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Back when the Morgan silver dollar was in circulation in the late 1800s and early 1900s, people weren’t exactly clamoring to get their hands on it. It is only in modern times that collectors started getting excited about these gorgeous, satisfyingly heavy silver coins.
One of the issues numismatists look for in this series is the 1902 silver dollars. It was one of the last runs of the series, so production was low, and the coins are rare. One variety is even a key coin in the series because of its low mintage.
Curious about this coin? Stick around to learn more about the 1902 silver dollar value, errors to look out for, and how to properly grade your Morgan silver dollars.
1902 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Fine||AU58 About Uncirculated||MS63 Select Uncirculated||MS65 Gem Uncirculated||MS67 Superb Gem Uncirculated|
|1902 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value||$50||$72||$260||$415||$5,650|
|1902 “O” Silver Dollar Value||$39.50||$62||$110||$240||$9,250|
|1902 “S” Silver Dollar Value||$115||$360||$760||$2,000||$45,000|
1902 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
In 1877, Henry Linderman, the Director of the Mint, proposed a competition between Chief Engraver William Barber and an assistant named George T. Morgan.
He wanted each of them to prepare a new dollar coin design, and the one with the better ideas would have his design struck on the new silver dollar. The only rule was that the head of Lady Liberty should be depicted on the coin.
Unbeknownst to Barber, Linderman was already biased toward Morgan. He had been unhappy with the latest designs Barber and his sons had put up and wanted to give Morgan a chance to show off his skills. In the end, it was his design that won.
His design was simple. On the obverse, he shows the face of Miss Liberty facing left. At the top of the coin is the Latin motto “E pluribus unum,” and at the bottom, the mintage year.
George T. Morgan asked a Pennsylvania-based teacher named Anna W. Williams to pose as Liberty for his new design. It is said that she wished to be anonymous, but the papers were all over her as soon as the coin went into production in 1878.
The reverse, on the other hand, depicts a thin, scrawny eagle with its wings spread. It grasps a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. Underneath is a wreath of olive branches tied by a ribbon. If the coin has a mint mark, you’ll see it right below this ribbon.
The words “United States of America” and “One Dollar” are written around the coin’s reverse. Above the eagle’s head, you’ll see “In God We Trust” written, too.
For his work on this dollar and other popular coins, Morgan would later in 1917 become Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, much to the dismay of the Barber family.
In 1902, just shy of 8 million silver dollars were struck in Philadelphia. Although the coin is available and easy to find across most grades, it’s slightly rarer in high, mint-state grades, specifically those that are MS66 and above.
The 1902 silver dollars are made of 90% silver. They’re always tied to their silver melt value, which today sits at almost $20. That means no silver dollar will go below this price, even in poor condition. This is very apparent in the value of the 1902 (P) silver dollar today.
Even in poor or PO1 condition, this coin is worth $35 today. In fine condition, the racks up to $50. It gets even higher in about-uncirculated conditions. At AU50, this coin is worth $65. It goes all the way up to a value of $72 at AU58.
Uncirculated 1902 (P) silver dollars are most common in grades MS63 and MS64, which are valued today at $260 and $325, respectively. The price of the coin only hits the thousand-dollar mark at a pristine grade of MS67, at which it is worth $5,650.
1902 O Silver Dollar Value
Meanwhile, at the New Orleans Mint, over 8.6 million silver dollars were struck. You’ll know your coin was struck at this mint if it has a tiny “O” mint mark on the reverse of the coin.
This is the most plentiful issue of the series this year among the three Mints that produced dollar coins. Because of that, it’s also the least valuable. New Orleans-minted coins are less expensive than their Philly-minted sisters, except in grade MS67, where they almost double in price.
That said, prices today for the 1902 O silver dollar are relatively high compared to more modern coins. These coins were well-made and saved in higher grades, so a lot of them are extremely valuable today.
In circulated condition, the 1902 O silver dollar can sell for a minimum of $35.50 when it is in poor to average condition. Coins in fine condition have the potential to go for almost $40, and about-uncirculated coins in a higher grade of AU58 are worth about $62.
Like their Philadelphia-minted counterparts, 1902 O silver dollars are most common in grades MS63 and MS64. The difference in the prices of the two isn’t significantly large. An MS63 is worth around $110, while an MS64 coin is valued at $150.
These silver dollars become scarcer in MS65, and the number drops even lower in grades MS66 and MS67. An MS65 gem could cost around $240 today. One grade up at MS66, and you could be fortunate enough to sell it for $470.
When it comes to the rare MS67 1902 O silver dollar, the price increases exponentially. Today, a coin of this fine grade is worth around $9,250. Only 49 1902 O silver dollars have been given this grade.
1902 S Silver Dollar Value
As per usual, it was the San Francisco Mint that had produced the least silver dollars in 1902. It minted just over 1.5 million silver dollars with a little “S” mint mark on the coin’s reverse.
The low mintage of this issue makes it incredibly rare and difficult to find, especially in higher mint-state grades. Because of that, it is considered a semi-key coin in the Morgan silver dollar series. That means it’s worth big money in modern times.
In poor to average condition, a 1902 S silver dollar is worth around $65 today. That’s almost double the price of the coins minted in Philly and New Orleans that year. In fine condition, the price of the coin almost doubles yet again at around $115.
The value of about-circulated 1902 S silver dollars is also significantly higher than other silver dollar issues this year. At AU50, expect this coin to be worth $270. And at the highest about-uncirculated grade of AU58, it sits at a value of $360.
But uncirculated coinage is where the money’s really at. In grade MS63, a 1902 S silver dollar could sell today for $760. At MS65, it’s worth $2,000—but has been known to sell for up to $3,360 in some cases.
The rarest coins in this issue are, of course, the superb gems. The eight MS66 1902 S silver dollars known to exist are worth a mighty amount of $8,200 today. Meanwhile, an exquisite, insanely rare MS67 coin is estimated to cost a whopping $45,000.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
1902 Silver Dollar Grading
It can be tricky to grade Morgan silver dollars if you’re an amateur. It’s highly recommended to get an expert to grade your coins for you. But you can also assess your own coins at home just to practice your coin grading skills.
Take your 1902 silver dollar and check on its high points, like Lady Liberty’s ear and eye, as well as the eagle’s breast and tailfeathers on the reverse. If these points have no wear or smoothness, look bold and shiny, and have tremendous eye appeal, you might be holding an uncirculated coin.
Uncirculated coins are much more valuable compared to circulated coins, which are heavily worn and have faded, smoothed-out points.
Need a hand in assessing your 1902 silver dollars accurately? Check out this guide by CoinStudy to get a more precise reading on your coin to give you a better idea of its truest value today:
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
Rare 1902 Silver Dollar Error List
If you see a mint error in your 1902 silver dollar, consider yourself lucky. Errors in this series are few and far between, so they’re sought-after and are incredibly valuable when sold today.
Want to see how minor mint errors can impact the value of a 1902 silver dollar? Watch this video by Couch Collectibles to learn more:
Here are several mint errors that have been found once or twice in the 1902 silver dollar:
1902 Silver Dollar Doubled Ear Error
A doubled die error caused by a defective die is quite common in any coin series. But usually, the doubling is found on letters and numbers engraved on the coin. In the case of the 1902 silver dollar, the doubling is found on the ear of Lady Liberty. The error can also show up in her eye.
A VF25 1902 silver dollar with this error has been known to sell for about $50. In a slightly higher grade of VF30, it’s been sold for over $160.
1902 Silver Dollar Struck Through Thread Error
A struck-through error occurs when a small object finds its way on top of the planchet before it is struck by the day. The shape of this object is then impressed on the coin. Foreign objects that can cause this error include a bit of tape, plastic, and random pieces of metal.
One 1902 O silver dollar has been found to have a strikethrough error thanks to a tiny piece of thread. It left a faint line on the left side of the coin. At grade MS63, this coin sold for $185.
1902 Silver Dollar Struck 5% Off-Center Error
Another mint error that can raise the value of your silver dollar is an off-center strike. This error had once been found on an AU58 1902 silver dollar.
The general rule when it comes to off-center coins is that the higher the percentage of the off-center strike, the more valuable the coin is. This silver dollar was only struck 5% off-center, so the error was minor and almost unnoticeable.
However, its impact on the coin’s price was significant. Without an error, an AU58 1902 silver dollar might be worth around just $72 today. But the coin with the 5% off-center strike ended up selling for over $1,300.
What is a 1902 silver dollar worth?
The modern-day value of the 1902 silver dollar depends on its condition. In circulated conditions, these coins can go from $35 to $220. About-uncirculated coins can be sold today for up to $360. And in the uncirculated, mint-state condition of the highest grade, it can be worth $45,000!
Where is the mint mark located on a 1902 silver dollar?
The mint mark on a 1902 silver dollar is located on the reverse. It sits right under the ribbon tying together the wreath of olive branches. It should be right above the letters D and O in the word “DOLLAR.”
How can you tell if a silver dollar is rare?
You can tell by a couple of factors whether a 1902 silver dollar is rare. The first factor is its grade. If your silver dollar is uncirculated and has a fine, gem grade of about MS66 and above, it’s safe to assume that this coin is rare and potentially worth thousands of dollars.
Silver dollars also become rare if they have mint errors that make them look unique. Morgan dollars don’t usually have plenty of errors, so if you come across one with even the tiniest production flaw, you can be sure that you have a rare coin. It is also likely to be valued at a higher price.
What if there is no mint mark on a silver dollar?
If you can’t find a mint mark on the reverse side of your 1902 silver dollar, it means it was minted in Philadelphia. As the main U.S. Mint, Philly doesn’t usually stamp a mint mark on coins.