Morgan Silver Dollar
Morgan silver dollars are a favorite amongst collectors and investors alike. Many speculate about the story behind it all, but we are presenting you the official story. Thus, we quote from the Congressional intent. Because it is hard to get more official in origin than Congress explaining the official history of the Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars and the recent centennial celebration.
Therefore, the entire segment below, is a quote from the legislative history under 31 U.S.C. § 5112. You can also verify the “officialness” of this story by checking out the history yourself here: Pub. L. 116-286, 134 Stat. 4879, but it may be difficult to locate. Use the word search feature because it is at the near bottom of a very long statute. We extensively discuss this same statute in our What is an American Eagle and our Bullion: Science, History, Law articles.
The Morgan Silver Dollar history as told by Congress
“1921 SILVER DOLLAR COINS, provided that:
“SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ‘1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act’.
“SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that [sic] following:
(1) In December 1921, the Peace silver dollar was approved by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, replacing the Morgan silver dollar and commemorating the declaration of peace between the United States and the Imperial German government.
(2) The Peace silver dollar was minted in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. The Morgan silver dollar was minted at Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, Carson City, and New Orleans.
(3) The Peace silver dollar was designed by Anthony de Francisci with the Goddess of Liberty on the obverse and a bald eagle clutching the olive branch (a symbol of peace) on the reverse. The Peace silver dollars were minted between 1921 to 1935.
(4) The Morgan silver dollar was designed by George T. Morgan and was minted from 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921. The obverse depicts a profile portrait of Lady Liberty and on the reverse, a heraldic eagle.
(5) The conversion from the Morgan silver dollar to the Peace silver dollar design in 1921 reflected a pivotal moment in American history. The Morgan silver dollar represents the country’s westward expansion and industrial development in the late 19th century. The Peace silver dollar symbolizes the country’s coming of age as an international power while recognizing the sacrifices made by her citizens in World War I and celebrating the victory and peace that ensued.
(6) These iconic silver dollars with vastly different representations of Lady Liberty and the American Eagle, reflect a changing of the guard in 1921 in the United States and therefore on the 100th anniversary must begin to be minted again to commemorate this significant evolution of American freedom.
Morgan design set by law
“SEC. 3. COIN SPECIFICATIONS.(a) $1 SILVER COINS.-The Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Secretary’) shall mint and issue $1 coins in recognition of the 100th anniversary of completion of coinage of the Morgan dollar and the 100th anniversary of commencement of coinage of the Peace dollar, each of which shall-
(1) weigh 26.73 grams;
(2) have a diameter of 1.500 inches;
(3) contain not less than 90 percent silver; and
(4) have a reeded edge.
(b) LEGAL TENDER.-The coins minted under this Act shall be legal tender, as provided in section 5103 of title 31, United States Code.
(c) NUMISMATIC ITEMS.-For purposes of sections 5134 and 5136 of title 31, United States Code, all coins minted under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.
The modern Peace Dollar compared to 101 years ago and she still looks fantastic
“SEC. 4. DESIGN OF COINS. (a) DESIGN REQUIREMENTS.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-
The designs of the coins minted under this Act shall honor either the Morgan dollar or the Peace dollar, as follows-
(A) MORGAN DOLLAR.-The coins honoring the 100th anniversary of completion of coinage of the Morgan dollar shall have an obverse design and a reverse design that are renditions of the designs historically used on the obverse and reverse of the Morgan dollar.”
(B) PEACE DOLLAR.-The coins honoring the 100th anniversary of commencement of coinage of the Peace dollar shall have an obverse design and a reverse design that are renditions of the designs historically used on the obverse and reverse of the Peace dollar.
(2) DESIGNATION AND INSCRIPTIONS.-On each coin minted under this Act, there shall be-
(A) a designation of the value of the coin;
(B) an inscription of the year of minting or issuance; and
(C) inscriptions of the words ‘Liberty’, ‘In God We Trust’, ‘United States of America’, and ‘E Pluribus Unum’.”(b) SELECTION.-The design for the coins minted under this Act shall be-
(1) selected by the Secretary after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts; and
(2) reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Modern Morgan Silver Dollar
Compared to Morgan’s celebratory counter part
“SEC. 5. ISSUANCE OF COINS. The Secretary may issue coins minted under this Act beginning on January 1, 2021.
“SEC. 6. SALE OF COINS. (a) SALE PRICE.-
The coins issued under this Act shall be sold by the Secretary at a price equal to the sum of-
(1) the face value of the coins; and
(2) the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).
(b) BULK SALES.-The Secretary may make bulk sales of the coins issued under this Act at a reasonable discount.
“SEC. 7. FINANCIAL ASSURANCES. The Secretary of the Treasury shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that the minting and issuing of coins under the Act will not result in any net cost to the United States Government.
“SEC. 8. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS. The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 [ 2 U.S.C. 931 et seq.], shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled ‘Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation’ for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.”
Morgan in Summary
The story of the desirable collectors’ coin and its relationship to the Peace Dollar is the official story because it is within the law books. And it is hard to be more official, than an Act of Congress.
At Safe Haven Metal, we believe education is vital because without knowing history, we cannot know why. And why is useful so we know if it is rare. Rarity equals higher value because of supply and demand. The basics are always in play, but the why allows us to play better and smarter.