Morgan Dollars Simply Aren’t Worth Much Anymore

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Ana Silverbell, May 14, 2021.

  1. Ana Silverbell

    Ana Silverbell Well-Known Member

    I normally do not allow myself to be drawn into those "Ads" that entice you look at a list of "The 10 Most Overrated Bands in Rock History," or "Adorably Ferocious Beast Sneaks Up on Photographer." You page through a picture and caption of mostly mindless babble so I rarely take the bate. On this occasion, I could not help myself. This one was entitled, "These Collectible Items Simply Aren’t Worth All That Much Anymore." The click-bate picture was a Morgan dollar so how could I resist. I had to see what the Ad said. After looking at Antique Train Sets, Beanie Babies, Modern Star Wars toys, and Norman Rockwell Collector plates, to name a few, I finally arrived at the "Morgan Dollars."

    The caption said, "When mentioning the word Morgan Dollars to a grandparent, their eyes might just light up a little. These valuable coins came into circulation two centuries ago, and demand for them in the 1920’s was incredibly high. Unfortunately, as supply increased, their value dropped exponentially. These days, you’re more likely to earn a decent return from selling your grandmother’s silver set than trying to get a seller willing to fork out a couple of dollars. Nevertheless, it is still an important part of history."

    I was incredulous: "fork out a couple of dollars"??!! I wanted to contact the writer and say, "If you have any Morgan dollars, I will buy them all for a 'couple of dollars' each." Is the non-collector world really that clueless? Just thought I would share this with you.
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I remember hearing about how Morgans weren't that collectable not too long ago. Then all of the sudden, they were "the hot thing".

    Morgan dollars, IMO, are not a great set. The design just isn't that great.

    I honestly think the series is overrated and I couldn't see myself spending more than a few dollars (over melt) for any Morgan.

    I know my opinion is a very small minority here and many places.
  4. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    You got it exactly right, it's click-bait. They get paid by the eyeball, so they don't have to be accurate, they just have to lure you in.

    I'd gladly pay $2 for a "two-century old Morgan". Or maybe not, since they didn't exist two centuries ago.

    I thought Morgan's were cool when I got back into the hobby in the 1980's and they were being heavily promoted but I'm largely over them now.
  5. Matthew Kruse

    Matthew Kruse Young Numismatist

    I believe Morgan dollars are the most collected set of US coins. If a few bucks means $20+, then he is right. :p

    The author of the article you read is a writer, not a collector. He is being paid to write and doesn’t care if the facts are correct or not.
    GeorgeM likes this.
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I'm not a big Morgan fan; I don't like them as much as other silver coins. HOWEVER, I know that there are plenty of collectors who do, and I know where to sell them for a substantial premium over melt. So, yeah, I'd be perfectly happy to buy them for a few bucks apiece, too. :rolleyes:
    Matthew Kruse likes this.
  7. Ana Silverbell

    Ana Silverbell Well-Known Member

    I was a bit amused by the sentence, "Unfortunately, as supply increased, their value dropped exponentially." If anything, 270,232,722 were melted (1918 Pittman Act), and periodic rises in silver prices caused others to be melted I am told. Hoards that were discovered may have softened prices for certain years/mints but GSA hoard just made collecting more interesting. I personally like the Morgan dollar (probably why they got me to click) but I understand why some people do not.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  8. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Looking on e-bay, holed and "below cull" Morgans are above $30
    coin dog and GeorgeM like this.
  9. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Casual Collector / error expert "in Training "

    I only have 2 . Anymore questions ?
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Two what?
  11. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    I believe the biggest plus of Morgan dollars, and the thing that puts them apart from other sets, is that they are extremely affordable in low-mid MS grades compared to other series.

    For the price of an MS64 1877 (common date) Seated Quarter, you could buy almost a whole roll of common date MS63 Morgans. That's why I tended to buy them when I first started out, even though the design is mediocre IMO. I always liked having old BU coins for cheap, and why buy circulated Morgans at $35 when you can get MS examples for $10-$15 more?

    Also, despite what I just said above, Morgan Dollars are one of the hardest sets to complete. There are so many tough and key dates in the series that you need to have both a strong budget and a lot of time on your hands to work on one, even for lower grades. Unless you are Jeff Bezos or a very wealthy and determined YN, chances are you will not have the time or money to show up on the top of the registry.

    New collectors are better off making a date set, as most dates (aside the 1893 and 1895) are relatively affordable if you pick the right mintmark. An date set of Morgans is affordable in MS other than the before mentioned dates. You can even branch out into toned and DMPL coins (two more outstanding features of Morgan dollars).
  12. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    Articles like that are pure click bait for people who think they know it all and have short attentions spans. An intelligent person would dig deeper and learn the Morgan dollar set having 100+ examples and types, all in varying conditions and from different mints, covers a broad range of values. For a broad range of reasons. Some worth more than that writer will make in the next 20 years.
    But, there's people out there that will read that article and feel they've learned all there is to know about Morgan dollars. A morgan is a morgan is a morgan. They're all the same tarnished 1921 found in a box in grandpas stuff. Sure.
    GeorgeM likes this.
  13. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    If you lack the knowledge to distinguish a G4 1887 Morgan from an MS65 1893, this perspective makes some sense.

    Before interest in Morgan Dollars spiked in the 1960s, high-grade MS examples were widely available and anything less than XF for most dates traded at a small markdown from its silver value (if it wasn't just deposited at the bank). After the silver bubble of the 1980s, high grade examples were no longer being marketed (as the supppy had largely been absorbed by collectors already). Well circulated examples of common dates took their place on the mass market.

    I think we can agree that a common date cull doesn't have the same investment value as a high-grade key date, can't we?

    As someone who works estate sales, I can vouch for other declines in value (& that the author's perspective on Morgans is flat out wrong). Just about all the other things that were widely pushed on collectors in the 1970s & 1980s are worth a fraction of their original sales price. Beanie Babies, Precious Moments figurines, comic books, etc. The things that have appreciated tend to be the things that no one was collecting, creating a scarcity.

    If you want to draw conclusions for long term investment... well, there are vaults full of other "bland" and unloved dollars right now. How long is your investment timeline though?
    Ana Silverbell likes this.
  14. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Well-Known Member

    Morgans first drew me into coins over 40 years ago and I still love them today. It’s been a nearly lifelong journey to have a complete set with all the major recognized varieties. I have them all except 93s and no proofs, but I have handful that I am always on the lookout for an upgrade. I find all the extremely subtle die differences, die cracks, mint mark screws up, rusted dies, polished dies, etc, etc.... fascinating.
    Morgandude11 and GeorgeM like this.
  15. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    You tell me. While they're dropping in and out of here every day seeking appraisals on the value of coins they found in some parking lot with strange shapes on them that resemble their Aunt Emma or some such thing but aren't yet on Variety Vista. "Is this an error? I've never seen this before. It looks like my grandfather's pet poodle. How much is it worth?" Then they get pissed. Then we fire back at them only to have the do-gooders come on and defend them. And then you as a member come on and ask a question like this, and you expect a serious answer. Here's your answer. They're not only clueless, we're so clueless we encourage them on from the minute they drop in, poor little dumb things...
  16. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Morgans not that collectible, or not hot anymore?

    COOPER12 likes this.
  17. Ana Silverbell

    Ana Silverbell Well-Known Member

    I see you clicked your way through the Ad. Haha :)

    ... and then sell their Morgan dollars to us for a couple bucks. I jest but this reminds me also of the silver bug who went around offering people on the street their choice between a silver round with an ounce of silver or a standard Hershey's chocolate bar. The results were astonishing.
  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Big and cheap is always a formula for popular.

    I would disagree here. While its not cheap and the 93S is expensive in any grade, there's no real show stoppers like many of the other series of the time period and earlier have. If you look at the seated or barber series there's a lot of them that have coins that are 5 figures in any grade which just isn't doable for the vast majority of collectors. Even if they could save up long enough for them very few people who aren't wealthy would be comfortable spending that much on a single coin
    YoloBagels likes this.
  19. Doc J

    Doc J Mr. Brightside

    The Morgan is my best and only silver hobby collection. I enjoy them for their particular design.
    Ana Silverbell and Morgandude11 like this.
  20. COOPER12

    COOPER12 Well-Known Member

    This is not true , I think it's the opposite . LCS are having a run on them . Both places I went to today said any Carson City and any GSA there rasing prices on and people are eating up alot of there inventory on Morgans in general.
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  21. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Didja ever hear of a rhetorical question...
    eddiespin likes this.
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