1879 Morgan Silver Dollar with 1878 Reverse Error


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1879 Morgan Silver Dollar with 1878 Reverse Error

Price: $ 139.95 SKU: 4979SR78


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The Morgan Silver Dollar is the most popular of America’s classic coins.  Minted from 1878-1904 and again in 1921, it is a huge coin that was the favorite silver coin of the “Wild West” because of its large size and massive amount of pure silver.                              

The Morgan Silver Dollar is named after its designer, George T. Morgan, who was an engraver with the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.  The obverse portrays Lady Liberty wearing a slave’s cap (an ancient symbol of freedom) with the word “Liberty” inscribed on a ribbon.  The reverse features an American eagle holding both the olive branch of peace and arrows of war.                                         

Due to the massive amounts of silver in each coin, more than 50% of all Morgan Silver Dollars were melted by the U.S. Government in the 1920’s to help pay for World War I;  millions more were melted for World War II;  millions more were privately melted in the 1980’s when silver reached $50 an ounce;  and millions were destroyed or worn out in circulation between 1878 and the 1920’s.               

In 1879, the United States Mint changed the design of the Eagle on the reverse of the coin.  They changed the flat breasted Eagle on the 1878 coin to a more rounded breast on the 1879 coin.  In this variety of the 1879 coin, the 1878 reverse is used instead of the new reverse.                                                         

This is the largest silver coin ever made for circulation:  it is almost 1-1/2 inches in diameter and it contains over 3/4 ounce of pure silver.  The overall silver purity is the standard .900 pure.  The reason it is so big is that, by law, it had to contain exactly one dollar’s worth of silver (the price of silver was fixed at $1.29 an ounce during the era of the Morgan Silver Dollar).