1889 Silver Dollar Value and Prices

The Philadelphia Mint struck 21,726,000 silver dollars in 1889, making it the year with the most coins produced between 1878 and 1904. These coins are less widespread than you might think because most of them were melted due to the 1918 Pittman Act and the 1942 Silver Act.

This coin is typically available in all circulated grades, including extremely fine and about uncirculated ones. However, finding a profoundly frosty dollar coin with a sharp strike can take time and effort. The big question is how to calculate the 1889 silver dollar value. Let’s take a look.

About The Morgan Silver Dollar

1889 Silver Dollar

The Morgan Silver Dollar is sought after by collectors and non-collectors and is arguably the most recognizable US coin ever produced. Because of the coin’s distinctive design and actual silver content, the popularity of the Morgan Dollar has only increased in recent years.

After the Bland-Allison Act was passed in 1873, the US mint started purchasing the silver required to produce new silver dollars. This deed gave the mint the green light to start creating the Morgan Silver Dollar.

George T. Morgan, an assistant engraver at the US Mint, created the Morgan Dollar. It was first issued in 1878, and due to a lack of silver, the series was discontinued in 1904. It made a brief comeback in 1921 after the mint had acquired enough silver to keep churning out silver dollars before being finally substituted by the Peace Dollar.

The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is displayed above the Lady Liberty bust on the obverse of the Morgan Dollar. The date appears below Lady Liberty, encircled by tiny stars that spread around the coin’s rim.

The Morgan Dollar’s reverse has the well-known image of an eagle holding arrows and an olive branch in its claws, surrounded by a wreath. The phrases “One Dollar” and “United States of America” can be seen around the rims of the reverse. The expression “In God We Trust” can be seen right above the eagle’s head but below the other mottos close to the coin’s edges.

History of the 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1889 Morgan Dollar was produced in Philadelphia and had a total production run of around 21,726,000 pieces. The 1889 coins were struck in significant quantities, making them the second-most coins created in a year behind those manufactured in 1921.

The 1889 Morgan Dollar’s widespread use in trade and high popularity account for most of its large mintage. Since they could be readily utilized with slot machines and table games, these silver dollars were commonly used in Las Vegas and other gambling cities. Because the casinos loved them so much, bets were made using Morgan Dollars rather than traditional casino chips.

Each 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar weighs 26.73 grams and is made of 90% silver and 10% copper. The 1889 Silver Dollar has a diameter of 38.1 mm or 1.5 inches. There are denticles and reeded edges on both the coin’s obverse and reverse. You can find all varieties of 1889 silver dollars on the market because four mints produced them:

  • Philadelphia, without a mint mark
  • New Orleans, with an O mint mark
  • San Francisco, with an S mint mark
  • Carson City, with a CC mint mark

Checking for the mint mark beneath the wreath on the reverse side will allow you to identify which coin you are holding quickly.

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar
San Francisco1889 S700,000$75+
New Orleans1889 O11,875,000$35+
Carson City1889 CC350,000$2,000+

SEE: 1972 Silver Dollar Value

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar Grading

Most coin collectors who hunt for 100-year-old coins will first examine their condition; the same is true of the 1889 silver dollar.

  • Uncirculated – This type of coin has a luster toned in vibrant colors and is free of wear and contact marks. Due to their rarity, these examples are highly collectible. An 1889 Morgan silver dollar in MS 60 grade can be purchased for around $50, while coins in MS 65 grade are worth between $200 and $1,350.

  • Extremely fine – Because this type of coin was only briefly in circulation, the only signs of usage are a few light scratches on the surface. Your approximate cost for such a piece will be $33.

  •  Fine – Coins that have been in use for a while will clearly show signs of wear. They are not severely damaged but are still in fairly decent condition. Most of them have an average value of $30 without a mint mark.

  •  Good – This is the lowest grade a coin can receive and still be regarded as a collectible. Such a coin has been in use for years and is typically unappealing and heavily scratched, with the contours of Lady Liberty only faintly discernible.

What is the 1889 Silver Dollar Worth?

1889 Silver Dollar Without A Mint Mark

 In 1889, 21,726,000 silver dollars were made in Philadelphia without a mint mark. On the current market, this coin will typically cost between $25 and $45 in average condition. Uncirculated coins are sometimes precious.

Remember that for Morgans, the average price means little because the condition is essential in this situation. In other words, you can earn about $200 for a piece in mint condition or less than $10 for one in poor condition.

Expect to get more than $3,000 for a proof coin that doesn’t have a mint mark and is in PR 63 condition. Since only 811 were produced in Philadelphia, they are moderately rare.

1889 S Silver Dollar

You might think that today’s Morgan coins are relatively uncommon, given that San Francisco only produced 700,000 in 1889. Most collectors also thought these coins were rare Morgan dollars, but this is not true.

Many uncirculated coins hit the market after the Treasury issued new coins in the late 1930s and 1950s. Even so, these coins are still in high demand in all grades. Various collectors desire coins with excellent luster because they are frequently well-struck and look great in collections.

Extremely fine pieces are widely available, but this mint did not produce proofs, and it can be challenging to find items in higher grades. If you have the patience, you can find an 1889 MS 64 silver dollar for $1,120. The highest bid at an auction was $16,450 for the most magnificent MS 66+ coin.

1889 O Silver Dollar

In 1889, 11,875,000 silver dollars were produced in New Orleans, most of which were made available for use. Some of these coins, though, were kept in Treasury storage for many years and only occasionally released as needed. These coins are easy to locate in lower grades, but it can be challenging to identify one that is well-struck and has a pleasing luster. After the Reserve bank got rid of some in the early 1960s, those dollars were returned and placed in a few bags.

So while you can pick up a desirable 1889 MS 63 silver dollar for $390, the MS 65 coin will set you back at least $2,800. One MS 66+ 1889 dollar was sold at auction for an astounding $44,650.

1888 CC Morgan Silver Dollar

Many CC Morgan silver dollars are in circulation, and collectors love them. However, one variety of the 1889 coins is scarce and collectible. Only 350,000 Morgans were made In Carson City, and that too only in the year’s second half. Since fewer of them remain today than when they first appeared more than a century ago, the remaining ones are expensive. 

Their rarity and inclusion in a popular series of American coins significantly increase their value. It will cost you around $3,500 if you are fortunate enough to find one in extremely good condition. For comparison, you should budget the same sum for one proof coin produced in the same year.

Even a coin in good condition with an 1889 CC mint mark will cost at least $1,590, but a coin in mint condition will cost you a fortune.

The most typical grades are MS 60 to MS 62, with little chance of coming across an MS 65 silver dollar on the market. The most expensive 1889 CC MS 65 silver dollar sold at auction for an astounding $881,250, while the average 1889 CC MS 65 silver dollar is worth over $280,000.

These dollars are rare in worn grades because so few were made available for use. To avoid purchasing a fake 1889 CC Morgan, exercise caution and always look for a certified piece.

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar Value By USA Coin Book
Quality18891889 S1889 O1889 CC
Very good$32$53$32$1,112
Very fine$44$70$44$1,360
Extra fine$46$86$46$3,239
About uncirculated$49$123$63$7,643
Mint state 60$59$312$206$26,726
Mint state 65$422$2,434$8,310$358,846
Proof 63$3,143///

SEE: Kennedy Half Dollar Value

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar VAM Varieties

Collectors refer to most Morgan Dollar dates with a minting-related error as VAM Varieties. These variations can significantly increase the value of a typical Morgan Dollar! There are some very significant VAM Varieties on the 1889 Morgan Dollar that you should search for.

The most popular 1889 VAMs are listed below, along with brief descriptions of each:

  • VAM-19A: This variety has a doubled reverse with a die split at the top of the right wing of the eagle.
  • VAM-28A: Displays a doubled ear and date slightly off a standard 1889 Morgan Dollar.
  • VAM-23A: The coin’s obverse has a tilted date and several clashes.

Keeping in mind that these variations are highly uncommon, there aren’t many 1889 Morgan Dollars with them. If you believe you have discovered one of these errors, take it to a renowned coin dealer for feedback. Consider sending it to a third-party grader for a qualified opinion as well.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing an 1889 Morgan silver dollar is an excellent investment because its price is stable and will only increase in value over time. The good thing is that their worth is independent of silver’s market price. Collectors are interested in purchasing this coin as a priceless piece of American history, even when the value of the precious metal declines.

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