1904-S Morgan Silver Dollar Value
Finest Known: MS67 (NGC) MS67 (PCGS)
Auction Record: $70,500 (MS67)
Image: USA CoinBook
The 1904-S Morgan dollar suffered from weak strikes compared to previous issues, especially in the high points. Rough treatment at the Mint and Treasury vaults resulted in a greater than normal amount of detracting bag marks. This would be the last year for Morgan dollar production at San Francisco until the unexpected revival of the coin in 1921.
The Value of A 1904-S Morgan Dollar
The 1904-S is a somewhat scarce coin in mid-Mint State, due to the rough treatment and excessive bag marks that this date suffered. The number of available coins shrink noticeably as the grade of the coin increases. Uncirculated versions of the 1904-S Morgan dollar are uncommon at MS63 and rare in MS65.
1904-S Morgan Dollar Price Guide
|Very Fine||Extremely Fine||About Uncirculated|
|Mint State 61||Mint State 63||Mint State 65||Auction Record (MS67)|
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 1904-S.
Two things determine a coin's value. Its rarity, and its condition. Judging a coin's condition is called "grading" a coin. The coin grading scale goes from 1 (practically unrecognizable) to 70 (practically perfect.) The reason the scale goes from 1 to 70 instead of 1 to 100 is too lengthy to explain here. This grading scale is so strict, that there has never been a Morgan dollar graded MS70.
For the last thirty years, "third-party grading services" have been available for coin collectors to have their coins professionally graded. Once your coin has been authenticated and graded, it is encapsulated in a tamper-proof case called a "slab." A slabbed coin from a large grading service such as NGC or PCGS nearly always sells for a higher price than the same grade coin that has not been professionally graded.
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
A Very Fine Morgan dollar will exhibit modest to light wear, but all major details will still be present. Expect moderate abrasions on Liberty's cheek. The high points on her hair (hairline, over the ear, the curls behind her neck) will show wear, but major hairlines should remain visible. The top of the cloth cap will be flat. The cotton balls in Liberty's hair will be missing fine detail, and the cotton leaves will be half worn away.
The breast on the bald eagle will be nearly flat, but some faint traces of feathers will be seen on the sides of the breast. The eagle's legs will also be flat. The tail feathers between the eagle's legs will be worn but visible. The right wingtip will show weakness.
Most of the coins details should be present. Wear is most noticeable on the high points of Liberty's hair. The hairline, over the ear, and the curls near the bottom will be obvious wear points. There will be some abrasion to the cheek, but not as drastic as on the Very Fine dollar. The cotton balls will show traces of minor detail. The cotton leaves will be worn on the edges.
The eagle will show more detail on the breast and legs, but both areas will still be moderately flat. The tail feathers between the legs will be evident, but worn. The right wingtip will show minor wear.
An About Uncirculated Morgan dollar will show only the slightest traces of wear. Except for some tiny scratches or abrasion, any wear should not be noticeable at a casual glance. This coin will have notable eye appeal, even to the point where it is obviously more attractive than a lower grade uncirculated coin. Most of the coin's luster should be present.
All the details on the eagle's breast and legs should be present. Wing feathers retain all their detail.
Uncirculated Morgan Dollars
Uncirculated, or Mint State Morgan dollars are coins that have never been released to the public.. A common misconception is that "uncirculated" means "undamaged." Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Like any other coin intended for circulation, Morgan dollars received no special treatment when they were made.
At the high rate of production at the U.S. Mint, coins are shot out of the coining press into a holding bin as soon as they were struck. The soft and heavy large Morgan dollars would often strike each other with considerable force, leaving contact marks. After being counted, they were poured into large canvas bags that held 1,000 Morgan dollars, then sealed and tossed into a vault. The "bag marks" that they suffered from banging together is the most common sort of mint damage.
Mint State 61
A Mint State 61 Morgan dollar will often have a weak strike, but will always be covered with scratches, marks, and abrasions. Frankly, this is an ugly coin, even though it never left the Mint. Few people, if any, will spend the money to have a coin graded if it is MS61, unless it is a super rare coin even in this battered condition.
Mint State 63
The MS63 Morgan dollar will have decent eye appeal and a good strike, but is held back from getting a higher grade by the number and location of scratches or light abrasion. There are fewer and lighter marks than on a MS61 coin, but there are still enough scratches to the face of Liberty to be distracting. This is considered the mid point of Uncirculated Morgan dollar grades.
Mint State 65
Mint State 65 Morgan dollars will have a very attractive appearance. It will exhibit a sharp strike and deep, full luster. Any scratches will be very small or faint, and few in number. This is the grade where prices take a serious jump (see chart below). This is usually the finest Mint State coin that the average collector will attain, except for very common years.