Morgan Dollar (1878-1893) Mint CC
When you collect Carson City Silver Dollars, you are truly collecting a part of the Old West.
The Carson City, Nevada Mint was established in 1870 as a repository for both the gold & silver mining
industries that had florished since the discovery of gold and silver in California and Nevada.
It was a long haul by stage coach from the Nevada Silver & Gold Mines to the Mint Repository in San
Francisco. Gangs of thieves, like Black Bart, found the stage coaches easy pickings.
Many new silver mines were discovered in Nevada and it was simply too expensive to haul silver to San
Francisco, so Congress was petitioned to put a mint in Nevada and Carson City was selected.
The Carson City Mint was operated from 1870 to 1893. Of all the mints, Carson City turned out the least
amount of coins and the high appreciation of CC's over the years have made them the favorite of collectors
and investors alike. The CC Mint Mark is on the back of the dollar at the bottom.
In 1971 President Richard Nixon had the General Services Administration (GSA) sell the last of the Carson
City minted silver dollars to the general public. They came in a Plasic case 3 3/8 inches wide and 5 3/8
inches high that says in silver letters on the front of the case, Carson City Uncirculated Silver Dollars.These
CC Coins are now known as GSA dollars. Most of the cases are airtight so the coins are still white as minted.
The obverse of the 1883 CC Morgan Dollar and
The reverse of the Carson city Silver Dollar
To identify coins produced at the Carson City
Mint, a distinctive mint mark was placed beneath
the eagle on the reverse of the coin---two
"C's"---standing for Carson City.
The specifications of this coin are as follows:
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Weight: 26.73 grams
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Net weight: .77344 ounce pure silver
Morgan Silver Dollars were designed by George T. Morgan.
The mints involved were Philadelphia (no mint mark), San Francisco (S), New Orleans (O), Carson
City (CC), and Denver (D).
The weight of the Morgan Dollar is 26.73 grams (90% silver and 10% copper) with .7734 ounce of
Most of the time when Jesse James and his brother Frank robbed a bank, the money they grabbed were
Morgan Silver Dollars. The Morgan is still around today as a part of American monetary history, and it has
been the most popular collectible investment coin over the last 40 years. The origin of the Morgan Silver
Dollar was the Bland-Allison Act passed in February 1878. It restored legal-tender status to silver money.
The law required the treasury to purchase $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of silver each month and to coin
it into silver dollars at the ratio to gold of 16 to 1. This legislation was brought about by pressure from the
Congressional proponents of "free silver". They wanted the government to issue silver coinage and support
their interests in Western silver mines.
The new dollars were to contain 412.5 grains of .900 pure silver. This was a return to the standard set in
1837 and required a design change, to differentiate the new silver dollars from the heavier trade dollars
made between 1873 and 1885. Both Charles Barber and George Morgan submitted new dollar designs;
however, Morgan was given the commission and initialed both sides of the coin with the letter M.
The investors and owners of Western silver mines decided to keep the price of silver bullion artificially high
by selling large quantities of silver to the government; however, the demand for silver dollars was not large
because the public was unaccustomed to using the large silver coins and found them inconvenient. Two rolls
of Morgan Dollars made a lethal weapon of a woman's purse. Government stockpiles of silver dollars grew.
This had a beneficial side effect, the Morgan dollars were used as backing for the government's huge
constant issue of currency. People saw strength and stability in paper money that could be redeemed at any
time for silver dollars.
Even though millions of these coins were melted over the years, a large quantity remained in treasury vaults.
They were finally released in 1971 and 1972 because we came off the gold and silver standard. By January
15, 1980 the bull market for silver had sent the value of silver bullion to nearly $52 per ounce. This was
caused by the Hunt Brothers attempt to control the silver market. The government stopped the silver
commodity trading on January 17, 1980 by only allowing of the sale of silver contracts, not buying of
The first Morgan Dollar minted in 1878 was given to President Hayes, who had vetoed the act under which it
was struck. Eventually, the dollars began to circulate but mostly in the West, where silver coinage was
needed, and in the South, where Southerners preferred them to Yankee greenbacks. Morgan Silver Dollars
were also used in gaming tables in Nevada. Today they are collected as appreciating assets and investments.
MINTING MORGAN SILVER DOLLARS
Morgan Silver Dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904 then stopped. Minting was resumed for one year in
1921. The Denver Mint only minted Morgans in 1921.
In 1878 Morgan Dollars were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Carson City. New Orleans started
minting Morgans in 1879. When a branch mint made a coin the mint mark is on the reverse at the bottom,
just above the D and O, if no mint mark is visible it was minted in Philadelphia.
During the past 30 years, silver dollars have been leading the market in demand and price appreciation. At
times it seems as if the values of these coins will never stop rising. Silver dollars are a very sound investment
and a source of great satisfaction for collectors. The constant demand for all dates and mints of the Morgan
Dollars causes prices to push to new heights with no end in sight. In the last 2 years Carson City Dollars
have doubled at the wholesale value.