In 1898, the Spanish-American War was fought between the United States and Spain. The United States won, and as a result, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines became U.S. territories. It’s also the year the 1898 silver dollar was released to commemorate the victory. The design is the same as the 1897 dollar, the only difference is in the date on the coin. It features liberty on the obverse side and a bald eagle on the reverse.
The Morgan dollar was minted from 1878-1904, then again in 1921. Over the years, the Morgan dollar has become one of the most popular coins among collectors, thanks to its beauty and history. The 1898 silver dollar is a Morgan dollar, and it’s considered to be one of the more valuable ones in the series.
The 1898 dollar has diameter of 38.0 mm and a weight of 26.73 grams. Its composition is 90% silver and 10% copper, much in line with the other coins from that era.
In this article, we will look at the value of the 1898 silver dollar and figure out how to determine its worth.
The History of the 1898 Silver Dollar
The 1898 silver dollar was minted at a time when the United States was going through great changes. The country had just come out of a long and bloody Civil War, and it was in the midst of an industrial revolution. In 1898, the Spanish-American War was fought between the United States and Spain. The United States won, and as a result, annexed Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
It’s also the year the 1898 silver dollar was released to commemorate the victory. The 1898 dollar belongs to the Morgan series. The Morgan dollar series was minted from 1878-1904, then again in 1921. The coins were designed by George T. Morgan and are considered some of the most valuable and beautiful coins in American history. The 1898 silver dollar is a part of this series, and it’s considered to be one of the more valuable ones. It was minted in 2 locations: Philadelphia and New Orleans. That’s why some coins have an “O” figuring below the Eagle, it signals the coin was minted in New Orleans. Philadelphia coins have no such mark.
Roughly 10 million coins were minted in that year, and most of them were melted down for their silver content during World War I and II. Silver is very valuable, and during wartime, the government needed all the silver it could get its hands on. That’s why so few 1898 dollars remain today. It’s estimated that there are only about 400,000 1898 Morgan dollars left in existence.
Thanks to its rich history, the 1898 silver dollar has become one of the most popular coins among collectors. It’s also a very valuable coin, and if you’re lucky enough to have one, it’s worth taking a closer look at it to find out how much it’s worth.
The Value of a 1898 Silver Dollar
Before getting into the value of the 1898 silver dollar, it’s important to understand how coin values are determined. There are a few different factors that go into it:
- The coin’s grade: This is probably the most important factor when determining a coin’s value. The higher the grade, the more valuable the coin. Coins are graded on a scale from Poor to Mint State (here’s a grading chart). Poor is the lowest grade and means the coin is heavily worn and has little to no detail left. Mint State is the highest grade and means the coin looks like it did when it was first minted.
- The coin’s condition: Even if a coin is graded as being in Mint State, there are different levels of Mint State. A coin in Mint State 60 is not as valuable as a coin in Mint State 70. The higher the level of Mint State, the more valuable the coin.
- The coin’s rarity: This is pretty self-explanatory. The rarer the coin, the more valuable it is.
- Minting extravagances: Each coin series has its own special minting marks or features that make it unique. For example, some Morgan dollars have the DMPL (Deep Mirror Prooflike) designation. This means the coin has a very high level of reflectivity and is more valuable than a non-DMPL Morgan dollar.
- External factors: Somewhat common for coins minted in a period of war like 1898. A coin that was owned, for example, by a general during the Spanish-American War would be more valuable than a coin that wasn’t. Collectors care about an item’s story, and coins make no exception.
Speaking of condition, the biggest divider is between circulated and uncirculated coins. A circulated coin is one that was used and shows signs of wear. An uncirculated coin is one that was never used and looks like it did when it left the mint. Uncirculated 1898 silver dollars are very valuable, while circulated ones are worth less. Paradoxically, there are more uncirculated than circulated coins around, purely because circulated coins were used and most of them have since been melted down since then.
That said, even a circulated 1898 silver dollar is worth a pretty penny. A coin in Poor condition is worth around $30, while coins that are in great condition (Uncirculated MS60 and above) easily go for tens of thousands of dollars (like this MS68DMPL piece that sold for almost $50,000).
Here’s a video that explains the 1898 silver dollar in more detail:
As you can see, the 1898 silver dollar is a very special and valuable coin. If you’re lucky enough to have one, make sure to take good care of it. Let’s now see some recent auctions to get an idea of what these coins are selling for.
1898 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Quality||1898 (Regular strike)||1898-O (Regular strike)|
|Genuine||Only 3 recent sales: One for $21, one for $40, and one for $235||Only 3 recent sales: One for $33, one for $54, and one for $153.|
|From PO-1 to G-4||No recent sales||No recent sales|
|From G-6 to VG-10||No recent sales||Around $20–$30|
|From F-12 to VF-20||No recent sales||Around $30|
|From VF-25 to XF-40||No recent sales||Surprisingly, two VF-25 coins went for a very high price: $646 and $1,550 respectively|
|From XF-45 to AU-58||Between $14 and $55, though an AU58 coin sold for $156 a few years back.||Around $30–$40. However, one sold for $453|
|MS/PR60||No recent sales||Around $30 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-61||Between $29 and $169||Around $40 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-62||Most go for around $50 (1 and 2), some reach almost $100 (1 and 2)||Between $40 and $60. Same for 62+ graded coins like this one|
|MS/PR-63||Most go for around $100 (1 and 2), but one went for $216 last year.||Between $80 and $168. 63+ graded coins go for around $50 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-64||They usually sell for around $100 (1, 2, and 3) except this one that went for $152. A 64+ graded coin went for $220||Around $100 and $200, but one sold for $600. 64+ graded coins go for around $100-$150 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-65||$200 is the typical price point (1, 2, and 3). Some reach up to $300 (1 and 2)||Between $144 and $384. 65+ graded coins go for around $200-$300 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-66||Between $444 and $570. 66+ graded coins get up to $1,140||Between $288 and $475. 66+ graded coins go for around $400-$500 (1 and 2).
One MS-66+ coin sold for $18,800 in December 2016
|MS/PR-67||Most go for around $2,000 (1, 2, and 3). But a few reached a price of over $4,000 (1 and 2).||Usually they go for an amount between $1,080 and $2,640. A few went for way more, like this one for $12,925 and this one for $15,525.|
|MS/PR-67+||Between $5,000 and $9,988||67+ graded coins go for anywhere between $2,000 (1 and 2) and $15,000 (1 and 2)|
|MS/PR-68||A Legend Rare Coin auction in 2015 sold one for the staggering price of $117,500||The most recent auctions saw one sell for $21,850 and one for $32,200. But the record auction price is $49,938 for an MS68DMPL coin.|
|MS/PR-69||No recent sales||No recent sales|
|MS/PR-70||No recent sales||No recent sales|
Values vary greatly even within coins with the same grading. There are many variables at play, including the coin’s luster, strike, and overall eye appeal. As a result, two 1898 silver dollars with the same grade can have very different values.
Explaining the Big Price Variations
When it comes to 1898 silver dollars, there are a few different things that can affect the price. The most important factor is always going to be the coin’s condition, but even within circulated or uncirculated coins, there can be big variations in price.
For example, an Uncirculated MS60 coin might sell for around $500, while an Uncirculated MS70 coin could easily go for $30,000 or more. The difference in price is because of the coin’s luster, strike, and overall eye appeal.
The fact that these coins are sold at auctions also affects the price. If there are only a few bidders, then the price will be lower than if there are many bidders vying for the same coin.
Another thing to look for is the collection these coins belong to. Some collections are more valuable than others. For example, the D.L. Hansen collection is one of the most valuable collections of Morgan dollars. Another pricy collection is the Jack Lee collection (for example this MS-68 silver dollar belongs to the Jack Lee collection and sold for a staggering $32,200).
Last, the history of each individual coin plays a big role in its value. A coin that was owned by a famous individual or used in an important event is going to be worth more than a coin with no such history.
With all of these factors at play, it’s no wonder that the prices for 1898 silver dollars can vary so much. If you’re thinking of buying one of these coins, make sure to do your research so you know what you’re getting into.
1898 Silver Dollars Errors
A big reason why the 1898 silver dollar is so valuable is because of its rarity. In fact, there are only a few hundred known examples in existence. But that’s not the only reason these coins are valuable.
Minting errors also play a big role in the value of these coins. The most famous error is the so-called “wounded eagle” error, which is when the coin is struck without the usual number of feathers on the eagle’s wing.
Another error that can occur is when the coin is double-struck, which means it was struck twice by the minting process. This usually results in a very faint second image on the coin.
Another error (though not really an error per se) is the Deep Mirror Proof-Like coin. These coins have a very high luster and are much rarer than the regular proofs.
All of these errors make the 1898 silver dollar even more valuable, which is why collectors are always on the lookout for these coins.
FAQs About the 1898 Silver Dollar
How much is a 1898 silver dollar worth?
The value of a 1898 silver dollar depends on many factors, including the coin’s condition, history, and provenance. Uncirculated coins can easily sell for tens of thousands of dollars, while circulated coins are worth less.
Where can I find a 1898 silver dollar?
There are a few hundred known examples of the 1898 silver dollar, so they’re not exactly easy to find. The best place to look is at auctions or coin dealers.
What is the most valuable 1898 silver dollar?
The most valuable 1898 silver dollar is the Deep Mirror Proof-Like coin, which can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The 1898 silver dollar is a very special and valuable coin. If you’re lucky enough to have one, make sure to take good care of it. And if you’re a beginner collector, you can easily snag one for a few dollars if you’re fine with a circulated coin.
If you’re a seasoned collector with money to spend to complete your collection, then be prepared to spend a pretty penny on an uncirculated coin. But do your research before putting down the money, so you know what you’re getting into.
No matter what your budget or level of collecting, the 1898 silver dollar is a great coin to add to your collection. It’s a coin that comes from a time in history that’s long gone, and it has a story to tell. It’s a coin that will continue to be popular with collectors for years to come.