1889 Morgan Dollar

by Chad Eicher

1889 Morgan Dollar

1889 Morgan DollarThe 1889 Morgan dollar is reputed as the most common dollar coin the United States has ever had. Collectors value this silver and will pay handsomely to get it; even non-collectors admire it. One reason why the dollar is making the rounds is its high silver content. The design has also been a reason for its unique popularity.

But what is the history of the 1889 Morgan dollar? How is it categorized presently? And what is its present value? Read on to find out the extensive answers this article offers to these questions.

History of 1889 Morgan Silver dollar

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar
The 1889 Morgan dollar has an interesting history. It was designed by George T. Morgan and was minted between 1878 and 1904. It was also minted from 1921 till the Peace Dollar took over.

It was minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. Philadelphia had about 21,726,000 coins minted. You can decipher where an 1889 Morgan dollar comes from by noting the mint mark on it. While the S Mark signifies San Francisco, the O Mark signifies New Orleans, and the CC Mark signifies Carson City. The ones minted in Philadelphia come with no mint mark.

The 1889 Morgan dollar is 10% copper and 90% silver. The silver weighs 26.73 g out of which 24.05 g is silver. This dollar can still fetch you a reasonable amount of money presently. Some of these coins have errors that make them different from others. These differences are referred to as VAM varieties. Some of these varieties include VAM-19A, VAM-28A, and VAM-23A. Ironically, these areas improve the value of these coins because it makes them more unique.

How are the 1889 Morgan silver dollar coins categorized and valued?

The 1889 Morgan dollar coins are categorized according to their condition. The condition of a coin determines its value. You can get as low as $10 on an 1889 Morgan dollar in a poor physical condition. In the same vein, you can earn up to $200 on a single coin if it is in great shape. Depending on the condition of the coin, they are graded into categories, including:

Good coins

Good 1889 Morgan dollar coins are those that were in circulation for a long time and have their features almost smooth. The Lady liberty contours are almost invisible and the coin is heavily scratched. These coins cost $22. These are the lowest grade of 1889 Morgan silver dollars.

Fine coins

These are coins that were in circulation and have signs of wear but are not heavily damaged. These coins will cost $30, more or less.

Extra fine coins

1889 Morgan dollar coins in this condition are those that were in circulation for a limited time. Therefore they are clean without any sign of wear. The surface of these coins is clean with limited scratches. Extra fine coins will cost $33, more or less.

Uncirculated coins

Uncirculated coins do not have overly noticeable signs of wear and tear and scratches. They are clean and shiny. These coins were never in circulation. In most situations, uncirculated coins are headed into two categories: MS 60 and MS 65.

Those in MS 60 category do not have wear and tear. Although these coins may have some marks on their surfaces and a few stains, they have luster. On the other hand, those in the MS 65 category have a strong luster and high aesthetic appeal. If there are signs of contact, they are faint and almost unnoticeable.

One uncirculated 1889 Morgan dollar coin in the MS 60 grade cost $50, more or less. An 1889 Morgan silver dollar coin one in MS 65 grade can be highly valued, costing between $370 and $1,350, depending on the collector and other factors.

PR 63 Proof

Coins in this category are new and shiny. They are not damaged in any way and have no prominent flaws. Their surfaces are effective in showing the minimal contact they have had. Coins in this category without a mint mark are worth up to $3,000. These coins are highly sought-after by collectors.


The 1889 Morgan silver dollar was minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City with Philadelphia having the largest record of about 21,726,000 coins. The coin comes with mint marks that designate its minting location. These coins are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts. The amount a coin is worth depends on the physical condition of the coin. You can earn as low as $20 on a heavily damaged coin and as high as $3,000 on a clean, shiny, and eye-catching coin.

Photo of author

Article by

Chad Eicher

Detectorist Chad is passionate about metal detecting since he got his first metal detector as a gift when he was 12 years old. He created Metal Pursuits to share his knowledge and create the ultimate metal detecting resource on the web.

Subscribe to MP Monthly

Once a month we email detectorists like you with the top tips, insights and best deals to improve your treasure hunting game. Sign up below to get the next one.