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Obverse of 1888 American Morgan Type Silver Dollar
Obverse of 1888 American Morgan Type Silver Dollar


Reverse of 1888 American Morgan Type Silver Dollar
Reverse of 1888 American Morgan Type Silver Dollar

Mintmark 'O' for New Orleans on Reverse of Morgan Silver Dollar

Mintmark 'O' for New Orleans on Reverse of Morgan Silver Dollar
Mintmark 'S' for San Francisco on Reverse of Morgan Silver Dollar
Mintmark 'S' for San Francisco on Reverse of Morgan Silver Dollar

USA 1922 Silver 'Peace' Dollar
Obverse of USA 1922 Silver "Peace" Dollar

USA 1922 Silver 'Peace' Dollar
Reverse of USA 1922 Silver "Peace" Dollar

American Silver Dollars

As American as a Dollar
Mention the word "dollar" nowadays, and most people instantly think about the U.S. Dollar, however the word dollar comes from the German word "tal" meaning valley. The first large size silver coin to be produced in quantity came from Joachimsthal in Austria where there were abundant silver mines. In German the suffix "er" indicates something belonging to or originating from, so that the silver crown sized coins from Joachimsthal were known as Joachimsthalers. This eventually became shortened to "thalers", and further Anglicised to "dollars".

First American Dollars
The first U.S. dollars were issued in 1794, based on the popular Spanish dollars which were widely used at the time. The first issue of dollars featured a Liberty head on the obverse, and an eagle within a wreath on the reverse. This type was issued until 1798 when a new reverse design was introduced with a heraldic eagle bearing the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM", and which was issued until 1803, apart from a few very rare specimens dated 1804, never officially issued.

Changing Designs
With the passing of time, the designs used for dollars has changed, and the following table shows the main types, we have ignored gold dollars. Please note that dollars issued after 1935 are not made of silver. Some varieties if the Eisenhower dollars are silver clad on a copper core.

Table of Principal Dollars Designs
TypeFirst DateLast Date
Liberty Head / Eagle in Wreath17941798
Liberty Head / Heraldic Eagle17981804
Golbrecht - Liberty Seated / Flying Eagle18361839
Liberty Seated / Heraldic Eagle18401873
Trade Dollars18731885
Morgan - Liberty Head / Eagle18781921
Anthony - Small Size19791981

Dollars were struck at the Denver, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Carson City mints. Philadelphia coins do not carry a mintmark. On Morgans the mintmarks are to be found below the wreath on the reverse of the coins, on the Peace issue, they are below the "ONE" on the reverse.
D = Denver
O = New Orleans
S = San Francisco
CC = Carson City

Specifications of Morgan & Peace Types
Diameter38.1 mms
Weight26.73 grams
Silver Alloy.900
Actual Silver Content0.7735

Notes to Table
Face Value = Denomination in American Dollars.
Weight = Standard weight in grams.
Silver Content = Fine silver content in troy ounces.
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres.
Alloy = .9993 silver; .0007 copper
Actual Silver Content = Troy ounces.

Prices & Availability
We have created a separate page for Morgan Type Silver Dollars, on which we show details of prices and other details of coins for sale.

USA Coins Index

American Silver Eagles

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2001 USA Four Seasons Coloured Silver Eagles

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