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In 1891, the United States experienced a major economic recession. Unemployment rose and businesses failed. The Panic of 1893 was a major financial crisis in the United States that caused a sharp economic downturn and lasting effects on the country’s railroad industry.

The panic had stemmed from a series of economic and financial difficulties, most notably the collapse of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. The Reading had been one of the largest and most important railroads in the country, and its failure sent shockwaves through the economy.

In the aftermath of the panic, many people began to hoard silver and Gold. The price of silver rose sharply, and the value of the 1891 silver dollar increased. Nowadays those woes are long forgotten. The 1891 silver dollar has simply become a fancy piece for collectors. There are a variety of different types of 1891 silver dollars, and each one is worth a different amount.

The main factor in determining the value of an 1891 silver dollar is its condition. A coin that is in good condition will be worth more than a coin that is in poor condition. Also, collectors are willing to pay a premium for certain types of coins, such as those with low mintages or those that are scarce in the market.

Let’s take a look at how to look at an 1891 silver dollar and understand how valuable it could be.

The History of the 1891 Silver Coin

The 1891 silver dollar was minted during a time of great economic turmoil in the United States. The country was in the midst of a severe recession, and unemployment was rising. Businesses were failing, and the panic of 1893 was looming on the horizon.

In order to combat this, the government passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1890. The act required the government to purchase a certain amount of silver each month in order to increase the money supply and help stimulate the economy.

The 1891 silver dollar coins are part of the ‘Morgan Dollar’ series that run from 1878 to 1921. The Morgan Dollar was named after its designer, George T. Morgan.

The obverse side of the coin features a portrait of Lady Liberty, while the reverse side features an image of an eagle with outstretched wings. The coin is made of 90% silver and 10% copper, it weighs 26.73 grams, and has a diameter of 38.10. These are the standard specifications for all Morgan Dollars.

Let’s now see how to evaluate an 1891 coin.

The Value of an 1891 Silver Coin

It is a must, before getting into the specifics of costs, to make a distinction between circulated and uncirculated coins. Uncirculated coins are, as their name suggests, coins that have never been used in circulation. They will usually be in pristine condition and will command a higher price than circulated coins.

There are a few reasons why there may be uncirculated coins. One reason may be that the coin has been in a collection and never actually entered into circulation. Another reason may be that the coin was pulled from circulation for some reason, such as being damaged or rare. Lastly, some coins may have been minted specifically for collectors and never released into the general public.

As far as uncirculated coins, they are separated into 6 different categories:

  • Uncirculated (MS-60, 61, 62)
  • Select Uncirculated (MS-63)
  • Choice Uncirculated (MS-64)
  • Gem Uncirculated (MS-65,66)
  • Superb Gem Uncirculated (MS-67, 68, 69)
  • Perfect Uncirculated (MS70)

The higher the number after MS, the higher the quality of the coin and thus the higher the value. MS-70 coins are basically perfect, and are the highest quality coins that you can find, whereas MS-60 coins have some imperfections, such as scratches, and are of lower quality. This includes checking for scratches, dents, or anything else that would devalue the coin.

On the other hand, circulated coins are those that have been used in everyday transactions and will show signs of wear and tear. These include scratches, nicks, and other blemishes. circulated coins will be cheaper than uncirculated coins but still have some value to collectors.

The value of an 1891 silver dollar will depend on a number of factors, the most important being its condition. A coin that is in good condition will be worth more than a coin that is in poor condition. Also, collectors are willing to pay a premium for certain types of coins, such as those with low mintages or those that are scarce in the market.

If you want to learn more about how to evaluate am 1891 silver dollar, here is a video showcasing different coins from that era, with typical signs of wear:

Now, as far as evaluation goes, it goes without saying that the better the condition of the coin, the higher its value will be. The most common grading chart is PCGS one, which grades coins on a 70-point scale.

Here is a table of coins and their respective recent sales (all of these are based off auctions, which has its pros and cons — more on that later):

Editor’s note: The mintage for this coin was super low. Only 650 coins were minted back then, which makes the coin very rare, and very valuable. Also, because of low circulation they’ve enjoyed relatively low usage, which is why you will only see high-quality coins selling in auctions.

1891 Silver Dollar Value Chart

Quality 1891
Ungraded You can find them for all price points. For example, here’s one for $50, here’s one for $180.50, and here’s another for $249,50.
AU-50 Only 2 recent sales, one for $840 and one for $1,475
AU-55 There is currently one for sale for $2,070 at Collector’s Corner
AU-58 One sold for $1,150 at Scotman’s Auction, but the recommended price is around $1,600
MS/PR60 The 2 most recent auctions saw them sell for $1,400 and $1,625 respectively
MS/PR61 Most recent auctions saw them go for $1600-$1700, but one at Auction House saw one go for $2,640
MS/PR62 Between $1,900 and $3,120
MS/PR63 Most go for a price between $2,000 and $3,500, but a few have gone for less than $1,500 (e.g. 1 and 2)
MS/PR64 Most coins go for a price between $2,300 and $4,000, but Superior Galleries sold one for $6,325 as well.
MS/PR65 Between $4,000 and $6,500
MS/PR66 Between $5,000 and $6,500, though we’ve seen pieces go for $8,225 and $16,100
MS/PR67 The few auctions saw prices around $14,000, except for one at David Lawrence DC that went for $10,925. 67+ graded coins go for around $16,000
MS/PR68 PCGS’ recommended price is $37,500, but we’ve seen a few go for less than $20,000 (like this one), and others for $34,075

Price sources: pcgs and eBay

Explaining the Variations in Prices

All of the coins discussed in the article are up for auction, and the results can vary widely. Some coins sold for much less than its estimated value, while others saw a much higher selling price. Coin collecting is often seen as a hobby because of the wide range of prices that different coins can go for.

This is due to a number of factors, including the quality of the coin, the rarity of the coin, and the demand for the coin. Because these factors can change over time, it’s important to do your research before making an offer on a certain coin.

1891 Silver Coin Errors

For all the talk we’ve had about coins conditions being important to collectors, it’s important to note that some imperfections can actually add value to a coin. This is especially true when it comes to errors.

An error is defined as a minting mistake that made its way into circulation. There are a few types of errors that can occur on an 1891 silver coin. The most common type is a doubled die error, which is caused by a misalignment during the minting process. This results in some of the features on the coin being doubled. Another type of error is a strike error, which occurs when the coin is not properly struck by the die. This can result in a weak or missing image on the coin. Lastly, there is the off-center strike, which is self-explanatory — this happens when the coin is not struck in the center of the die.

While these errors may seem like they would devalue the coin, they actually have the opposite effect. Errors are relatively rare, and collectors are willing to pay a premium for them. If you’re in the business of collecting coins, know that a minting error can be quite valuable purely because of how rare they are.

If, on the other hand, you’re trying to sell your coins, you should be aware that most dealers will try to lowball you on the price. They know that the average person is not knowledgeable about coin collecting and will take advantage of that. The best way to avoid this is to do your research beforehand and know what your coins are worth. This way, you can negotiate from a position of strength and get the best possible price for your coins.

FAQs

How much is an 1891 silver dollar worth?

The value of an 1891 silver dollar will depend on a number of factors, the most important being its condition. A coin that is in good condition will be worth more than a coin that is in poor condition. Also, collectors are willing to pay a premium for certain types of coins, such as those with low mintages or those that are scarce in the market.

What Are Morgan Dollars?

Morgan dollars are a type of silver dollar that was minted from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. The coin was named after its designer, George T. Morgan. Morgan dollars were minted in large quantities and are thus relatively common in the market today.

What is a circulated coin?

A circulated coin is one that has been used in commerce. Circulated coins will show signs of wear, such as scratches or nicks. Uncirculated coins, on the other hand, are those that have never been used in commerce and thus are in pristine condition. Coins that are graded as being uncirculated are typically worth more than circulated coins.

Summary

1891 silver dollars are worth a significant amount of money, especially if they’re in good condition. Certain types of coins, such as those with low mintages or those that are scarce in the market, will be worth even more.

1891 silver dollars are made of 90% silver and 10% copper, and they were designed by George T. Morgan, hence them belonging to the Morgan dollar series.

The value of an 1891 silver dollar will depend on a number of factors, the most important being its condition. A coin that is in good condition will be worth more than a coin that is in poor condition. Also, collectors are willing to pay a premium for certain types of coins, such as those with low mintages, and those with errors.

If you’re unsure of your coin’s worth, it’s always best to consult with a professional coin dealer or appraiser. They will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your coin’s worth. This comes at a price, but it’s worth it to get an accurate appraisal.

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