Table of Contents
- 1885 Silver Dollar Value Chart
- History of the 1885 Silver Dollar
- Features of the 1885 Silver Dollar
- 1885 Silver Dollar Value Guides
- 1885 No-Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
- 1885 Proof Silver Dollar Value
- 1885 Carson City (CC) Silver Dollar Value
- 1885 New Orleans (O) Silver Dollar Value
- 1885-S Silver Dollar Value
- 1885 Silver Dollar Grading
- Rare 1885 Silver Dollar Errors List
Do you own an 1885 silver dollar and are curious how much it might be worth?
Or are you considering adding Morgan dollars from 1885 to your coin collection?
Morgan silver dollars are some of the most collectible in the history of United States coinage. These coins are gorgeous, solid, and, more importantly, contain 90% silver, a high-demand precious metal.
You might be glad to discover that the 1885 silver dollar is worth more than face value. So, this coin can be a good investment whether selling or buying.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the 1885 silver dollar value. We will explore the worth of each variety and discover errors that can increase your coin’s value by hundreds or thousands of dollars.
So, let’s get started!
1885 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1885 No-Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value||$35.50||$37.50||$50||$40,000|
|1885 Proof Silver Dollar Value||–||–||–||$87,500|
|1885-CC Silver Dollar Value||$550||$600||$650||$130,000|
|1885-O Silver Dollar Value||$35.50||$37.50||$50||$17,500|
|1885-S Silver Dollar Value||$45||$50||$60||$62,500|
History of the 1885 Silver Dollar
The 1885 silver dollar is part of the early-series Morgan dollars that replaced the Liberty Head dollar in 1878.
The Morgan dollar resulted from the Free Silver coinage movement. The gold rush of the 1850s to 1860s led to the discovery of large silver deposits in the West.
Influential silver miners, looking for an immediate market for their bullion, urged the government to buy silver and produce unlimited coins. But Congress rejected this proposal and omitted silver coins from the authorized legal tender list, leading to a massive protest.
A compromise was reached, and in 1878, the Bland-Allison Act authorized the U.S. Treasury to buy silver bullion worth 2-4 million dollars each month at the prevailing market price.
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 increased the amount of silver the Treasury could buy, but a stock market crisis caused the Act to be repealed in 1893. The Mint stopped making the silver dollar in 1904 when the stockpile decreased.
Assistant chief coin engraver, George Morgan, began drafting designs for the new silver coin in 1876, and by March of 1878, the coin’s production was already underway. At the suggestion of his friend, Morgan used Anna Willess Williams, a teacher of Philosophy, as the model on the coin’s obverse.
Due to the high demand to produce millions of silver dollars, the Treasury engaged the mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Carson City, and New Orleans to strike the new Morgan silver dollars.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
Features of the 1885 Silver Dollar
Learning about the features of the 1885 silver dollar can help you quickly determine if your coin might be valuable.
Let’s look at the most important attributes of the 1885 silver dollar:
The Obverse of the 1885 Silver Dollar
Lady Liberty’s left-facing portrait wearing a Phrygian cap features prominently on the obverse of the 1885 silver dollar.
The school teacher Anna Willess Williams secretly posed for assistant chief engraver George Morgan for the coin’s design.
According to Morgan, Anna’s Greek profile was perfect for the new silver coin, but back then, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to pose as a model.
Williams feared she’d lose her job and asked Morgan to ensure complete confidentiality so no one would find out she was the model for the new coin.
She eventually lost her job after someone discovered her identity and published the story in the newspapers. Fortunately, she got another job in Philadelphia, where she lived until 1926.
The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM appears at the top around the coin’s rim while the date, 1885, is imprinted at the bottom.
To the left of the date, there are six stars and seven to the right, making 13 stars. The stars represent the first states to gain independence from the British colonialists.
The Reverse of the 1885 Silver Dollar
The reverse features an intricate design depicting an eagle with wings spread out wide.
The bird holds arrows and olive branches in its talon, symbolizing readiness to defend the country’s sovereignty and a commitment to peace. Two olive branches tied together at the bottom underscore the flying eagle.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA occupy the upper half of the coin’s inner rim on the reverse while the denomination, ONE DOLLAR, appears along the rim at the bottom.
You will also notice the country’s motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, in Roman font, above the eagle’s head.
Other Features of the 1885 Silver Dollar
The 1885 silver dollar is a large coin, measuring 38.10 millimetres and weighing 26.73 grams.
The coin is made of 90% Silver and 10% Copper, a metal composition that makes it highly desirable among collectors.
The 1885 silver dollar has a reeded edge, while the inner rim features decorative ridges throughout the coin’s diameter.
You will also notice the mint marks CC( Carlson City), O (New Orlean), and S (San Francisco) just above the D in DOLLAR on the reverse.
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
1885 Silver Dollar Value Guides
So, is the 1885 silver dollar worth any money? The answer is: yes!
This highly collectible coin can be a good investment whether you want to sell or buy a piece.
In this section, we will look at how much your 1885 silver dollar is worth. There are five varieties of this coin, including the:
- 1885 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar
- 1885 Proof Silver Dollar
- 1885-CC Silver Dollar
- 1885-O Silver Dollar
- 1885-S Silver Dollar
Let’s find out how much each is worth.
1885 No-Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
The Philadelphia mint struck an estimated 17,786,837 silver dollars in 1885, making this the highest mintage that year. As is tradition, the coins from this mint did not have a mint mark.
Despite the high mintage, 1885 no mint-mark silver dollars are quite valuable even in the circulated state. Their intrinsic value lies in their silver content, making them desirable among collectors.
In its circulated condition, an 1885 no-mint mark dollar is worth between $33.50 and $63. These coins fetch more in their mint state, from $70 for a piece graded MS60 to $40,000 for gem-quality specimens graded MS69 and above.
1885 Proof Silver Dollar Value
In addition to the regular strike of 1885 silver dollars, the Philadelphia mint produced proof coins specially struck for collectors.
That year, only 903 proof silver dollars were struck, making examples extremely rare and valuable. Values for these proof coins range from $1,250 to $40,000, but cameo and deep cameo examples can fetch as much as $51,000 and $75,000, respectively.
In 2011, Goldenberg Auctioneers sold what is believed to be the most expensive 1885 proof silver dollar. This specimen was graded PF69 and was auctioned for an astonishing $92,000.
1885 Carson City (CC) Silver Dollar Value
With a mintage of only 228,000, the 1855-CC silver dollar is considered the rarest Morgan after the 1903-O silver dollar.
After striking about 200,000 examples in January and February 1885 and an additional 28,000 in August, the Mint was closed in November.
Most surviving circulated examples are graded good to fine, but even these are worth good money. You can expect between $440 and $735 for 1885-CC circulated silver dollars.
Examples in mint states will fetch more, with one graded MS65 bringing as much as $1,400, while an MS68 specimen is worth up to $130,000.
1885 New Orleans (O) Silver Dollar Value
The New Orleans mint struck an estimated 9 million silver dollars in 1885.
Interestingly, most of these coins were not released into circulation and remained in the Treasury stockpile until the 1960s, when the remaining examples were released en masse.
As a result of the late release, 1885-O silver dollars are widely available in high grade. Despite these coins being struck more than 130 years ago, circulated examples are still in good shape.
Circulated 1885-0 Morgan silver dollars are worth between $33.50 and $63.
Prooflike and Deep proof-like examples are accessible in the open market, with prices ranging from $150 to $1,500. Deep-proof like 1885-O silver dollars will fetch up to $14,000 for a PF67 specimen.
1885-S Silver Dollar Value
With only 1,497,000 silver dollars struck at the San Francisco mint in 1885, these coins are far less common than those minted at the Philadelphia facility.
These coins were poorly stored in bags at the minting facility, resulting in many acquiring bag marks. Most 1885-S silver dollars were also highly circulated, making high-grade examples rare.
In circulated condition, expect between $35.50 and $200 for your 1885-S Morgan silver dollar, depending on the grade. Rare examples in mint state are worth slightly more, with an MS65 bringing as much as $2,900 and a gem-quality MS67 fetching as much as $62,500.
1885 Silver Dollar Grading
Morgan silver dollars were not needed for circulation; they were mainly struck as a subsidy to support the silver industry. As such, large quantities of these coins sat in bags at the Treasury vaults, most released in the 1960s.
With so many mint state coins readily available, collectors typically focus on the scarce circulated grades, such as the 1885-CC and 1885 Proof silver dollars.
Grading Morgan silver dollars involves examining the high points on the obverse and reverse for signs of wear. The hair covering half of Liberty’s forehead, the cheeks, and the Phygarian hat are some of the high points on the obverse, while the eagle’s breast and feathers on the reverse are prone to wear and tear.
Mint 1885 silver dollars may show signs of bag marks and other minor contact marks but the brilliant luster and detail will be intact throughout the coin.
Circulated coins, on the other hand, will show unmistakable signs of wear on the high points. The details, high points and fields will be smooth on low-grade circulated examples and slightly more visible as you go up the grading scale.
Check out this video for more tips on grading your Morgan silver dollars.
Rare 1885 Silver Dollar Errors List
Morgan silver dollars, including those struck in 1885, have the reputation of being perfectly struck. As such, there aren’t many Morgan silver dollar errors in circulation.
That said, some 1885 silver dollar errors can be worth good money. Here’s an example:
1885-O Strike Through Silver Dollar Error
A strike-through error occurs when a foreign object is trapped between the die and the planchet during minting. The dies then strike the foreign object, leaving an impression on the planchet.
Strike-through errors are the most common coin error and equally the most desirable as you can identify them with unaided eyes.
An 1885-O strike-through silver dollar graded MS64 was auctioned in 2014, selling for $200.
How much silver is in a 1885 silver dollar?
Like other Morgan silver dollars, the 1885 silver dollar comprises 90% silver, with the remaining metal composition being copper. The coin contains 0.77344 troy ounces of silver or an equivalent of 24.06g.
How do I know if my 1885 silver dollar is real?
Because of their popularity, Morgan silver dollars are prone to countgerfeiting. You can look for some things to ensure your 1885 silver dollar is real. First, your coin should weigh about 26.73g, not significantly more or less. Use a pair of callipers to ensure the diameter and thickness are accurate. You should also check for the mint mark location, font size and strike, which tend to be off in fake silver dollars.
What makes an 1885 silver dollar valuable?
Many 1885 silver dollars are valuable in circulated and uncirculated condition due to the coin’s silver content. But, proof silver dollars and uncirculated 1885-CC silver dollars are the most valuable in the series because of their scarcity.