The Glorious Story of the American Silver Dollar Coins and their Value Now
What is your perception of money, now and if it didn’t exist? What would we use to express value for transactions? What legal tender would we use? There was a time in global history were barter trade was the way to go. Due to apparent weaknesses in barter trade, merchants decided to use precious gems and stones as the item to value in transactions. This then ushered in the era of precious metals such as gold and silver. Ultimately, money became what is now the globally used legal tender. To wind the clock just a bit, the precious metal craze was still at play between 1700 to 1930 when American dollar coins were made of silver. These coins provided the balance between art, value and the money function. It is because of this that collectors highly value these coins.
Silver has been used in making coins for the longest time possible. Just after independence, The US government was using silver as the standard of minting, taking into account the country had vast deposits of the metal. At the time, the US mint pressed precious metals to make coins as it was thought that the value of the eventual coin was guaranteed by the metal that was used. After some years of pressing gold in the parts of the 1700s and 1800s, silver was called upon again to make coins, these time making the Morgan dollar and Peace dollar.
The Morgan dollar was the product of the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 which allowed for bimetal minting. The silver dollar coin, in this case, had its design developed by George Morgan, a Brit who worked in the American mint. Its upper side has the Lady of Liberty’s head, The ‘From Many, One’ motto, the pressing year and thirteen stars marking the initial thirteen colonies. Its reverse has an eagle holding arrows and olive branch as a sign of strength in war and peace. Based on its design, the Morgan dollar coin is a mix of history and modernity.
After the first world war, the Peace dollar was pressed with a new model. Its name was to serve as a commemoration of the triumph experienced in the First World War by the US. Its upper side has the engraving of the lady of liberty with a radiant crown, the US motto (In God We Trust) and the pressing date. The reverse side has an eagle carrying an olive branch in the sun’s rays, The US motto-From Many, One and a mint mark from the respective mint. Peace dollars are not silver dollar coins that you come across often and so as a collector, they are gems to have.
To wrap it up, the increase of silver expenses around the late 1920s marked the end of silver as a coinage metal in American currency history. Silver dollar coins today hold value because of the metal they are pressed on. Therefore, as a collector, it wouldn’t hurt to have some silver dollar coins in your collection.