1883 Morgan Silver Dollars: Uncirculated Examples are Plentiful

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Morgan Silver Dollar Overview

A legendary coin that amazes all that hold it, the Morgan silver dollar has great prestige among collectors and noncollectors alike. Minted during quite possibly the greatest time of American history, the Morgan dollar is a staple in any collector’s stockpile.

Designed by US Mint assistant engraver George T. Morgan, the Morgan dollar would first be put into production in 1878. The series would be produced for 43 years, with a break in production between 1904 till 1921 because of low silver stocks at the Mint. At the end of 1921, the Peace dollar would be introduced, which effectively ended the production of the Morgan silver dollar.

On the obverse of the Morgan silver dollar, a bust of Lady Liberty with flowing hair facing left is centered. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is positioned around the top rim of the coin. Stars are found near the edge of the coin, with the date of mintage centered directly at the bottom of the obverse side.

The reverse features the main design of a American bald eagle with spread wings, surrounded by a wreath. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is found between the wingtips of the eagle. The mottos “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “ONE DOLLAR” can be found along the rim of the reverse.

History of the 1883 Morgan Silver Dollar

No real issues in the mintage of the 1883 Morgan silver dollar occurred, and there are many examples in high grades or uncirculated condition. Most uncirculated coins achieve a rather high grade, with MS-65 coins not being as rare as other years in the series.

The Mint at Philadelphia reports striking 12,290,000 examples of the 1883 Morgan dollar. For the series, this is a much larger amount than most early years.

All Morgan dollars were composed of the same mix of metals: 90% silver and 10% copper. Each coin weighs 26.73 grams and has a diameter of 38.1 inches. Reeding can be found on the edges, and denticles are present on the obverse and reverse of the coin.

1883 Morgan Silver Dollar Sextupled Star Variety

There are not many known large varieties for the 1883 Morgan silver dollar; only one variety is in the top 100 VAMs list.

Known as the sextupled star variety, this VAM appears on the obverse of the 1883 Morgan silver dollar. The error occurs on the stars to the right of the date and is very hard to see.

The stars shown will have shelves under them that show that doubling occurred a total of six times! Normally the doubling is very hard to see and will be almost nonexistent if the coin has seen a long time in circulation.

Another tell-tale sign of whether your 1883 Morgan dollar exhibits this type of doubling is that there is a small die crack between the edge of Liberty’s neck and the the “1” in “1883.” The die crack can also be found between the “1” and “8.”

If you think that your 1883 Morgan silver dollar is a sextupled star variatey, you should take it to a coin dealer for a second opinion. Alternatively, you could send it into a third-party grading service and get the coin encapsulated and attributed by professionals.

A premium is attached to any authentic 1883 Morgan silver dollar that is a sextupled star variety. Most coin auctions will market this type of variety heavily as it will bring higher prices than a regular example.

Only a few coins have been graded higher than MS-65, and very few have received a grade of MS-68. Currently, an incredible value of is given to those examples.
1883 Morgan Silver Dollars

Image Source Flickr user Bill Jacobus

Pricing the 1883 Morgan Silver Dollar

Great numbers of this coin still remain today, most coins of high grades. Of course, there are still many examples that can be found in lower grades. Because of the silver in the coin, the value will never drop below the current silver value in the coin.

A grade of Good 4 brings an average price of $20. Examples in Fine 12 see a slight price increase to $31. Very Fine 20 and Extremely Fine 40 have a similar value of somewhere around $38.

Uncirculated examples are plentiful and bring much higher prices than circulated examples.

In MS-60, a 1883 Morgan silver dollar is valued at $50. A three-point increase results in a price increase from $25 to $75 for a MS-63 example. Prices then take a drastic jump to $250 in MS-65.


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