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The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar: A Popular Silver Coin for the Ages

The Importance and History of the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar


The obverse and reverse of a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar in great condition.

The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is a popular coin for collectors all over the world. It was an important coin that helped usher in the westward expansion of the United States. Various mints struck and minted Morgan Dollars from 1878 to 1904, then again in 1921.

While the value of a Morgan Dollar depends on several factors, the condition is usually the most important. A Morgan Dollar that has been circulated might have a lower value than one that is still in its original packaging. This is due to wear and tear on the coin. Collector demand can also drive up the price of Morgan Dollars – one such collector demand centers around the greatly popular 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar.

There are unique characteristics about the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar compared to Silver coins that preceded them. Numismatists have enjoyed the Morgan Silver Dollar for years for various reasons, including its beauty and historical significance. When referring to the Morgan Dollars, it is difficult not to include the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar coin as a high point of the conversation.

History of the Morgan Silver Dollar

The Morgan Silver Dollar was designed by George T. Morgan, an English artist. The coins were intended to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. The obverse on the Morgan Dollar features a profile portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap, which symbolizes freedom. The reverse of the coin features an American Bald Eagle with two heads. The eagle also carries thirteen stars and an olive branch in its talons.

The Morgan Dollar was first struck in 1878 and continued to be struck until 1904. After a hiatus, production began again in 1921. Morgan Dollars were minted at the Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City, Denver and the United States Coins Mint in Manila.

The reason for discontinuing production stemmed from the Panic of 1893-1895. It was believed that using Silver for coinage contributed to inflationary problems in the United States.

In the 1920s, when banks started to fail across the country, people withdrew their money and converted it into Silver Dollars for safekeeping. By 1933, there was a nationwide bank holiday declared when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. He closed all banks, except those with enough Silver to convert into dollars.

The production of the Morgan Silver Dollar halted when President Roosevelt’s administration passed the Gold Reserve Act of 1933, which required American citizens to return their Gold holdings to government officials within a month or face a $10,000 fine and ten years in jail.

In 1965, Morgan Silver Dollar production halted again briefly when the Coinage Act of 1965 was passed. The legislation changed the composition of U.S. dimes and quarters from 90% Silver to a clad version that consisted of an inner layer of pure Copper sandwiched between two outer layers of cupronickel alloy for added strength.

The Morgan Silver Dollar coins are collected by numismatists all over the world. They are worth much more than their intrinsic value because only a limited number were minted in the 1920s. The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is the most popular coin from this series for numismatists to collect.

The Importance of the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar has a diameter of 38 millimeters and weighs 412 ½ grains, which is 26.73 grams or .859 fine Silver. One side of the well-known and collected 1921 coin features the words “E Pluribus Unum” and the year of minting. The other side has the words “In God We Trust” and the denomination of “$1.” There are many varieties of Morgan Dollars, but 1921 is one of the most popular coins.

The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is significant because it was the last year that Silver Dollars were minted until 1935. The 1921 coins are also important because they were circulated during a time of great economic turmoil in the United States. The Gold Reserve Act of 1933 caused many people to panic and convert their money into Silver Dollars. This led to a brief resurgence in the popularity of the Morgan Silver Dollar.

The coins are also collected by numismatists all over the world because they are rare and were minted in limited quantities. The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is the most popular coin from this series for numismatists to collect. The coins hold significant historical value and are a testament to the times in which they were minted. The Morgan Silver Dollar is an important part of American history and valuable addition to any coin collection.

1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Features and Popularity

Many coin collectors know the significance of Morgan Silver Dollars. Still, few know the importance of the 1921 Silver Dollar and the reasons that make it one of the most popular Silver coins in United States history. The first set of Morgan Silver Dollars was so popular because of their highly symbolic nature and being the first Silver Dollar coins with high Silver content.

This coin has several essential features that make them as important as the ones produced from 1878 to 1904:

  • Only year to be produced at the Denver Mint.
  • The Philadelphia Mint, San Francisco Mint and Carson City Mints produced these coins through 1904. The Denver Mint was added for production in 1921.
  • The Treasury created special dies for the minting of these coins.
  • The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars had to use specially recreated dies. The Treasury destroyed the original dies used to produce the previous year’s Morgan Dollars.
  • Silver content for Silver dollars is one of a kind and unheard of for 1921 standards.
  • The .7734 oz of fine Silver is high, giving collectors value that is unsurpassed. In 1921, Silver was a valuable commodity, and Silver dollars were rare compared to the first circulation of Morgan Dollars.
  • The Pittman Act in 1918 gave way to the production of Morgan Silver Dollars in 1921.
  • Under the act, the Treasury authorized melting down and recoining millions of Silver dollars. Some of the 1921 Morgan Dollars were sold to Great Britain to assist in World War I efforts.

1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Value

Some collectors ask how much a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is worth. That cannot be answered in concrete numbers, but they do hold tremendous value. Though the Silver price per ounce is an important factor for pricing, the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar has a unique value-added incentive because of its intrinsic value. History has been very kind to these ground-breaking coins.

They are not only valuable because of the Silver they contain, but also because of the rarity and special circumstances surrounding their minting. Many factors go into pricing a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar but suffice it to say that these coins will always be in demand for their Silver content and numismatic value. In short, they are one of the most popular Silver coins in United States history.

Though they are known as one of the most popular Silver coins, especially among collectors, because they are also some of the last Morgans to be produced before being replaced by other designs. This makes Morgan Dollars historically important, as well as valuable to collectors.

With a mintage of only 11,442,000 pieces, these 1921 coins are also notoriously difficult to find. No matter what interest in coins a collector may hold, the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is a must-have for any historical or World coinage collection.

Until 2021, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this popular coin, 1921 was the only year the Treasury brought back the Morgan Silver Dollars. The 2021 Morgan Silver Dollar legacy has expanded and grown years after its original production stopped. Given what the price of Silver will do in the future, the 1921 Morgan Dollar remains a coin many collectors and numismatists want for their own collections.

Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of 1878-1921 Morgan Silver Dollars.


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