Collecting coins has been a popular yet exclusive hobby for centuries. All around the world, passionates are hunting for the most spectacular and valuable coin types. If you are wondering what attracts most of them, I will tell you that it’s a mix of aspects. People that have the hobby of collecting coins usually start due to the rich history of the coins, the material, the grading system, and how well other collectors have preserved their money.
But let’s look at today’s topic – the 1880 Morgan silver dollar. This particular coin is a high-end silver one, a coin most passionate want in their collection. However, I want to be real here and tell you that what makes these dollars truly attractive is their value.
On average, a 1880 silver dollars will fetch around $180. However, the price depends greatly on the coin’s grading and state. For instance, worn and not very crisp coins will be worth only $30.
What I am trying to say is that the pricing floor can vary greatly; this is why collectors should learn everything there is to know about evaluating their investments. And this is where I come to your help.
Today you will get to know everything about the “King of collectors”, the popular name for the unique 1880 Morgan silver dollar.
Before going to real depth on the matter, there is one last thing that you should know, aspect that I am sure will get your attention. Since 1880 Morgan silver dollar’s value has changed from time to time, this coin is truly desirable in any collection.
So, without further ado, let’s see what defines its final price and how you can evaluate these silver coins by different features.
Morgan Silver Dollar History
By the end of the 19th century, the US economy has fallen dangerously. During the Depression, the money used was Spanish Pieces of Eight. The tactic used by the government introduced a new currency. Now, the economic move was a strategical one, as the government wanted to boost the economy and make people spend more using the new coin.
Shortly after the historical moment called Bland-Allison Act (1878), the US Treasury bought huge amounts of silver (around $2 million to $4 million) and began minting brand new US dollars. At a certain point, the process stopped due to unnecessary stocks of silver. However, the government restarted minting the coins again in 1921. As you may imagine, it was nearly impossible for a single mint to strike all the silver coins by itself.
Consequently, multiple mints around the US started to produce these coins. This decision affected the silver dollar’s values and characteristics as well. Here is a chart displaying the number of Morgan Silver dollars minted in different parts of the country:
|Philadelphia||1880||More than 2 million||$23.4|
|San Francisco||1880S||Almost 9 million||$23|
|New Orleans||1880 O||5,3 million pieces||$24.85|
|Carson City||1880 CC||495,000 pieces||$98|
1880 Morgan Dollar Silver Design and Characteristics
Regarding the design, you should know that it was George T Morgan, the mint engraver, who designed the silver dollar.
Although the coins have been minted in different parts of the country, there are still some similar characteristics in every 1880 Morgan Silver dollar:
- George T. Morgan was the unique designer of them all
- The principal value of 1880 Morgan dollars is $1
- The weight of one coin is 26.68 grams
- All the coins are made of silver, and copper (90% and 10%)
- The coins are 1.5 inches in diameter, and 2.4 mm thick
The obverse design includes the Liberty portrait facing left. Right below the neck, the date is written, while the words E PLURIBUS UNUNM are engraved above the Liberty Head.
The Reverse Side
The reverse side displays an eagle with its wings open and an olive branch around it. You can also read ONE DOLLAR, UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN, and IN GOD WE TRUST, both written below and under the eagle’s legs.
Most coins have a mint mark engraved under the wreath, right on the coin’s reverse side. If you are wondering what the meaning of the mint mark is, you should know that the letter stands for the mint that produced the specific coin.
The Main Types Of 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars
Considering all mints have produced different amounts of coins during the same year, you can expect their value to be distinct. Therefore, it would be wise to know how to recognize the four types of 1880 Morgan silver dollars.
1880 Morgan Silver Dollar Without Mint Mark
The 1880 Morgan silver dollar with no mint was produced in almost 28 million units, which is far less than other minting periods. As you might expect, this small amount of pieces has affected the coin’s value, making them more precious than other specimens.
However, it is actually the minting error that makes the 1880 Morgan dollar even more desirable. This particularity was made on purpose so the government could save some money. Since it was too expensive to produce new coins for the following years, all mints overprinted the 1879 Morgan silver dollars with 1880.
Identifying these coins is quite easy. You just have to look at the last two digits that indicate the minting year. What you need to see is the seven digits under the 8. Just check whether the digit 9 is easily visible under the 0 one. These traces are usually easy to notice and recognize.
Important! Remember that this coin error does not indicate a fake.
Conversely, this specimen is highly collectible and represents a small part of the American history. As a matter of fact, with just a little bit of luck, you may earn more. Why? Well, simply because these coins are more precious than most other Morgan dollar exemplars.
The 1880 S Morgan Silver Dollar
Even though the San Francisco mint has produced over 8 million pieces of silver dollars, most of them are now gone or in awful condition. Their survival rate was lower than any other minted 1880 silver dollars, as the silver price in the day influenced the production rate.
Therefore, you can buy an 1880 S Morgan Silver dollar for under $30. But that is only if the coin is still in good condition. Nevertheless, their value can increase to $27,000 if they are in the MS 65 grading system.
Be Aware! The 1880 S Silver Dollar is one of the most faked American coins.
So double-check the selling source, like the certified online auctions.
1880 O Morgan Silver Dollar
The New Orleans mint has produced over 5 million pieces of Morgan Silver Dollars. Most of them were introduced into circulation at that exact moment. Therefore, all 1880 O Morgan dollars in MS 65 grade are unique and more challenging to find, mainly if you want to buy them in a complete set.
Due to their usage level, passionate collectors may find coins worth under $30. But this is not a general case. On the other hand, the MS 65 coins that are in good condition can go up to $22,000.
Interesting fact! The absolute selling record for 1880 O Morgan Silver Dollar reached $41,125.
1880 CC Morgan Silver Dollar
Last but not least, the 1880 CC Morgan silver dollar is maybe the easiest one to find on the market, considering the 13 different types of CC Morgans. Today, there are around 495,000 CC Morgan coins minted in 1880, and one of them can be yours.
A set of 1880 CC silver dollars will cost you even less than $15,000. However, be aware that the final price depends greatly on the silver dollar’s condition. For instance, if an 1880 CC Morgan silver dollar is in pretty good condition will go up to $159. Furthermore, you should expect to get $1300 for an MS 65 1880 Morgan silver dollar.
Now, if you prefer having rare coins in your collection rather than the most popular and easy-to-find types, please consider the following:
1880 Morgan Silver Dollar Value
If you are an experienced coin collector or a novice in this hobby, you should know that the final value depends a lot on the coin’s state, as well as on how it looks. The well-preserved silver dollars are much more worthy than those that have been used and passed through millions of hands.
Now, as you can probably imagine, the uncirculated coins are the most desirable ones. The reason for that is very easy to understand as their look is most of the time, flawless.
On the other hand, 1880 Morgan silver dollars that are in good conditions but have been used will have a lower value, as they might have stains, scratches, discolorations and marks.
Lastly, when talking about fine 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars, the Liberty’s hair must be evident, with all details easily recognizable. But let’s understand better what is a grading system and how it influences the final value of a vintage coin.
These are the main grading etiquettes:
Very Fine Condition
1880 Morgan silver dollars in very fine condition are easy to spot, based on the two-thirds of Liberty’s hair lines. If you don’t know where to start, look above her forehead as there the hair lines have to be very evident.
Extremely Fine Condition
1880 Morgan silver dollar in excellent condition is easy to spot due to the Liberty’s strong hair lines and ear. Look for the sharp and nice details.
MS 60 (Uncirculated Condition)
The MS 60 silver dollars should show no signs of wear and tear. On the contrary. The coin should have a luster and quite a shiny surface. However, some MS 60 Morgan Silver Dollars can have abrasions, stains, and even some surface marks.
MS 65 (Uncirculated state)
MS 65 Silver Dollars is eye appealing and has a strong luster. The easiest way to spot this type of coin is the light contact marks that sometimes are barely noticeable.
PR 63 proof
These beautiful silver coins have a shiny surface with reflective spots. Depending on their storage, some coins may have a few blemishes but are away from the essential focal points. Expect to find no major flaws.
1880 Morgan Silver Dollar Value Chart
|COIN TYPE⬇\QUALITY➜||Good||Very Good||Fine||Very Fine||Extra Fine||About Uncirculated||M60||M65||Proof 63|
Side Note! Please be aware that these values are purely guidance. To ensure the prices are genuine, I recommend checking the auction values. eBay is an excellent source to find unique pieces of 1880 Morgan silver dollars, like this one.
Morgan Silver Dollars Melting Process
In 1918, according to the Pittman Act, the Government ordered the melting of 350 million silver dollars. This tactic was meant to help Britain reverse the crisis and avoid bankruptcy and riots in India.
After the Big Melting, the US government sold silver to Britain for only one dollar per 3,11 grams. However, the repercussions were huge, and the melting process made these silver dollars even more difficult to find nowadays.
Consequently, the prices for Morgan silver dollars have risen way too high, and these pieces are harder and harder to find in collector’s circles. Expect to dig a lot for fine condition coins.
I know there is a lot of information going on; however, there is still a lot to say. I am sure you still have some dilemmas, so check the questions and answers section below.
Q: Where is the mint mark placed on the 1880 Morgan Silver Dollar?
A: When it comes to the 1880 O Morgan silver dollar, for instance, the “O” mint mark can be found right below the eagle.
Q: Where does the “King Of Collector” name come from?
A: Maybe you have heard people talking about “King Of Collectors” when referring to the 1880 Morgan silver dollars. The name actually reflects the rarity and high value of the entire Morgan Dollar series.
Q: What is the rarest ever silver dollar?
A: The “holy grail” of silver dollars is the 1794 Flowing Hair. Professional collectors believe this coin was the first-ever silver dollar struck by the USA. The coin was bought in 2013 for the insane amount of $10 million.
Q: Is it worth collecting 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars?
A: You should consider collecting 1880 Morgan Silver Dollars for multiple reasons. First of all, they are relatively more affordable than other specimens. Secondly, they perform excellently in terms of valorization over time. And last but not least, they are a beautiful asset in the coins collection.
Various factors affect the 1880 Morgan silver dollar’s value; hence you should pay attention to all the details before putting a price on your coins.
Nevertheless, these dollars represent a valuable moment in American history; no wonder so many collectors want to behold them.