Table of Contents
- 1881 Morgan Silver dollar value Chart
- History of the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
- 1881 Morgan Silver dollar Types
- Features of the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
- 1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Value Guides
- 1881 No Mint mark Morgan Silver Dollar Value
- 1881 proof Morgan Silver Dollar Value
- 1881 CC Morgan Silver Dollar Value
- 1881 O Morgan Silver Dollar Value
- 1881 S Morgan Silver Dollar Value
- 1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Grading
- Rare 1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Error List
- FAQ about the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
Silver Morgan dollars minted from 1878 to 1921 are over a century and a half old coins, so you may expect the 1881 silver dollar value to be high. However, it is not always the case, and their prices depend on each piece’s preservation level.
Regardless of their price, Morgans are beautiful coins and a valuable part of American numismatic history. Therefore, collectors adore them and give their best to add the most quality pieces to their collections. The set includes coins from regular strikes, proofs, varieties, and errors.
1881 Morgan Silver dollar value Chart
|Condition||Silver 1881 No Mint mark dollar||Silver 1881 CC dollar||Silver 1881 O dollar||Silver 1881 S dollar|
|Mint state 60||$74||$628||$82||$74|
|Mint state 65||$578||$1,239||$1,216||$254|
History of the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
Silver Morgan dollars belong to a series named after their designer, George T. Morgan. The US Mint produced these beautiful coins from 1878 to 1921, with a pause between 1904 and 1921.
Interestingly, Chief engraver William Barber offered his design, but Mint director Henry Linderman preferred the British designer’s idea. He based Lady Liberty’s image on school teacher Anna’s portrait.
Despite high mintage, these coins are not abundant on the current market, thanks to the Pittman Act of 1918. Most silver coins were melted that year, and this precious metal was sold to Britain.
1881 Morgan Silver dollar Types
|Philadelphia||Silver 1881 No Mint mark dollar||9,163,000|
|Philadelphia||Silver 1881 proof dollar||975|
|Carson City||Silver 1881 CC dollar||296,000|
|New Orleans||Silver 1881 O dollar||5,708,000|
|San Francisco||Silver 1881 S dollar||12,760,000|
The 1881 silver Morgan dollars were coins minted in the fourth year of series’ minting. Since there was necessary to use accumulated silver, four mints produced these coins this particular year, making them unique.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
Features of the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
Despite its naturalistic look, the Morgan dollar design was impractical. Therefore, replacing the high relief on the reverse that caused the dies to wear more quickly than expected was necessary. It was also the moment to reduce the original number of eight eagle tail feathers to seven.
The obverse of the silver 1881 Morgan dollar
The lovely 1881 Morgan dollar obverse shows Lady Liberty facing left. It is made in an American style and based on a real person, Anna Willess Williams. You can see ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶E·PLURIBUS·UNUM ✶✶✶✶✶✶1881 surrounding the central composition. The Americans’ guiding word LIBERTY is struck on her crown decorated by wheat stalks and cotton blossoms.
The reverse of the silver 1881 Morgan dollar
The 1881 silver Morgan dollar depicts the American eagle on the reverse. Its wings are widely spread while holding arrows and twigs in its talons.
The central image was surrounded by the ✶UNITED STATES OF AMERICA✶ONE DOLLAR. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was written in atypical font and placed above the bald eagle’s head. The corresponding mint mark is placed under the bow that ties the wreath.
1881 Morgan Silver dollar Details
|Face value||One dollar ($1)|
|Compound||90% silver and 10% copper|
|Silver weight||0.7734 troy ounces (24 g)|
|Coin weight||0.8594 troy ounces (26.73 g)|
|Coin diameter||1.50 inches (38.10 mm)|
|Coin thickness||0.0945 inches (2.40 mm)|
Other features of the silver 1881 Morgan dollar
Silver Morgan dollars minted in 1881 are coins containing 0.7734 troy ounces (24 g) of silver, while the total coin weight is 0.8594 troy ounces (26.73 g). Their diameter is 1.50 inches (38.10 mm), and their thickness is 0.0945 inches (2.40 mm).
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Value Guides
In 1881, four mints produced 27,927,975 Morgan dollars, including a low number of proofs from Philadelphia. You can recognize coins with CC, S, and O mint marks, while about one-third came without the mint mark.
1881 No Mint mark Morgan Silver Dollar Value
The mint in Philadelphia made 9,163,975 silver dollars from a regular strike in 1881. Since most were released in circulation, you can expect worn pieces to cost $30 to $60, which is a pretty modest price for such old coinage.
Even coins in the mint stage can be relatively affordable and cost $55 to $465, but flawless specimens are always expensive. Those in MS 66 grade have a value of $1,200 to $1,700, while you need to set aside $17,000 to $22,500 for those ranking in MS 67.
The most valuable piece without the mint mark minted in 1881 is the Morgan dollar in the MS 67 rank, sold at $28,200 in 2014. Scarce deep mirror proof-like silver dollars minted this year are typically worth $300, but the highest-ranking pieces with the MS 66 grade are estimated at $30,000 to $34,000.
1881 proof Morgan Silver Dollar Value
Besides regular silver dollars minted in 1881, the Philadelphia mint produced 975 proofs this year. Even lower-graded coins are pricey, and you need to set aside about $1,000 to $1,500 for one. Better ranking specimens cost $2,150 to $12,020, while those with the grade PR 68 can reach $21,780 to $33,000 at auctions.
Specimens with deep cameo contrast are even more costly, with an average price range of $3,400 to $24,000. As always, those in the highest rank are the most expensive, so you can buy one of the pieces in PR 67 grade for $38,000 to $50,000. However, one specimen of such quality reached $105,000 at an auction on August 19, 2018.
1881 CC Morgan Silver Dollar Value
The Carson City mint had the lowest mintage of Morgan dollars in 1881, with only 296,000 pieces with the CC mint mark. Therefore, you can expect them to be pricey, and even circulated coins are worth $280 to $520.
Those in the mint state cost approximately $550 to 4,400, while collectors are prepared to pay $45,000 to $50,000 for scarce specimens with the MS 68 grade. One such coin was sold at an amazing $67,563 in 2015.
Besides regular silver dollars, you can find proof-like pieces at a price range of $575 to $11,000 and pricey DMPL coins that cost $630 to $45,000, depending on preservation level.
1881 O Morgan Silver Dollar Value
The New Orleans mint produced a relatively low number of 1881 O silver dollars. However, surviving pieces of 5,708,000 minted are inexpensive nowadays compared to coins from other mints.
You can find those spending years in circulation for $30 to $60, while most coins of the best quality are rarely more expensive than a few hundred dollars. Only MS 68 grading specimens can reach $5,000 to $7,000.
The 1881 O PL Morgans are even less costly, and you should set aside $65 to $3,450 per one. The DMPL silver dollars from New Orleans come with a price range of $175 to $6,500, depending on quality.
The most expensive specimen produced in this mint is the 1881 O MS 65 DMPL Morgan dollar. It won an auction record of $40,250 in 2008.
1881 S Morgan Silver Dollar Value
Paradoxically, the mint in San Francisco had the highest mintage of silver Morgan dollars in 1881, but these coins are among the most pricey in the set. Any of the 12,760,000 pieces struck in this mint can cost you $30 to $60 after spending years in use.
However, uncirculated Morgans can cost thousands of dollars. Those with the MS 69 grade come with an estimated price range of $50,000 to $80,000. Proof-like coins are a bit more affordable, and you should set aside $55 to $10,000 per one.
The 1881 deep mirror proof-like Morgan dollars from San Francisco come with similar prices, but those in MS 68 ranking are scarce and valuable. Therefore, you can expect them to cost $35,000 to $42,000.
1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Grading
Most silver Morgan dollars minted in 1882 spent years, often decades, in circulation. So, you can expect most pieces to be more or less worn-out. However, finding those in uncirculated condition with pristine design and strong luster is still possible.
Rare 1881 Morgan Silver Dollar Error List
The 1881 Morgan set came with numerous variations because of different die pairings. The PCGS lists the precise number of such imperfections by mints:
- San Francisco – 168 varieties
- New Orleans – 99 varieties
- Philadelphia – 54 varieties
- Carson City – 24 varieties
Failed die obverse
This scarce error resulted from the die failing to produce a quality image on the obverse. Therefore, you can see an unfinished image on this coin surface with incomplete or missing design parts. Such coins can reach over $1,500 at an auction.
When the die fails to line up correctly, the result is a coin with a blank crescent area that occupies 1% to 95% of one-coin side. Even though specimens with low off-center percentages are not too collectible, one collector paid $3,000 for a rare 1881 S silver dollar with a 5% off-center strike in 2007.
Grease-filled die error
The grease-filled die blurs a part of the coin surface while other areas stay unchanged. Since this error is rare, you can expect to find one for at least $1,500.
Struck through debris
When the old die became dirty over time, possible foreign objects transferred from its surface to coins. In such a case, it left spots or lines that were not the original design part. You can expect to pay about $400 to $550 for such an error coin.
FAQ about the Silver 1881 Morgan Dollar
What makes an silver 1881 Morgan coin collectible?
The 1881 silver Morgan dollars are almost 150 old coins, so well-preserved pieces are considered rare and collectible. Besides, error coins that occurred during manipulation and production are attractive to collectors and often expensive.
Which silver 1881 Morgan coins are the most precious?
- 1881 PR 67 DCAM silver Morgan dollar sold at $105,000 in 2018
- 1881 PR 69 silver Morgan dollar sold at $83,950 in 2005
- 1881 CC MS68 silver Morgan dollar sold at $67,563 in 2015
- 1881 CC MS 67 DMPL silver Morgan dollar sold at $63,250 in 2008
- 1881 S MS 69 silver Morgan dollar sold at $48,875 in 2009
- 1881 PR 67 CAM silver Morgan dollar sold at $46,000 in 2011
- 1881 O MS 65, DMPL silver Morgan dollar sold at $40,250 in 2008
- 1881 S MS 68 DMPL silver Morgan dollar sold at $40,250 in 2007
- 1881 O MS 66+ silver Morgan dollar sold at $39,950 in 2015
- 1881 MS 67 silver Morgan dollar sold at $28,200 in 2014
- 1881 MS 66D MPL silver Morgan dollar sold at $26,400 in 2023
- 1881 S MS 66 PL silver Morgan dollar sold at $23,500 in 2017
- 1881 CC MS67+ GSA Hoard silver Morgan dollar sold at $19,388 in 2017
- 1881 O MS 66, PL silver Morgan dollar sold at $9,988 in 2013
- 1881 CC MS 67 PL silver Morgan dollar sold at $9,000 in 2020
- 1881 MS 65 PL silver Morgan dollar sold at $7,695 in 2022
How much money to set aside for the silver 1881 No Mint mark Morgans?
Circulated Morgans struck in Philadelphia cost $30 to $60, while those in the mint state are typically worth $55 to $1,700, depending on grade. Only those ranking MS 67 cost $17,000 to $22,500.
What are the most costly silver Morgans?
The priciest silver Morgan dollar ever sold is the 1889 CC MS 68 coin. One collector paid a fantastic $881,250 for it in 2013. However, some other coins from other mints also reached breathtaking prices, like:
- 1886 O MS 67 DMPL Morgan ($780,000)
- 1884 S MS 68 Morgan ($750,000)
- 1893 S MS 65 Morgan ($735,000)
- 1896 S MS 69 Morgan ($720,000)
- 1892 S MS 68 Morgan ($630,000)
- 1901 MS 66 Morgan ($587,500)
The most expensive Morgan dollar proof is the one struck in Carson City in 1893. One collector bought this piece with the PR 66 grade for $323,125 in 2013.