Quick Newbie Question re Silver Dollars

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by IdleHands, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. IdleHands

    IdleHands New Member

    I'm putting together a gift for someone who lost an inherited silver dollar collection many years ago (it was stolen). All I know is that it contained a variety of different types of circulated US Silver Dollars dated mid to late 1800s. Looking for such coins locally, all I can find in that date range is Morgan coins. Are there other types of US silver dollars in that date range? Thanks.
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  3. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    Well, both the seated dollars and trade dollars were minted into the 1870's.
    Trade dollars were made to facilitate trade with the orient, be careful purchasing them, there are many fakes. A word of caution, (since I assume you are new to silver dollars) buy from a trusted source or buy certified coins....there are many fakes in all series, and coins that have been cleaned or otherwise tampered with that may look good to an inexperienced eye, but they are not good deals.
    Welcome to CT and the wonderful world of coins!
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  4. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Morgan dollars were struck from 1878 through 1921 with a big gap from 1905 through 1920.
    Trade dollars were struck from 1873 through 1885.
    IdleHands likes this.
  5. IdleHands

    IdleHands New Member

    I found some Morgans at local bullion dealers and purchased them for little more than the silver value. Do trade dollars have more collector's value? So much more that they would not be sold as bullion?
    YoloBagels likes this.
  6. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    Trade dollars sell for a much bigger premium, generally over a $100, and the price goes up from there. Circulated Morgans are relatively inexpensive because they made vast numbers of them.
  7. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    Trade dollars hold a fairly large collectors premium over morgan dollars, they usually sell for several times higher than morgans and almost always pass the $100 mark. If you are seeing trade dollars at silver value it is likely that they are forgeries.
  8. IdleHands

    IdleHands New Member

    I think I will gift just Morgans this time, and maybe add trade dollars as future gifts. When shopping for trade dollars, what's the best way to avoid forgeries?
  9. manny9655

    manny9655 Well-Known Member

    That's a great question and it is not easy to answer, but to start off, and I am not being a smart-you-know-what here, two working eyes and a working brain--and a magnifying glass. And a scale if you have one. The weights on the fakes are usually wrong. Surfaces often look pitted or "Pimply" indicating they had been cast and not struck. Many fakes that are made of base metal will stick to a magnet whereas silver will not. That's just for starters. Anything that looks "off" should be a red flag. Experience is a good teacher, too.
    kkm, capthank and IdleHands like this.
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Best way would be to go to good dealers and buy from them. Unless you want to become an expert in coins and coin forgeries. There is an old saying in numismatics, "if you don't know the coin, know the dealer". Good dealers will vet out the coins and ensure they only sell real coins.

    Trade and Seated Liberty dollars are some of the most common fakes out there. Even I, who have been collecting for 40 years, would have to stop and reeducate myself on the series, before I would buy uncertified examples unless I really trusted the dealer.
    imrich, kkm, manny9655 and 3 others like this.
  11. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    Several services will authenticate and grade coins. PCGS, NGC, ANACS, and ICG, are generally considered reliable. Buying coins in their holders gives good, though not perfect, protection against fakes.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  12. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    No amount of coins can replace the stolen ones but it is a fine gesture best of luck in your search.
    Kentucky, Garlicus and IdleHands like this.
  13. John Johnson

    John Johnson Well-Known Member

    You might think about adding a Peace Dollar or two (my favorite). They were first produced in 1921, later than what you were asking about, but they are very nice silver dollars and can still be found in the same price range as morgans.
    IdleHands and capthank like this.
  14. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    The best way is to study real and fake trade dollars, then only buy certified coins with pictures you can verify on the TPG sites, and only from dealers with a long track record of standing behind what they sell. The worst way is to take an eBay/CraigsList/flea market seller's word for it that their raw Trade dollar is real. There's lots of room in between those two approaches.
    manny9655 and IdleHands like this.
  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is a review of the designs.

    Seated Liberty, No Motto, 1840 to 1866

    1862 Dollar O.jpg 1862 Dollar R.jpg

    Liberty Seated With Motto (In God We Trust) 1866 - 1873. The Liberty Seated Dollars are much more difficult to locate than the Morgan Dollars.

    1869 Dollar O.jpg 1869 Dollar R.jpg

    Morgan Dollars 1878 - 1921 (no coins from 1905 to 1920) There are some minor design changes noted while these coins were issued.

    1878-CC Dol O.jpg 1878-CC Dol R.jpg

    Peace Dollar 1921 - 1935, no coins 1929 to 1933

    1923DollarO.JPG 1923 Dollar R.jpg

    Trade Dollar 1873 - 1885

    1877 S Trade Dol O.jpg 1877 S Trade Dol R.jpg

    Beware of counterfeits. The Chinese have copied all of these coins. You should buy coins only from knowledgable, honest dealers.
  16. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Btw OP, I would think the coins that were lost would have been all Morgans. I have had similar recollections by others. I had an uncle who swore he had a bunch of silver dollars from the early and mid 1800s. One day he dug them out and showed me and they were all Morgans from 1878 on.

    People have a way of misremembering. Non-collectors think that the older the coin is, the more valuable and important. Collectors know this is false, so do not attach much weight to the date. However, non-collectors see 1880 and think that is really old, then in their mind somehow make them older and older to make them more "important".

    In other words, I think the Morgans are a great idea, and its highly likely that unless he was a collector those are what were lost. Morgan's are 100/1000 times more common than the other older silver dollars.
    kkm, manny9655, johnmilton and 2 others like this.
  17. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Your questions should have been answered in the above posts. There is excellent and accurate information there.

    It's extremely kind of you to do what you are doing. Nothing can replace what was stolen but this comes as close as anything possible.

    Welcome to CT and best wishes.
    Garlicus, medoraman and IdleHands like this.
  18. IdleHands

    IdleHands New Member

    Since he says he had a variety, I suspect he had some from the 1900s. i think it is easier to misremember the date range than to think mistakenly that he had different types.
  19. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Just about every Morgan Dollar and most of the Peace Dollars have varieties.
    YoloBagels likes this.
  20. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    I admire your goal to give a friend back some memories. Good job and I wish you luck, and BTW Welcome to our neighborhood. Lots of good people here can help in your endeavor.
    YoloBagels likes this.
  21. manny9655

    manny9655 Well-Known Member

    This is true of postage stamps as well. I used to deal in them. There are lots of stamps that old and older that are worth less than $1.00. Plus, there are quite a few ancient coins that can be had for less than $50. Age does not necessarily equal value or rarity.
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