How Much is a 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar Worth? (Price Chart)

The “Morgan silver dollar” is probably one of the most popular coins ever struck by the US Mint. The Morgan dollar was minted from 1878 to 1904 and again for one more year in 1921. They are named after their designer, George T. Morgan.

The 1890 Morgan silver dollar value is $20 for good condition and $120 for uncirculated pieces. The $1 coin contains .77344 ounces of pure silver and is a 91.67 percent fine.

The coin’s inner parts are fine silver, which means it has no base metals added. That makes the metal worth about $11 an ounce if sold as raw silver.

The value of a Morgan dollar depends on several factors: condition, scarcity, and whether a third party grades it.

In this post, find the history, features, and prices of the 1890 Morgan silver dollars.

What Is The 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin?

What Is The 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin
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1890 Morgan silver dollar belongs to the family of Morgan silver dollars. The US mint made the coin in 1890, following a design by George T. Morgan, an English engraver.

Also known as the Liberty Dollar, the coin bears the portrait of Liberty’s head. Morgan made his girlfriend Anna Willess Williams pose and model as Liberty.

1890 Morgan silver dollars are 90% pure silver and 10% copper alloy with a total weight of 26.73 grams and diameter of 38mm. Since its inception, Morgan silver dollars have been widely used in the US for all sorts of financial dealings involving one-ounce assets.

The federal mint doesn’t make the coins anymore, but; you can find them at coin dealers or at auctions. And they have numismatic value according to their physical state.

Reason for Minting

The reason for minting the 1890 Morgan silver dollar was to compete with other countries’ trade dollars, which were used to buy and sell goods worldwide.

Coin collectors pressured Congress and President Grover Cleveland into approving a dollar coin. At the time, they argued that the trade dollars were worth more than one dollar in some places.

But, the US did not win the competition because most states continued to use their coins instead of accepting the Morgan dollar.

The 1890 Morgan silver dollar had an exciting place in history when it became part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. When the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, it took many coins out of circulation.

During the Great Depression, there were even more decades (from 1873 to 1935) where no, they didn’t make any silver dollars at all. Sometime after 1935, the Smithsonian acquired its first 1890 Morgan silver dollar direct from the Treasury Department’s currency distribution branch. The Mint donated the coin after saving it from melting down.

History

History

In 1873, the US experienced a rise in the price of silver 1873. Thus, the government decided to stop the production of silver dollars. Silver was simply too expensive for business transactions.

Then in 1877, the price of silver fell again. So, in 1878, Congress attempted to keep the use of the Morgan silver dollar by demonetizing it for business transactions but permitting its use for private holdings.

This would allow people to hoard these coins instead. The hoarding could keep the coins out of circulation since they were no longer legal tender or used in business transactions. So, even though the coin was no longer legal tender, it remained in circulation among the public by hoarding.

The minting of this coin came to an end in 1904 when the government changed the composition of the Morgan silver dollar to 90% silver and 10% copper.

Even though they were no longer minted after that year, people hoarded these coins with private purchases in 1921. That’s why some Morgan silver dollars circulated well into the 1940s, which means they were still legal tender during that time.

And today, these coins are still legal tender even though they don’t exist in circulation anymore.

Which US mint?

The US mint in Philadelphia (no mintmark) made the 1890 Morgan silver dollar. They struck a total of 16,802,000 coins that year.

Features Of 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin

The Morgan silver dollar was minted between 1878 and 1904, with 1921 being the final date for this coin. The one-dollar coin has several distinctive features that make up its unique design.

Its front side portrays has a female portrait named “Liberty,” with her hair pulled back into a bun with, feathers on either side of her face and she wears a Phrygian cap.

The reverse side of the coin has an American eagle with a  group of arrows on its right claw.

Portrait on the 1890 Morgan silver dollar

The Morgan silver dollar resulted from a competition held by the United States Mint to find designs for a new silver dollar. The winner of that competition, which cost $2,500, was designer George T. Morgan.

Morgan used his girlfriend, Anna Willess Williams, as a model for Liberty. So,  on the obverse of this coin, he put his rendition of Lady Liberty wearing a pearl-studded diadem inscribed with the word “Liberty.”

Obverse features

Obverse features

The front or “obverse” features a left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty. The artist, George T. Morgan, gives the figure soft lines and shading to make her appear as realistic as possible.

She is wearing a crown inscribed with LIBERTY. And, she carries branches of laurel and oak in her left arm, symbols of civil and military glory.

The design elements (stars, letters, and date) and the inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircle the portrait.

Reverse features

Reverse features

The back or “reverse” features a heraldic eagle with its wings spread beneath 13 stars representing the original states.

In its beak, the eagle holds an olive branch symbolizing peace. In its talons, it grasps arrows representing war.

A scroll inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM is between its head and tail, meaning “one out of many.”

The denomination (ONE DOLLAR) is at the shield’s base that the eagle holds in its left talon.

The coin’s silver content and its face value are inscribed within a laurel wreath along the rim at the bottom of the coin.

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Mintmarks

The 1890 Morgan silver dollar has the Philadelphia Mint’s “O” mintmark, which means it was made at the main U.S. Mint building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The San Francisco Mint struck some of these coins as well, but they are very rare. The US government only had three coining presses running at that time, and many were needed for the demand of silver dollars.

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1890 Morgan silver dollar metal content

The Morgan silver dollar was minted from 1878-1921 and again in 1921. The coin has a 90% silver content and 10% copper, giving it a more reddish hue than the nickel dollars we’re used to today.

Weight and Dimensions

The weight of the 1890 Morgan silver dollar is 26.73 grams, and it has a diameter of 38 mm.

 

Value of Coin 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar

Value of Coin 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar

The denominational face value of the 1890 Morgan silver dollar is set at one dollar. That’s what you find inscribed on the coin’s reverse.

What is the approximate price, or worth, of an 1890 Morgan silver dollar?

The coin goes for as little as $20 and as much as $2000. But, the pricing of a Morgan silver coin depends on the condition and rarity.

How much is the metal in 1890 Morgan worth?

The 1890 Morgan silver dollar is 90% silver and 10% copper. The diameter of this coin is 38 mm, and it weighs 26.73 grams. So, the coin has about 0.77344 ounces of pure silver per coin.

How much is the 1890 Morgan silver dollar at the pawnshop?

You can get between $15 and $150 for a Fine-condition Morgan silver dollar at the local pawnshop. But, the price could vary depending on the dealer and rarity of your coin.

 

Comparison Table showing the value of coin 1890 Morgan silver dollar

Condition/Coin Variety 1937 1937 D 1937 D 3 Leg 1937 S
Good $0.52 $0.52 $230 $0.52
Fine $1.06 $1.03 $270 $1.28
Extremely Fine $2.45 $2.83 $430 $3.42
Uncirculated $20 $21 $1,110 $19

 

Factors That Influence the Value Of 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar

Factors That Influence the Value Of 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar

The value of an 1890 Morgan silver dollar depends on several factors, including but are not limited to:

Prices of silver

The change in the price of silver can dramatically affect the value of an 1890 silver dollar. As the price of silver rises, so does the value of your coin.

Mint location (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

If the coin has a “CC” mintmark, it is a rare coin and thus expensive.

Grade of the coin

The grading of a coin depends on several factors, including the surface condition, toning, and strike. It is not uncommon for a circulated 1890 Morgan silver dollar in “Good” to have a value triple that of an Uncirculated example with no wear.

Mistruck/error coin

An error coin has been struck on an incorrect planchet. A mistruck coin has the same value as a regular example of the same variety and year and is worth more than an off-quality 1890 silver dollar. The higher the grade, the more valuable it is.

 

Winding Up: Is The 1890 Morgan Silver Dollar Worth Collecting?

The 1890 Morgan silver is part of a large series named after their designer. And, the designer put his girlfriend’s face on the portrait as a model for Liberty.

Ideally, there are more than ten million pieces of silver dollars with the 1890 mint year. But is the coin still worth anything?

Yes, the 1890 Morgan silver dollar is worth collecting. Fine pieces are worth between $15 and $190, depending on the grade of the coin.

If you have any questions about the 1890 Morgan silver dollar value, shoot us a comment or message!

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