Numismatists and coin collectors alike consider the 1890 silver dollar as one of the most cherished items in their collections. Said silver dollar is imbued with American history as well as being superbly beautiful in its design. With these two qualities, the 1890 silver dollar is a valuable commodity but buyers must beware as fakes also abound.

Fortunately, being informed about the history, value and appraisal of the 1890 silver dollar will significantly contribute to better decisions in regard to this valuable coin. Read on and learn a few important things in this regard.

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Background Information:

The 1890 silver dollar is part of the so-called Morgan dollar minted on an intermittent basis from 1879 to 1921 in various locations across the United States. The Morgan dollar’s historical value lies in its status as the nation’s first standardized silver dollar coin made since minting of the previously-standard Seated Liberty dollar was stopped upon the approval of the Fourth Coinage Act. Its minting was subsequently authorized under the Bland-Allison Act.

George T. Morgan, then the US Mint Assistant Engraver and for whom the silver dollar was named after, designed the coin. Its obverse side shows a profile of Liberty and the reverse side portrays an eagle.

The 1890 Morgan silver dollar coin was minted in various cities. This was because the United States had a surplus amount of silver on hand, thus, the disparate locations to keep up with the production demands.

The first city where the 1890 silver dollar was minted was in Philadelphia with coins coming from its mint not having a mintmark. For other cities, a mintmark can be found on the coin just below the eagle and between the letters “D” and “O” of the word “dollar”. Thus, coins minted in the following cities had mintmarks as follows:

• S – San Francisco

• O – New Orleans

• D – Denver

• CC – Carson City

When you see a Morgan silver dollar coin being appraised, the letters stand for the city where it was minted and the numbers for the year it was minted. For example, an 1890 silver dollar minted in Carson City will be designated as “1890-CC”.

Basic Facts:

Let’s go on to the basic facts of the 1890 Morgan silver dollar.

• 16,802,000 circulation strikes

• Metal content is 90% silver and 10% copper

• Diameter of 38.1 millimeters and weight of 26.73 grams

• Edge is reeded

Coin Values:

All other things about two 1890 Morgan silver dollar coins being equal, a Carson City-minted coin is considered more valuable than coins minted in the other 4 cities. The reason is simple: relative rarity of the Carson City coins.

Most coin collectors and appraisers primarily base the value of a Morgan coin on the price of one silver bullion. Let’s assume that the silver spot price is $18 so the value of 1890 silver dollar coin minted will approximately be: (Take note that these are the possible actual values paid by coin dealers instead of the inflated retail value)


1890 16.00

1890-CC 75.00

1890-O 16.50

1890-S 17.00

It must be emphasized that uncirculated coins have substantially higher values than circulated coins. This is because the former are often in better shape than the latter, thus, raising their saleable and collectible values. For example, a batch of 1890 silver dollar coins was sold for $23,000 from the Ex-Superior Galleries; that’s how valuable these coins can be.

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When you must submit your 1890 silver dollar coins for grading, we suggest going to the professionals specifically the Professional Coin Grading Service. Your coins can then be appraised accurately.