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Trying to find out what your silver dollar is worth?
Many silver dollars are rare and valuable. Others… not so much.
So how can you tell valuable silver dollars apart from those that are worth only face value (or maybe just worth their silver content)?
Think You Found A Silver Dollar Worth Money?
For most of us, silver dollars come into our lives in a variety of interesting ways:
- Some receive a silver dollar as a gift or inheritance from an older loved one, friend, or neighbor.
- In many other cases, someone finds old silver dollars in a dresser, closet, or attic.
- Some employees even get them as tips from their customers.
Regardless, most people who come across silver dollars want to know what they’re worth — I mean, what they’re really worth.
So here you go…
Early Silver Dollar Values (1794-1877)
The first official United States silver dollars were made in 1794, and they were made in spurts throughout the 19th century until the first Morgan dollar was minted in 1878.
Let’s look at the pre-1878 silver dollars and what they’re worth…
Flowing Hair & Draped Bust Dollar Values
The most famous of these silver dollars is the 1804 Draped Bust dollar — which is known as “the King of American coins” and worth more than $1 million!
Liberty Seated Dollar Values
After a decades-long hiatus beginning in 1804, the U.S. Mint began striking silver dollars for circulation in 1840. This new design incorporated the Liberty Seated design — which features a portrait of a seated Miss Liberty on the obverse (head’s side) and an eagle on the reverse (tail’s side).
These coins were struck until 1873, and all are scarce. Liberty Seated dollar values range from about $250 for well-worn condition on into the thousands of dollars for uncirculated specimens.
Trade Dollar Values
In the late 19th century, new avenues of trade were opening up between Asia and the United States, and this meant more goods from China being brought into America. To pay for these goods, the U.S. government created a special type of silver dollar created for paying these merchants. Thus, the Trade dollar was born in 1873.
Not designed for expansive use in United States commerce, Trade dollars were largely shipped overseas and saw limited use and restricted legal tender status in the U.S.
Trade dollars were struck for circulation until 1878, with limited-edition pieces for collectors dated as late as 1885. All Trade dollars are generally worth $125 and up.
Morgan Silver Dollar Values (1878-1904, and 1921)
One of the most popular of all silver dollars is the Morgan dollar — struck from 1878 through 1904 and once more in 1921.
By far most Morgan dollars are common in circulated grades and generally worth less than $50 in heavily worn condition. But there are some that are worth a whole lot more:
- All “CC” Morgan dollars — Values range from $150 and up
- 1893-S Morgan dollars — Worth $4,500+
- 1895 Morgan dollar (no mintmark) — Values of $30,000 and more
- 1895-O Morgan dollar — Worth $300+
- 1895-S Morgan dollar — Valued at $550+
- 1903-O Morgan dollar — Worth $275+
- 1903-S Morgan dollar — Values of $240+
Where do you find the letter on Morgan dollars?
Trying to determine if you’ve got a “CC” Morgan dollar from the Carson City Mint? Or one with an “S” or “O” from San Francisco and New Orleans, respectively? Or no letter at all (Philadelphia Mint)?
Just flip your Morgan dollar over to reveal its back and look for the mintmark (or lack thereof).
Look at the space near the bottom of the reverse between the wreath and the letters “D” and “O” of “DOLLAR.” See anything there? That’s where the mintmark is on the Morgan dollar — which the U.S. Mint facility that made the coin.
Peace Dollar Values (1921-1935)
While the Peace dollar debuted in 1921, the most common dates are 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, and 1926 — those are all worth around $25 to $40 in circulated condition.
The Peace dollar ran until 1935, and all dates from 1927 on are worth significantly more, with values ranging from $40 and up. The most valuable of these later dates include:
- 1928 Peace dollar — Worth $250+
- 1934-D doubled die Peace dollar — Value of $100+
- 1934-S Peace dollar — Trades for $70+
Where do you find the letter on Peace dollars?
You’ll find the mintmark on Peace dollars (if there is one) on the reverse — just to the left of the eagle’s tail feathers and below “ONE” of “ONE DOLLAR.”
The “D” and “S” stand for the Denver Mint and San Francisco Mint, respectively. No mintmark means the Peace dollar was minted at the Philadelphia Mint.
How Much Are 1921 Silver Dollars Worth?
Probably the most common question people ask about old silver dollars is, “How much is a 1921 silver dollar worth?”
So, are 1921 silver dollars valuable?…
Yes, they are — but that’s not necessarily the reason so many people ask about them. Rather, it’s because the 1921 silver dollar is one of the most commonly encountered silver dollars.
There are two kinds of 1921 silver dollar — one is super valuable (worth more than $100) and the other really isn’t:
- Common 1921 Morgan dollar: Shows a curly haired Miss Liberty on the obverse and an eagle inside a wreath on the reverse. These silver dollars are usually worth $25 to $50 in worn condition.
- Valuable 1921 Peace dollar: The image of Miss Liberty on this coin roughly resembles the head of the Statue of Liberty, while the back shows an eagle perched on a rock. It’s totally distinguishable from a 1921 Morgan dollar and is worth around $100 or more, even in well-worn condition.
Modern Silver Dollar Values (1971-Present)
You may be surprised to find out that there’s very little silver in any of the “silver” dollars minted for circulation since 1971. In fact, most dollar coins struck by the U.S. Mint since 1971 contain no silver at all.
Let’s take a closer look at this and find out which of these modern circulating dollar coins contain silver and what these coins are worth…
Eisenhower Dollar Values (1971-1978)
Eisenhower dollars were made from 1971 through 1978 and the vast majority struck in copper-nickel clad.
Here’s what to look for on your “Ike” dollars:
- Unless your Eisenhower dollar has an “S” mintmark under the head of Dwight Eisenhower, it is not silver and is usually worth only a few cents more than face value in circulated condition. Feel free to spend these.
- Not all “S” mintmark Eisenhower dollars are made from silver though — and even then it’s a 40% silver content, not 90% like with earlier silver dollars.
- How do you tell a silver Eisenhower dollar? It has no orange band around the edge of the coin and weighs around 24.59 grams when weighed on a coin scale. These 40% silver Eisenhower dollars are typically worth around $8 to $12 each.
- Most 1776-1976 Bicentennial dollars are worth $1.05 to $1.20 each. They’re extremely common and are worth big bucks in pristine uncirculated condition.
Susan B. Anthony Dollar Values (1979-1981, and 1999)
The Susan B. Anthony dollar was minted from 1979 through 1981 and once more in 1999.
These coins are very common, even though you don’t find them floating around in circulation much. Most are worth only face value if worn and are safe to spend.
However, there are some valuable Susan B. Anthony dollars that are worth looking for:
- 1979-P Near Date Susan B. Anthony dollar — Worth around $15 and up, the so-called “near date” 1979-P Susan B. Anthony dollar shows a much thicker rim than ordinary 1979-P dollars.
- 1981 Susan B. Anthony dollars — These weren’t produced for circulation, but some managed to get out into the wild anyway. They don’t generally bring a premium if worn, but they’re worth closer to $1.75 and up in uncirculated condition — more than the $1.05 to $1.10 uncirculated 1979 and 1980 Susan B. Anthony dollars normally fetch.
Other U.S. Dollar Coin Values (2000-Present)
All circulating U.S. dollar coins dated 2000 or later are made from a gold-colored manganese-brass composition and look nothing like any of the dollar coins made by the U.S. Mint for commerce in earlier years.
These newer dollar coins are very common and worth only face value. Therefore, you can feel comfortable spending them as money.
However, the following dollar coins are worth more than face value:
- Mule dollars — In 2000, the U.S. Mint accidentally made with the head of a 50 State Quarter and the tail of a Sacagawea dollar! This extremely rare error known as a mule coin has sold for more than $100,000!
- Godless dollars — Some Presidential dollars lack the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” in the edge lettering, and these errors are worth around $50 to $100!
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!