This coin is in MS64 condition. It was packaged in a GSA slab, and graded by NGC with a special “GSA Hoard” label.
The Morgan Dollar is one of the most widely collected coins in the world – it was minted from 1878 to 1921 and represented a fairly large amount of money when it was in circulation (but not so much that it was out of reach of common laborers or collectors). The obverse shows Liberty facing to the left, with the legend “E Pluribus Unum” from 7:00 to 3:00. The date is at 6:00, and there are 13 six-sided stars also around the rim – 7 to the left of the date, 6 to the right. It is named the Morgan Dollar after its engraver: George T. Morgan (his initial “M” is visible at liberties neckline).
The reverse shows an eagle perched above a wreath, with wings thrust upward at 45 degree angles. The legend around the rim from 8:00 to 4:00 reads “United States of America” and “One Dollar” from 7:00 to 5:00. The motto “In god we trust” is placed above the eagle, and the mint mark is at 6:00 under the wreath (if present – Morgan Dollars struck in Philadelphia have no mint mark). The eagle holds arrows and an olive branch in its talons – representing the potential for both war and peace.
Mint Mark: CC (Carson City)
Country of origin: United States
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Size: 38.1 mm
Weight: 26.73 grams (0.77344 oz ASW)
Other details: This coin is enclosed in a GSA “Uncirculated” holder – it was likely kept in a bank vault for nearly a century after being minted. Since the Morgan Dollar was minted far in excess of demand (it was a fairly bulky coin that wasn’t very convenient for day to day transactions), there were millions of the coins that never saw circulation.
These coins were kept in storage by the United States government to back up the more convenient paper money (silver certificates). For decades, anyone could go to a treasury vault and exchange their paper money for an equivalent amount of silver coinage.
However, silver prices began to spike in the 1960’s, and there was massive demand on the treasury vaults. In November of 1962, collectors noticed that there were some rare and valuable dates still sealed in their original mint bags. This ignited even more demand, and lines stretched for blocks around the Treasury Department headquarters in Washington DC. Many people sought to trade in paper money for sealed $1000 canvas bags of silver cartwheels.
The Treasury saw potential profit in selling these to collectors at marked up prices, and set the bags aside. Instead, the window began redeeming silver certificates with silver bars or granules. On June 24th, 1968, even that option was taken off the table and silver certificates were no longer backed by any precious metal (although they still remain monetized).
The Treasury inventoried its remaining stock of dollar coins, and found approximately 3,000 bags containing 3 million coins. Many of the remaining coins were rare Carson City mint dollars. These coins were turned over to The General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA sorted the coins into several categories, and then marketed them to the public from 1973 to 1980. Coins in GSA holders carry a slight premium, and many of them exhibit unusual toning from long storage in burlap sacks.
Estimated Value: $350-450