inflating the economy.
The Coinage Act of 1873 or the Crime of 73?
Why was everyone calling it a crime? Now you could only deposit gold bullion for coinage. If you brought silver bullion you could have it cast into bars or coined into a trade dollar. This was also the last year for the Seated Liberty Dollar. This act ended the production of the silver dollar and authorized the creation of the trade dollar.
In 1878 the Bland-Allsion Act enters the picture!
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Value: 1 United States Dollar
Mass: 26.73g (412.5 grains)
Diameter 38.1 mm (1.5 inches)
Composition: 90% Silver and 10% Copper
Years Minted: 1878-1904, 1921
Mint Marks None (Philadelphia)
CC - Carson City
S - San Francisco
O - Denver
The Coinage Act of 1792 is what brought to life the United States Mint. At the time Philadelphia was the nation's capitol therefore the first mint facility was built there..
The first building (1792-1833) For the low price of $4,266.67 two lots were purchased on Seventh Street and 631 filbert Street. First things first... they demolished an abandoned whiskey distillery on the property and started work on the smelt house. Next facing seventh street was the mint building with "Ye Olde Mint" painted on the front of this three-story building. The basement held the gold and silver in vaults, the first floor was for housed deposits, weighing room, and press room. The second floor was for mint official offices and the third was the assay office. Between the smelt house and the"Ye Olde Mint" office was the mill house.
The first building (1792-1833)
Second Building (1833-1901) On July 4th , 1829 at the intersection of Chestnut and juniper the first cornerstone was laid for the second Philadelphia Mint., the Grecian Temple. The building opened in January of 1833. Even though this mint building was more impressive in space and image (white marble with classic Greek style columns) by 1900 the nation had gone from 13 million to 76 million demand brought on the third building.
Second Building (1833-1901)
Third Building (1901-1969) Located at 1700 Spring garden Street this mint could produce. In one year the third Philadelphia mint produced 501,000,000 coins plus 90,000,000 coins for foreign countries. The building was aquired by the Community College of Philadelphia in 1973
Third Building (1901-1969)
Current Building (1969-Present) Just two blocks from where it all began at the "Ye Olde Mint" Building the fourth mint building is constructed. Listen to this number.... This Philadelphia mint can produce one million coins in thirty minutes!
Current Building (1969-Present)
Early Dollar Coins - The Coinage Act of 1792 authorized the production of dollar coins from silver. In the early years there is the Flowing Hair (1794-1795) and Draped Bust (1795-1804) Each die was hand engraved because of this dozens of varieties are known to exist.
The 1804 Dollar - The 1804 Dollar is one of the rarest and most famous coins! Records indicate that 19,750 silver dollars were struck in 1804. The only problem they all used the old but still usable dies dated 1803. It wasn't until 1834 when the U.S. Department of State was creating a set of coins as a gift that they used a die with an 1804 date. There are eight of these coins known to exist.
Seated Liberty Dollar (1836-1873) - denominations that had the Seated Liberty design was the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, the silver dollar as well as the twenty cent piece. The Seated Liberty was minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Carson City
Gold Dollar Coins (1849-1889) Because the coin was composed of 90% pure gold take into account the high value of gold making this coin the second smallest coin in the US coinage history. First goes to the silver three cent piece.
Trade Dollar (1873-1885) - The Trade Dollar was minted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Carson City and San Francisco. The United States Congress started the Trade Dollar to improve trade with the Orient.
Morgan Dollar (1878-1904; 1921) - The Morgan dollar is named after the engraver George T. Morgan. On the obverse side of the coin their is a profile representing Liberty with the reverse an eagle with wings outstretched. The coin was minted between 1878-1904 and once again in 1921 thanks to the Pittman Act in 1918 that authorized the melting of millions of silver dollars. This allowed the Morgan Silver Dollar to resume mintage for one final year in 1921!
Peace Dollar (1921-1935; 1964) - The Peace Dollar was minted from 1921 to 1928 and again in 1934 and 1935. Anthony De Francisci is the designer of the Peace Dollar. A contest was held and he was the the winner. They were looking for a design that said "Peace"
Release of Dollars by the United States Treasury, the GSA Sale -Of course the size and weight of a dollar coin made them not a favorite. Between the 1930's to the early 1960's bags were released to banks in order to be distributed as gifts which folks thought made a good Christmas gift.. Then a rare 1903-O Morgan Silver Dollar was found which made the treasury think twice about just handing them out like that. Next the GSA General Services Administration was authorized to sell these coins to the public in a series of mail-bid sales.
Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1978) - Designed by Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro. On the obverse depicting Dwight D. Eisenhower and the reverse is an insignia of the Apollo 11 moon landing. There was also a 1976 bicentennial commemorative design minted between 1975-1976 this design had the liberty bell and the moon on the reverse, but the obverse still had Eisenhower.
Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979-1981: 1999) - Sometimes called Suzy or Susan B the coin depicted Susan B. Anthony the first non-fictitious woman portrayed on a coin. As for size it was almost the same size as the quarter. Because of this fact it was never a big hit therefore it had a short run. However it was brought back in 1999 for one year when the Treasury reserves were low.
Sacagawea Dollar (2000-present) - No verified image exists of Sacagawea so designer Glenna Goodacre used Randy'L He-dow Teton as Shoshone Indian as the model for the coin. The coin has not been released to the general public since 2001 as of 2011 the coin was still being minted for collectors. You can purchase uncirculated rolls, proof sets and mint sets.
Presidential Dollar Coin (2007-2011) - Presidential $1Coin Act was created they were hoping for the interest seen in the 50 State Quarters. The program was supposed to run until 2016 but was canceled to save money.
1885 Morgan Dollar
Mintage Circulation strikes: 17,787,000
There is no mint mark on the coin which means it was minted in Philadelphia.
1885-CC Silver Dollar
Mintage Circulation strikes: 228,000
Minted in Carson City – CC
1885-S Silver Dollar
Mintage Circulation Strikes: 1,497,000
Minted in San Francisco– S
1885-O Silver Dollar
Mintage Circulation strikes: 9,185,000
Minted in New Orleans– O
Random Facts of 1885Statue of Liberty arrived in NYC aboard French ship `Isere'
United States raised $100,000 for the statue of Liberty's Pedestal.
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) incorporates
US mint at Carson City, Nevada directed to close
1st meteor photograph
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster.
A bill is signed in the New York State legislature forming the Niagara Falls State Park.
Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies
March 4th, 1885 ends Chester A. Arthur as president of the United States
March 4th, 1885 Grover Cleveland takes over as president of the United States
1792 - Coinage Act of 1792 -Coinage Act or the Mint Act passed by the United States of Congress in 1792 was established to regulate the coinage of the United States.
1794 - Silver dollars, the first dollar coin issue was minted in 1794 - Dollar coins have been minted in the United States as gold, silver and other base metal versions.
1873 - Crime of 1873 - Embraced the gold standard and demonetized silver.
1878 - Bland-Allison Act - The United States Treasury was required to buy a certain amount of silver so it could be circulated as silver dollars
1890 - Sherman Act - The act was named after is author John Sherman an Ohio Republican. In addition to the 2-4 million from the Bland-Allison Act the United States had to to purchase, now they had to purchase an additional 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion each month. The law required the treasury to by silver with treasury notes that could be redeemed for either silver or gold.
1893 - Sherman Act repealed - The plan failed instead there was a fear of a resulting drain on the Treasury''s gold reserves helped case the financial panic of 1893. Therefor the Sherman Act was repealed.
1898 - War Revenue Bill - Coin remaining Silver Bullion purchased under Sherman Act
1918 - Pittman Act - Stated that no more than 350,000,000 standard silver dollars be converted into bullion and sold or used for subsidiary silver coinage, and directed purchase of domestic silver for re-coinage.