1895-S Morgan Silver Dollar Value
Finest Known: MS66 (NGC) MS66+ (PCGS)
Auction Record: $114,563 (MS66+)
Image: USA CoinBook
1895 would be the last year that San Francisco struck less than 1 million Morgan dollars. The 400,000 1895-S mintage would be the second-lowest Morgan dollar mintage from San Francisco, with the 1893-S (100,000) representing the absolute nadir of production from this Mint. The 1895-S is considered a key date of the Morgan dollar series.
1895 marked the bottom of Morgan dollar mintage. The Philadelphia Mint minted no business strikes at all. The New Orleans Mint struck only 450,000 Morgans to go with the 400,000 from San Francisco.
The 1895-S is known for the rough treatment it received while in storage at the Mint. This is a shame, as the strike is generally sharp. Like most other coins struck at San Francisco, many 1895-S Morgan dollars entered circulation. As late as the 1950s, it was possible to find an 1895-S in your silver dollars at Las Vegas casinos.
The Value of An 1895-S Morgan Dollar
Many collectors consider the 1895-S Morgan dollar a key date in the higher grades. Due to the low mintage, even nice circulated coins command a substantial premium. Finding a sample of this date with excellent eye appeal will be an expensive task. Attractive Mint State coins are rare, due to the rough handling they received at the San Francisco Mint.
1895-S Morgan Dollar Price Guide
|Very Fine||Extremely Fine||About Uncirculated|
|Mint State 61||Mint State 63||Mint State 65||Auction Record (MS66+)|
The information on this page does not constitute an offer to buy or sell the coin(s) referred to. Statistics are for Mint State coins only. Proof and prooflike examples of this issue may have greater or lesser "finest known" and different record auction prices.
Grading Morgan Dollars
The guidelines below will apply to all Morgan dollars, not just the 1895-S.
The value of your Morgan dollar naturally depends on its condition. Nicer coins fetch higher prices, just like you'd expect. Judging a coin's condition is called "grading." Here are some general guidelines for grading your Morgan dollar.
THE HIGH POINTS WHERE SIGNS OF WEAR FIRST APPEAR ON MORGAN DOLLARS:
- Top of cheek
- Hair over ear
- Curls over date
- Top of cap
- Eagle's breast
- Eagle's legs
- Eagle's head
- Right wingtip
PRIME FOCAL AREAS ON MORGAN DOLLARS
- Face and neck of Liberty
- The field in front of Liberty's face
- Body and wings of the eagle
- Fields to sides of wings and above eagle's head
Light to moderate wear, but major features should be sharp. High points on Liberty's hair may be worn, but you should still some strands of hair over Liberty's ear. Light wear on high spots on the cotton balls and leaves.
Most feathers on the eagle's head and breast will be worn away, but a few feathers need to still be visible in both places. The tip of the right-wing will show some wear.
Only the highest points should show any wear (see above). Very light wear is acceptable on the highest points of Liberty's hair and the very edges of the cotton leaves.
Slight wear on the eagle's breast, legs, and right wingtip are acceptable.
Only the slightest evidence of wear is allowable. Check the hair over Liberty's forehead and ear, and above the date. The edges of the cotton leaves may show the tiniest traces of wear.
Uncirculated Morgan Dollars
Uncirculated coins are coins that were never paid out to the public. They are new coins that remained in storage at the Mint or at a bank, where a collector bought them before they could be released to the public. But this doesn't mean that they are flawless.
Soft silver coins could strike each other as they were ejected from the coin press into a holding bin. This was common with the large, heavy Morgan dollars. Coins could also inflict damage on one another when poured into large canvas bags for storage and shipment. The bags the U.S. Mint used for Morgan dollars held 1,000 coins. These 60-pound bags were slung into vaults like sacks of potatoes, because who cared about coins that were going to get worn down with use, anyway?
This meant that Morgan dollars that were never paid out could still have scratches and marks from clashing together. Known as bag marks, they can seriously detract from the appearance of a Morgan dollar. But even an ugly Morgan dollar that was never paid out counts as Mint State.
Mint State 61
Mint State 61 Morgan dollars may have a few heavy bag marks, in addition to several scratches. Low tier uncirculated coins like MS61 and MS62 have low to no eye appeal. Nice About Uncirculated Morgan dollars often are more attractive than an MS61 coin.
Mint State 63
MS 63 Morgan dollars are notably more attractive than an MS61. It may have some small light scratches in high profile areas.
Mint State 65
Mint State 65 Morgan dollars are very pleasing to the eye. There may be some very light scratches in secondary areas, but the main focal points of the coin should be blemish-free and retain its original luster.