You may also know them as the silver dollar, but the Morgan dollar has been a popular topic in the world of coin-collecting over the past century. Enthusiasts still trade them to this day, but what makes them so interesting? If you’re looking into buying and selling Morgan dollars at your local pawn shop in Rancho Cucamonga, Alta Loma, and Ontario, you should first know what you’re getting into.

The Return of the Morgan Dollar

To set a timeline for you, the Morgan dollar was first introduced to the public in 1878. It ran until 1904 and was brought back for a single year in 1921. As an exciting one-hundred-year anniversary gift, coin collectors were blessed with a 2021 return of the Morgan dollar. What does this mean for those looking to buy and trade these famous coins?

The 2021 Design

For its big return, the Morgan dollar came back with five different versions reminiscent of their original counterparts. The coin’s mint mark (the letter that defines where the coin originated) can be found just underneath the eagle on the reverse (or back) side which includes:

  • “D” for Denver
  • “CC” for Carson City
  • “S” for San Francisco
  • “O” for New Orleans
  • And no mark for Philadelphia

While the original coins were produced for circulation, the 2021 rerun has an uncirculated finish as it was created for collectors who recognize and admire the past Morgan dollar coins. Since it was brought back for collecting purposes, the composition has been enhanced to 99.9% pure silver. Other than the material, the design itself has stayed true to the first coins. The obverse features a profile view of Liberty wearing a flower crown, and the reverse proudly displays an eagle with a wreath of leaves just below it. The design by George T. Morgan (Mint Chief Engraver at the time) was meant to represent the country’s expansion into the west and its industrial evolution by the end of the 19th century.

Production Year(s)Composition
1878-1904 & 1921
  • 90% silver
  • 10% copper
202199.9% silver

The Quality of Older Morgan Dollars

It may be easy to find the value of newer Morgan dollars since they are very new, but older silver dollars are a completely different story. Existing coins have had many years to degrade which makes Mint State coins that much more rare and valuable. A majority of silver dollars are Fine grade or lower just because unless you’re making a conscious effort to maintain the condition, these coins are being used all over the place and are subject to rubbing and deteriorating. Considering this, the value of older Morgan dollars can go for around $40 on average. But if you’re lucky enough, your Morgan dollar could be worth thousands.

Where to Look For Signs of Wear

Because the level of protrusions on every Morgan dollar is the same, certain areas of the coin are more prone to wearing out than the rest of the coin. On the obverse, the areas that smooth out the most often are Liberty’s cheek, the refined parts of her hair, and the flower-like crown adorning her head. On the reverse, you’ll need to look out for the tips of the eagle’s wings as well as the tips of the leaves that make up the wreath just below the majestic bird.

Mint Mark Matters

The mint mark isn’t just an indicator of the location in which the coin is representing. It can also play a huge factor in how much the specific coin is worth. For instance, assuming the coins are in Good condition, a 1903 Morgan dollar from San Francisco may only be worth around $40 whereas a Morgan dollar of the same year but with a mint mark for New Orleans can be valued at nearly $300.

Dealing Coins At a Pawn Shop

Now that you understand all of the varying factors that make up the value of any particular Morgan dollar, there’s no telling what you’ll come across. If you own a silver dollar, it could be worth anywhere from $20 to $20,000. You may think that’s an exaggeration, but one of the most expensive Morgan dollars is the 1893 San Francisco in a Mint State for over $20k. The trick is to know what you have and to choose the best pawn shop in California.

When buying or selling silver dollars at a pawn shop in Rancho Cucamonga, Alta Loma, and Ontario, the level of expertise among the staff and how well they serve the community are huge factors in your final price. On top of knowing the anatomy of a coin and everything else that determines its value, you have to be able to trust who you’re working with. Reading the online reviews for a pawn shop before you go in can help you decide if it’s even worth the trip. The more 5-star reviews there are, the more likely they are to give you fair prices with excellent service.

Buy and Sell Coins at Central Mega Pawn!

Central Mega Pawn is by far the best place in the Rancho Cucamonga, Alta Loma, and Ontario areas for all of your coin-dealing needs. The staff is knowledgeable in everything there is to know about the coin-collecting industry so you can rest easy knowing that you’re in reliable hands. Central Mega Pawn constantly strives to be your number one choice when it comes to buying and selling any sort of valuables as a pawn shop that deals in general goods that cater to every type of individual. And with a constantly-rotating inventory, every day is a brand new day. Stop by any day of the week or call ahead at (909) 627-9622 for any questions you might have!