1878 Silver Dollar Price Guide & Charts

What Is the Value of an 1878 Silver Dollar? [Price Charts]

Steven Cochran
Published: February 24, 2021
Updated: March 03, 2021
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The Morgan silver dollar was introduced in 1878, to comply with the Bland-Allison Act. It would be struck annually from 1878 to 1904, then one last time in 1921.

Here is a value chart for all of the 1878 silver dollar varieties. Prices across different condition grades are included. Price charts for the individual coins can be found in each section below.

1878 Silver Dollar Price Chart

VarietyVery Fine (VF)Extremely Fine (XF/EF)About Uncirculated (AU)Mint State 61Mint State 63Mint State 65Auction Record
8 Tail Feathers$97$115$143$273$370$1,250$55,813
7/8 Tail Feathers Overstrike$54$68$92$266$370$1,940$15,010
7 Tail Feathers, Reverse of 1878$54$59$72$115$162$780$43,475
7 Tail Feathers, Reverse of 1879$54$58$70$273$390$1,970$37,600

Major 1878 Morgan Dollar Reverse Varieties

The Morgan dollar's design underwent two rapid changes its first year, before arriving at the appearance that it would bear for the rest of the series. All the changes happened on the reverse of the coin that was minted in Philadelphia. They are relatively easy to spot.

anna willess williams morgan silver dollar profile

Anna Willess Williams (left) was the model for the Morgan silver dollar design

  • Reverse 1: 8 Tail Feathers, flat breast on eagle, parallel arrow feather.
  • Transitional Reverse 2 (reverse of 1878): 7 Tail Feathers reverse struck over 8 Tail Feathers (7/8TF), flat breast on eagle, parallel arrow feather.
  • Reverse 2 (Reverse of 1878): 7 Tail Feathers, flat breast on eagle, parallel arrow feather.
  • Reverse 3 (Reverse of 1879): 7 Tail Feathers, rounded breast on eagle, slanted arrow feather.

Reverse 3 would be the standard Morgan dollar reverse from 1879 to 1904.


8 Tail Feathers (8TF):

  • Mintage: 749,500
  • First 1878 Morgan dollar released to the public
  • 8 Tail Feathers
  • Flat Eagle Breast
  • Parallel Arrow Feather
1878 8 tail feathers morgan silver dollar

1878 8TF Morgan dollar. Image: USA CoinBook

The 1878 8TF Morgan dollar is the first type of Morgan dollar. It is far scarcer than the 9.7 million "7 tail feathers" version released later the same year. This is reflected in the prices of each mintage. The 1878 8TF Morgan dollar can be found without much trouble, up to MS65. NGC and PCGS censuses show a combined total of just over 1,200 MS65, 105 MS66, twelve MS66+, two MS67, and a lone MS68 graded by PCGS.

1878 8TF Morgan Dollar Price Charts

Circulated Grades

Very Fine (VF) Extremely Fine (EF/XF) About Uncirculated (AU)
$97 $115 $143
Uncirculated (Mint State) Grades

Mint State 61 Mint State 63 Mint State 65 Auction Record (MS67)
$273 $370 $1,250 $55,813



1878 7/8TF Morgan Dollar Overstrikes

  • Mintage included in 1878 7TF (Reverse of 1878)
  • 7TF reverse hubbed on top of 8TF dies.
  • Tips of 8TF reverse visible under 7TF reverse
  • Flat Eagle Breast
  • Parallel Arrow Feather
1878 7 over 8 doubled tail feathers morgan silver dollar

1878 7/8TF Morgan dollar. Image: USA CoinBook

The 1878 7/8TF (7 over 8 Tail Feathers) Morgan dollars were created in March of that year, when existing First Reverse dies featuring an eagle with eight tail feathers were rehubbed using a seven tail feather, Second Reverse hub. This was done to prevent delays in Morgan dollar production while new dies were being prepared.

This stopgap measure resulted in the tips of the longest of the eight tail feathers showing beneath the new image of seven tail feathers. Most of the Morgans where this can be seen only show four of the original eight feathers. Those that clearly show five of the eight sell at a premium.

The clamor to replace the original " Eight Tail Feathers" Morgan dollar reverse put the US Mint in a bind. Until extra sets of dies could be prepared and sent to the branch mints in San Francisco and Carson City, Philadelphia alone had to shoulder the burden of turning $2 million of silver into silver dollars. (San Francisco and Carson City would get their dies in mid-April.)

1878 7/8TF Morgan Dollar Price Charts

Circulated Grades

Very Fine (VF) Extremely Fine (EF/XF) About Uncirculated (AU)
$54 $68 $92
Uncirculated (Mint State) Grades

Mint State 61 Mint State 63 Mint State 65 Auction Record (MS66)
$266 $370 $1,940 $15,010



7 Tail Feathers (7TF): Reverse of 1878

  • Mintage (all varieties): 9,759,300
  • "Second Reverse"
  • 7 Tail Feathers
  • Flat Eagle Breast
  • Parallel Arrow Feather
1878 7 tail feathers reverse of 1878 morgan silver dollar

1878 7TF (Rev. of '78) Morgan dollar. Image: USA CoinBook

The 1878 7TF Rev. of 78 (7 tail feathers, reverse of 1878) is the second, and most plentiful, of the four major varieties of 1878 Morgans struck in Philadelphia.

This second Morgan dollar reverse was created after public feedback on the original, eight tail feather design. Many people wrote in, saying that the bald eagle had an old number of tail feathers. In response, Mint Engraver George Morgan reworked the reverse die to give the eagle 7 tail feathers. He also took this opportunity to reduce the relief on both the obverse and reverse of the design. This is why the obverse of some 1878 7/8TF Morgan dollars show doubling on the obverse.

1878 7TF Rev. of '78 Morgan Dollar Price Charts

Circulated Grades

Very Fine (VF) Extremely Fine (EF/XF) About Uncirculated (AU)
$54 $59 $72
Uncirculated (Mint State) Grades

Mint State 61 Mint State 63 Mint State 65 Auction Record (MS66+)
$115 $162 $780 $43,475

How Many Tail Feathers Does A Bald Eagle Have, Anyway?

Despite the often-repeated myth about the Morgan dollar, the bald eagle does not have seven tail feathers. Nor does it have an odd number of tail feathers. It actually has 12 tail feathers. It took the U.S. Mint until 1986 to finally get it right, with the American Silver Eagle bullion coin.

The American Silver Eagle one troy oz bullion coin was the first U.S. coin with the denomination of $1 to present a bald eagle with the correct dozen tail feathers. The 2000 Sacagawea dollar was the first circulating dollar to have the correct number of tail feathers.


7 Tail Feathers (7TF): Reverse of 1879

  • Mintage included in "Second Reverse"
  • "Third Reverse"
  • 7 Tail Feathers
  • Rounded Eagle Breast
  • Slanted Arrow Feather
1878 7 tail feathers reverse of 1879 morgan silver dollar

1878 7TF (Rev. of '79) Morgan dollar. Image: USA CoinBook

The "Reverse of 1879" 1878 Morgan dollar introduced the standard reverse design that would be used for the rest of the Morgan dollar series.The eagle's breast is now rounded in shape. The flat breast of the first and second reverse designs made the coins look softly struck even with full strikes. The second big change was to the fletching of the topmost arrow in the eagle's talons. The edge of the top feather now slants up from the front to the back. Before, it was parallel to the arrow shaft.

1878 7TF Rev. of '79 Morgan Dollar Price Charts

Circulated Grades

Very Fine (VF) Extremely Fine (EF/XF) About Uncirculated (AU)
$54 $58 $70
Uncirculated (Mint State) Grades

Mint State 61 Mint State 63 Mint State 65 Auction Record (MS67)
$273 $390 $1,970 $37,600

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Steven Cochran

Steven Cochran

Precious Metals Market Analyst | BS University of South Florida (2002)

A published writer, Steven's coverage of precious metals goes beyond the daily news to explain how ancillary factors affect the market.

Steven specializes in market analysis with an emphasis on stocks, corporate bonds, and government debt.

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