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Carson City Morgan Dollar: the US Treasure

Are you looking for a Carson City Morgan Dollar? Do you know its history and the reasons why this silver coin became legendary? Let’s take a look back at the political context, the creation of the Carson City mint, and the 1970s historic sales of the General Services Administration (GSA).

The political and historical context of Carson City Morgan dollars

Until 1964, the Americans could exchange paper money against a Silver Certificate, which could then be redeemed for silver coins, like the Morgan dollar. This silver certificate system was created in the United States in response to the discontent of the Free Silver movement and to reintroduce silver dollars. This citizens’ rally followed the Coinage Act of 1873, which ended bimetallism by demonetizing silver coinage.

Silver certificates stopped in 1964. At that time, Americans could only exchange their silver certificates for silver bullion. The U.S. Treasury had approximately 3 million coins left. This stock of old silver dollars was frozen and transferred to the West Point Silver Bullion Depository in New York pending the government’s decision.

The Carson City Morgan dollar mint

These silver coins were primarily minted in the Carson City workshop, an annex of the United States Mint located in Nevada. The mint was located near Comstock Lode, the legendary silver mine of the Wild West.

Dollar Morgan Carson City
©picryl by Historic American Buildings Survey

Established in 1863 during the height of the silver boom, but only operational from 1870 on, it operated until 1893. The silver coins were not really released as legal tender, but they rather resulted from political pressure of the Nevada silver mines’ owners.

The U.S. Treasury purchased millions of dollars of silver per month from the mine owners. They constituted large cash reserves.

The Carson City Nevada Mint produced 50 silver coinage and 57 golf coinage for 23 years, including the superb Morgan dollars, the most sought-after coins for worldwide numismatists. These coins were named after their engraver, Charles T. Morgan and bear the CC mint marks. The first Morgan Dollars minted in Carson City date back to 1878.

Here are the details of the coins minted in Carson City and their years of production.

Carson City silver coins

  • Seated Liberty One Dime Dollar Coin (1871-1878)
  • 20-cent dollar coin (1875-76)
  • Seated Liberty quarter dollar coin (1870-1878)
  • Seated Liberty half-dollar coin (1870-1878)
  • Seated Liberty one dollar coin (1870-1873)
  • Trade dollar coin (1873-1885)
  • Morgan dollar coin (1878-1893)

Carson City gold coins

  • Carson City gold coins
  • Eagle (1870-1884 and 1890-1893)
  • Double eagle (1870-1885 and 1889-1893)

The historical sales of the GSA Hoard

The mythical sales of the General Services Administration

In 1970, the U.S. Congress finally authorized the General Services Administration (GSA) to sell stored silver dollars to the public. Officials established a mail-in bid sales system. Minimum prices were established for each dollar, as well as quantity limits per buyer. Profits from the sales go to the national treasury.

The GSA held seven sales between 1972 and 1980 that generated approximately $100 million. The vintages of the Carson city dollars are 1878 CC, 1879 CC, 1880 CC, 1881 CC, 1882 CC, 1883 CC, 1884 CC, 1885 CC, 1890 CC, 1891 CC.

The CC Morgan dollar

The Morgan Silver Dollar series produced in Carson City is one of the most popular and sought-after American coinage due to its aesthetic quality, exceptional condition and the fascinating political history surrounding its creation.

Legend has it that British engraver George T. Morgan was inspired by the features of a young Philadelphia school teacher, Miss Anna W. Williams, to create the effigy of Miss Liberty. On the coin, she wears wheat and cotton in her hair, as well as the liberty cap, symbols of reconciliation between the Northern and Southern states. On the lapel, the American eagle holds the arrows of war and an olive branch, a symbol of peace.

In 2004, the grading company Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) graded the original GSA cases and holders with a sticker to authenticate them and provide additional expertise. Many of the original sets have been discarded over the years, making them all the rarer and prized by numismatic investors.

Collectors who are passionate about this story are primarily looking for Carson City Morgan silver one dollar coins in their original GSA full packaging, consisting of a black-blue interior box and accompanying card.

Original GSA packaging

In 2014, a Morgan dollar in its original GSA box was sold for $42,770.90! This is the record sale for a CC Morgan dollar. Its price, without the GSA box, is valued at $30,000. This GSA pedigree offers considerable premiums for numismatic collectors.

Carson City GSA silver dollars, a long-term numismatic investment

Over the past five decades, the U.S. government’s communication over this bank treasure played a major role in the rise of numismatics. These now ever-scattered coins have produced the strongest effect in the collectors’ minds and continue to appeal to numismatists.

Interest in Carson City GSA silver dollars continues to grow. The upcoming 50th anniversary of the launch of GSA’s first sale in 2022 plays a major role in this huge fame.

Find all GSA Carson City dollars on our store

Sources :
Asset Strategies International
Littleton Coin company
Austin Rare Coins

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