Silver Dollar Value and History

The silver dollar holds a special place in United States numismatic history, embodying the nation's growth, technological advancements, and shifts in artistic tastes over more than two centuries. From the earliest designs of the late 18th century to the commemorative and investment coins of modern times, the "Silver Dollar Value and History" encapsulates a rich narrative of American heritage. The silver dollar series include the Flowing Hair, Draped Bust, Gobrecht, Seated Liberty, Trade, Morgan, Peace, and Eisenhower dollars, as well as collectible silver dollar sets. Continue reading to learn more about silver dollar value and history.

silver dollar value

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Image source: PCGS

Flowing Hair Dollars (1794-1795)

The Flowing Hair dollar, introduced in 1794, was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. Designed by Robert Scot, it featured a portrait of Lady Liberty with flowing hair on the obverse and an eagle surrounded by a wreath on the reverse. Due to their limited mintage and historical significance, Flowing Hair dollars are highly valuable and sought after by collectors.

Draped Bust Dollars (1795-1804)

Succeeding the Flowing Hair design, the Draped Bust dollar, also designed by Robert Scot, featured Lady Liberty with a draped bust on the obverse and a small eagle (later replaced by a heraldic eagle) on the reverse. This series includes the famous 1804 dollar, known as the "King of American Coins," highly coveted due to its rarity and intriguing history of production.

Gobrecht Dollars (1836-1839)

Named after their designer, Christian Gobrecht, the Gobrecht dollars marked the return of the silver dollar after a hiatus. The coin featured a seated Liberty on the obverse and a flying eagle on the reverse. These dollars were primarily minted as pattern coins and in limited quantities for circulation, making them rare and valuable today.

Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)

Continuing with the theme of Liberty, the Seated Liberty dollars featured a design by Christian Gobrecht, which depicted Liberty seated on a rock. This design was used across various denominations and is notable for its long run and variations, including with and without mottoes. The Seated Liberty dollars are appreciated for their classic design and historical context, including their production during the Civil War.

Trade Dollars (1873-1885)

Introduced to facilitate trade with Asia, the Trade dollar featured a seated Liberty similar to the Seated Liberty design but was heavier and designed specifically for commerce. Despite their initial purpose, Trade dollars found their way into domestic circulation, leading to controversy and legal battles over their status. Today, they are collected both for their unique historical role and numismatic value.

Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1921)

The Morgan dollar, designed by George T. Morgan, is among the most popular and widely collected U.S. coins. Featuring a profile of Liberty on the obverse and an eagle with outstretched wings on the reverse, Morgan dollars are beloved for their beauty, historical significance, and their role in the "Wild West" era. They are also sought after for their silver content and investment potential.

Peace Dollars (1921-1935)

Introduced to commemorate the end of World War I, the Peace dollar features a design by Anthony de Francisci, with Liberty's profile on the obverse and an eagle at rest on the reverse. Peace dollars symbolize the nation's hopes for peace and are valued for their artistic design and the historical era they represent.

Eisenhower Dollars (1971-1978)

The Eisenhower dollar, the last of the large-size U.S. dollar coins intended for circulation, features President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse and an eagle landing on the moon on the reverse, commemorating the Apollo 11 moon landing. While not made of silver for circulation, collectible silver-clad versions were produced for collectors.

Silver Dollar Sets

Collectors and investors often seek silver dollar sets, which can include coins from multiple series, commemorative issues, or special mint sets. These sets often hold value not only for the individual coins' worth but also for their presentation and the completeness of the collection.

Buy Silver Dollars online at Bullion Sharks:

Flowing Hair Dollars
Draped Bust Dollars
Gobrecht Dollars
Seated Liberty Dollars
Trade Dollars
Morgan Silver Dollars
Peace Dollars
Eisenhower Dollars
Dollar Sets

Silver Dollar coins are coins that are larger than most, have a diameter of over one inch, and they possess a face value of $1. Dollar coins are not used for circulation purposes nearly as much as the coins of smaller denominations. They became even less popular when they removed precious metals from coins for circulation. There were six major dollar coins minted throughout U.S. Coinage History.

The first is the Bust Dollar. The Bust Dollar was the first dollar coin minted in the U.S. it had many design changes before it was discontinued. The coin that came after the Bust Dollar was the Seated Liberty Dollar, this was not generally a rare coin when it came to the number of coins minted in total, but its popularity comes from the rarity of its well-preserved coins. After that came the Trade dollar, this piece was minted for trade in other parts of the world, not for circulation in the U.S. The Morgan Silver Dollar was the next coin minted. This silver dollar coin is one of the most collected coins in the U.S. Some people collect them for the silver content, others buy them for their rarity and value that comes with them. The Peace dollar is next in line. This coin had over a million coins minted before it was released into circulation. Last but not least is the Eisenhower Dollar. This piece was the first dollar coin to be released into circulation with no silver in it. Although they did mint coins with silver, they were not used for circulation. 

All silver dollar coins contained silver before the Eisenhower dollar. The silver dollar coin was not very popular for circulation because of the size and weight of these coins. They became even less popular for commerce after the release of the paper dollar. 

The following are the different types of silver dollars and their mintage years:

Bust Dollar: 1794-1804

Seated Liberty Dollar: 1840-1873

Trade dollar: 1873- 1885

Morgan Silver Dollar: 1878-1921

Peace Dollar: 1921-1935

Eisenhower Dollar: 1971-1978



What factors influence the Silver Dollar Value?
Silver Dollar Value is primarily influenced by the coin's silver content, rarity, condition, historical significance, and demand among collectors. Market trends in precious metals also significantly impact their value.
How much is a Morgan Silver Dollar worth?
The Silver Dollar Value of a Morgan Silver Dollar varies widely, from around $20 for common dates in lower grades to over $100,000 for rare dates and mint marks in high grades.
What is the Silver Dollar Value of a Peace Dollar?
A Peace Dollar's value can range from about $20 for coins in average circulated condition to several thousand dollars for rare dates or exceptional grades.
Are Silver Dollars minted before 1964 more valuable?
Yes, Silver Dollars minted before 1964 tend to have a higher Silver Dollar Value due to their 90% silver content, contributing to both their melt value and collectible worth.
What is the Silver Dollar Value of an Eisenhower Dollar?
Most circulated Eisenhower Dollars, minted from 1971 to 1978, have modest premiums over face value, except for the silver collectible versions, which can be worth more based on their silver content and collectibility.
Can the condition of a Silver Dollar affect its value?
Absolutely. The condition or grade of a Silver Dollar significantly affects its value, with higher grades (less wear) commanding much higher prices due to their rarity in pristine condition.
What is the Silver Dollar Value of a Carson City (CC) Morgan Dollar?
Carson City Morgan Dollars are highly sought after, with values starting around $100 for lower grades and soaring to tens of thousands for rare dates or top conditions.
How does the silver content influence Silver Dollar Value?
The silver content provides a base value for Silver Dollars, with coins containing more silver generally having a higher base value, subject to fluctuations in the precious metals market.
What is the most valuable Silver Dollar ever sold?
The most valuable Silver Dollar is the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, sold for over $10 million, attributed to its rarity, historical significance, and condition.
How do I find out the current Silver Dollar Value?
To find the current Silver Dollar Value, consult reputable numismatic websites, auction results, and price guides that are regularly updated with market trends.
What is the Silver Dollar Value of a Draped Bust Dollar?
Draped Bust Dollars, minted from 1795 to 1804, can range from a few thousand dollars for common, lower-grade examples to over a million for rare varieties in high grades.
Are all Silver Dollars made of pure silver?
No, not all Silver Dollars are made of pure silver. Most U.S. Silver Dollars contain 90% silver and 10% copper, contributing to their durability and value.
Does the Silver Dollar Value differ between circulated and uncirculated conditions?
Yes, uncirculated Silver Dollars typically hold a higher value than their circulated counterparts due to their better preservation and higher demand among collectors.
What is the Silver Dollar Value of a Gobrecht Dollar?
Gobrecht Dollars, minted in the late 1830s as pattern coins, are quite rare, with values often exceeding tens of thousands of dollars depending on condition and rarity.
How have Silver Dollar Values changed over time?
Silver Dollar Values have generally increased over time, driven by rising silver prices, growing collector interest, and the finite availability of older, rarer coins.