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1897 Morgan Dollar : A Collector’s Guide

1897 Morgan Dollar. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
1897 Morgan Dollar. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 2,822,000 Morgan dollars in 1897, the majority of which were produced in January, June, and December. With no immediate need to release the coins into circulation, a large percentage of the issue was held back and placed in Treasury Department vaults. The melters’ pot claimed many 1897 Morgan dollars when the American Government sold millions of ounces of silver bullion to Great Britain under the terms of the Pittman Act of 1918.

Despite this, the 1897 Morgan dollar remains a readily available date through Choice Mint State (MS63) and is included in Charles Morgan and Russ Augustin’s set composition for The Morgan 50.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Dealer Harry W. Bason of New Hyde Park, New York, offered 74 different date/mint mark Morgan dollars in Brilliant Uncirculated in a February 1951 Numismatist ad, listing 1897 Morgan dollars for sale at $7.50 apiece.

The 1897 was also represented in the Redfield Hoard of Morgan dollars. In the August 1976 issue of The Numismatist, coin dealer Joel Rettew advertised that he was selling Gem BU examples of the 1897 Morgan dollar from the Redfield Hoard for $16.50. Paramount offered MS60 examples for $16 each in its June 1978 Numismatist ad.

Top Population: PCGS MS67+ (10, 3/2024), NGC MS67+ (1, 3/2024), and CAC MS67 (14:1 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

The PCGS population of MS67 coins has increased from 16 with none finer in 2007 to 75 with 10 finer in March 2024. The PCGS MS67+ population has increased from three coins in July 2023 to 10 coins in March 2024. The NGC population of MS67 coins has increased from 11 in June 2013 to 16 with one finer as of March 2024.

  • PCGS MS67+ #49016009: Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2024, Lot 4197 – View. Brilliant. Small copper spot below the eye. Light clash images on the reverse.
  • NGC MS67+ #5749024-008: Heritage Auctions, September 18, 2020, Lot 3662 – $10,500. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #82973158: Heritage Auctions, April 28, 2017, Lot 4771 – $23,500. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67 #45444273: Stack’s Bowers, August 18, 2023, Lot 6442 – $4,080. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67 #47970749: Stack’s Bowers, August 18, 2023, Lot 6443 – $4,560. Gold, red, and blue toning on the obverse.
  • PCGS MS67 #42780436: Stack’s Bowers, August 17, 2021, Lot 3377 – $3,840. Darkly toned.
  • PCGS MS67 #25028066: Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2021, Lot 5406 – $5,520. Brilliant, light rim toning.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #50089735: “The Larry H. Miller Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, November 12, 2020, Lot 6372 – $8,400.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #50143198: Heritage Auctions, April 28, 2017, Lot 4770 – $9,400.
  • NGC MS67 #4201986-001: Stack’s Bowers, July 2015, Lot 4608 – Passed; Stack’s Bowers, April 1, 2016, Lot 17574 – $8,000 Reserve Not Met. Dark, but vivid rainbow obverse toning in green and purple. Diagonal line across toning. Reverse brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #25238371: Heritage Auctions, December 4, 2014, Lot 3688 – $10,868.75. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS66+PL CAC #25307493: Heritage Auctions, June 5, 2014, Lot 4706 – $9,400.
  • PCGS MS66DMPL #34464629: “The David T. Miller #1 PCGS Registry Set of DMPL/PL Morgan Dollars with Varieties,” Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2024, Lot 4662 – $15,000. DT Miller on insert.
  • PCGS MS66DMPL #46504178: Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2023, Lot 3139 – $18,000. Brilliant. Devices lightly frosted.
  • NGC MS66DPL #5743592-005: Heritage Auctions, December 5, 2019, Lot 3217 – $10,200; Heritage Auctions, June 4, 2020, Lot 3122 – $9,000.
  • PCGS MS66DMPL #3569790: Stack’s, October 1999, Lot 435; “The Carson Silver Collection,” Heritage Auctions, July 31, 2009, Lot 1180 – $13,800; Heritage Auctions, December 4, 2009, Lot 1115 – $18,400. Naples II on insert. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS65DMPL CAC #18717183: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 14, 2020, Lot 263 – $1,821.25.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1897
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 2,822,000
Alloy: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 26.73 g
Diameter: 38.10 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: George T. Morgan
REV Designer: George T. Morgan
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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