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The History and Popularity of the Morgan Silver Dollar
by D. L. Crane

United States coinage is a treasure trove of rich history, each coin has its own unique story within it that is deeply intertwined in the nation’s history. The Morgan Silver dollar is one of these coins that have an integral part in the growth of America. This silver dollar coin came into existence because of an oversupply of silver mainly due to the discovery of a huge deposit of silver in Colorado during the 1870’s. As the supply of silver increased as a result of the huge silver strike, the prices of silver plummeted rapidly. In order to halt the crash in the prices of silver, the United States government began buying silver to reduce it's supply and began minting coins with it. That is when the Morgan silver dollar was created.

The Morgan Silver dollar was named after George T. Morgan, its designer. It was enacted by congress through the Bland-Allison act of 1878, authorizing use of the silver surplus for the silver dollar. There were five cities where the dollar was minted, San Francisco, Carson City, Denver, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Unfortunately the plan was not fully planned out and it resulted in the over production of Morgan silver dollars, which in turn burdened the government in the costly storage of the unused coins. It was not until 1918 when the government authorized the melting of almost 300 million coins, that the situation was finally solved.

The unique history of the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the main reasons for its popularity today, though in those past times is was plainly unpopular. It’s somewhat large size earned it the nickname “buzzard dollar” and was scoffed at by people back then. Today the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most prized coins by most collectors. The PCGS (Professional coin grading service) is one of the major certification companies of rare coins and NGC (Numismatics guaranty corporation), also a company involved in grading coins, both say that the Morgan Silver Dollar is ranked among the most coveted of coins for collectors of rare numismatics.

The Morgan silver dollar’s value depends mostly on its mintage, condition and where it is minted. Coins minted in Carson City are the most valued and are the rarest. Any collector can seek the help of third parties like PCGS and NGC to assess the authenticity of each coin. Anyone with a genuine high grade scarce Morgan Silver dollar can really be proud of it and it is quite a rare item.

It is remarkable to know so much history is attached to the coins that we often take for granted. The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of these coins that at first was the unpopular solution to a crisis, which became a problem for the government, thereby resulted in it being stored away in a vault and finally became one of the most sought relics of the Wild West years of the United States. The Morgan Silver dollar has a hundred year history in it and will always be one of the witnesses of the growth of the United States of America.

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