Morgan silver dollars are a welcome addition to any coin collection. Because of the silver content, these coin were susceptible to melting for profit. Many of these coins still survive and have a high value to numismatists.
Morgan silver dollars were minted between 1878 and 1903, then again in 1921. From 1904 to 1920, the mint ceased the Morgan silver dollar. Many of the older silver dollars were melted and replaced with the Peace design after one final run of the Morgan silver dollar in 1921.
The Morgan silver dollar was produced after Congress authorized the minting of a new silver dollar in 1878. The coin was designed by George T. Morgan. This was the first design that featured the designer's initial on both sides of the coin.
The 1896 Morgan silver dollar was minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Fransisco. In other minting years the dollar was also made in Carson City, Nevada.
Three distinct places on the coin provide clues to detect wear on the coin. On the obverse side, check the high fold of Lady Liberty's cap or the hair above her eye. On the reverse side, check for wear on the crest of the eagle's chest.
A 1896 silver dollar in good condition can be worth $11 to $15, as of 2009. These coins in extremely fine or uncirculated condition are worth about $25. Those with a New Orleans or San Francisco mint mark are worth $800 or more in uncirculated condition.