1897 Morgan Silver Dollars


1897 Morgan Dollar
   The Depression of the 1870s convinced Congress to put more currency into circulation to boost the economy. Each year from 1878 to 1904, and later for one additional year in 1921, the United States Mint produced millions of new Silver Dollar coins, dubbed Morgan Dollars after the designer, U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan.
   The 1897 Morgan Dollar is 38.1 millimeters in diameter, weighs 26.73 grams, and is 90% silver and 10% copper. Its edge is reeded, its obverse depicts Miss Liberty in profile and on its reverse is an eagle with outstretched wings. Underneath the eagle is a wreath, and just below that is the coins mintmark.

   5,825,000 1897 Silver Dollars were minted in San Francisco, bearing an s mintmark. 4,004,000 were minted in New Orleans, bearing an o mintmark. 2,822,000 were minted in Philadelphia, plus an additional 731 proof specimens. The Philadelphia coins do not bear a mintmark.

   Circulated 1897 Morgan Dollars can be obtained for $15-$20. High grade specimens of these coins typically go for double to triple that. Mint condition New Orleans 1897 Morgan Dollars are the rarest from that year, and can sell for several hundred or even a thousand dollars or more.