Silver dollars are one of the most collectible coins on the market and a big part of any serious coin collection. We have all the U.S. silver dollars for sale including from most recent to oldest. Check out specific coins by clicking on the links, or random dollars of all types are listed at the bottom of this page.
The history of the U.S. silver dollar is a fascinating journey through time, reflecting the economic, political, and cultural evolution of the United States. From its humble beginnings in the late 18th century to its enduring presence in the numismatic world today, the silver dollar has played a pivotal role in shaping American history. This article delves into the intricate tapestry of events that led to the creation and evolution of the U.S. silver dollar.
The Birth of the Silver Dollar
The genesis of the U.S. silver dollar can be traced back to the Coinage Act of 1792, a landmark legislation that established the U.S. Mint and regulated coinage. The act mandated the creation of various denominations, including the silver dollar. The original design, known as the Flowing Hair dollar, featured a Liberty figure with flowing tresses on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. Minted in 1794 and 1795, this early rendition marked the inception of the silver dollar in American currency.
Draped Bust and the Heraldic Eagle
In 1795, the design of the silver dollar underwent a transformation with the introduction of the Draped Bust motif, portraying a more refined and mature Lady Liberty. This design continued until 1804, with intermittent minting due to disruptions caused by the yellow fever epidemic and a shortage of silver bullion. During this period, the reverse side featured a heraldic eagle, a symbol of the fledgling nation’s strength and unity.
The Mysterious Hiatus: 1804-1836
Strangely, no silver dollars were minted between 1804 and 1836. The reasons behind this hiatus are shrouded in mystery and have spurred numerous numismatic legends. One theory suggests that the government halted production due to a surplus of Spanish-owned silver dollars circulating in the country. Another posits that diplomatic gifts of silver dollars to foreign dignitaries in 1804 exhausted the Mint’s supply. Regardless of the cause, the silver dollar vanished from circulation for over three decades.
The Gobrecht Dollar and the Resumption of Minting
In 1836, Mint Director Robert M. Patterson, in collaboration with Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht, introduced the Gobrecht Dollar. This coin featured a Liberty seated figure on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse, accompanied by the inscription “Gobrecht Dollar.” Despite being produced as patterns and not for general circulation, the Gobrecht Dollar laid the groundwork for the Seated Liberty design that would follow.
Seated Liberty and the Westward Expansion
The Seated Liberty silver dollar, introduced in 1840, marked a departure from previous designs. The obverse showcased a seated Liberty figure, symbolizing national stability, while the reverse featured a majestic eagle. This design endured for several decades, witnessing the tumultuous events of the mid-19th century, including the Mexican-American War and the California Gold Rush. The silver dollar became a symbol of the nation’s westward expansion and economic growth.
Trade Dollars and the International Market
In the 1870s, the United States Mint issued Trade Dollars in response to increased trade with Asia. These coins, slightly heavier than the standard silver dollar, were intended for export and aimed at competing with the Mexican peso in the Chinese market. The Trade Dollar featured a seated Liberty on the obverse and an agricultural wreath on the reverse, underscoring the economic ties between agriculture and commerce.
The Morgan Dollar: An Iconic Symbol of American Coinage
The most iconic and enduring silver dollar design emerged in 1878 with the introduction of the Morgan Dollar. Named after its designer, Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan, this coin featured a Liberty head on the obverse and an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch on the reverse. The Morgan Dollar captured the spirit of the American West, reflecting the nation’s mining boom and industrial growth. Its production continued until 1904, with a final striking in 1921.
The Peace Dollar: A Symbol of Post-War Optimism
After a brief hiatus, the U.S. Mint introduced the Peace Dollar in 1921 as a tribute to the end of World War I. Designed by sculptor Anthony de Francisci, the Peace Dollar depicted a serene Lady Liberty on the obverse and a majestic eagle perched on a rock on the reverse. This design symbolized the hope for lasting peace and prosperity in the post-war era. The Peace Dollar was minted until 1935 and remains a favorite among collectors for its historical significance and artistic beauty.
The history of the U.S. silver dollar is a captivating narrative that mirrors the ebb and flow of American history. From the inaugural Flowing Hair dollar to the enduring legacy of the Morgan and Peace dollars, these coins have not only borne the weight of commerce but have also encapsulated the aspirations, triumphs, and challenges of a growing nation. Today, these silver dollars stand as cherished artifacts, connecting us to the rich tapestry of America’s past and serving as enduring symbols of numismatic artistry and historical significance.
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|$36.00 (14 bids)|
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|$70.99 (20 bids)|
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|$64.43 (12 bids)|
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|$38.00 (10 bids)|
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|$610.00 (29 bids)|
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