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The Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar

The Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar

Jul 21st 2019

The Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar is always a fan favorite among collectors. Just hearing the words "Carson City," gets collectors to think back to the days of the Wild West and expansion of America's frontier. Furthermore, the Carson City Morgan is often coveted because of its short span of production and lower mintages in comparison to other Morgan Silver Dollars.

Morgan Silver Dollar Background

The Morgan Silver Dollar was first initially produced in 1878 and then ceased production in 1921. From 1905-1920 there was a pause in production because of low demand and because silver bullion became scarce. Thereafter, the Morgan Silver Dollar was produced one last time in 1921. Moreover, the Morgan Silver Dollar was produced at five different mint locations which included Carson City, Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

Design, Purity & Weight

George T. Morgan was the designer of the Morgan Silver Dollar. A portrait of lady liberty is featured on the obverse of the coin, and on the reverse is a stunning eagle. Each Morgan Silver Dollar consists of 90% silver and 10% copper. The net silver content per Morgan Silver Dollar is .77344 oz's and the coin itself weighs 26.73 grams. The diameter of the coin is 38.1 mm and features a reeded edge.

Carson City Mint Background

The Carson City mint was established in Carson City, Nevada in 1863 by Congress. The purpose of the mint was to produce coins with the newly found silver sourced from the Comstock lode. At that time, it was the largest silver discovery in the nation's history. Officially, the Carson City Mint opened its doors in 1870 and began producing coins. The first coins to be produced were Seated Liberty Dollars, only to soon be followed by the Morgan Silver Dollar. The Carson City Mint's mint status was officially withdrawn in 1899 and was permanently closed in 1933. The state of Nevada bought the building and it has served as a museum to this day.

Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar

The Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar was first produced and distributed in 1878. It was made until 1893 when the Carson City Mint stopped producing Morgan Silver Dollars. An important fact to note is that there were no 1886, 1887, 1888 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars ever minted. The reason for this was purely political. The political issues resulted in the Carson City Mint being closed from the middle of 1885 until 1889. Thereafter it reopened its doors and produced Morgan Silver Dollars until 1893. 

Carson City Morgan Dollar Mintages

1878- 2,212,000

1879 CC- 756,000 (includes varieties)

1880 CC-495,000 (includes varieties)

1881 CC- 296,000

1882 CC- 1,133,000

1883 CC- 1,204,000

1884 CC- 1,136,000

1885 CC- 228,000

1889 CC- 350,000

1890 CC- 2,309,041

1891 CC- 1,618,000

1892 CC- 1,352,000

1893 CC- 677,000

Key Dates

The key date coins in the Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar Series are the 1889-CC, 1893-CC, and the 1879-CC. The three issues are not the lowest mintage in the series, however they are very rare in higher grades such as Mint State quality or better. Very few of these Carson City Morgan Dates survived in higher grades.