1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Value
Finest Known: MS67 (NGC) MS67 (PCGS)
Auction Record: $19,975 (MS67)
Image: USA CoinBook
The 1921 Morgan dollar produced at the Philadelphia Mint was the largest single mintage at any Mint in the long history of this coin. Philadelphia struck more than twice the Morgan dollars in 1921 than the San Francisco and Denver Mints.
Accordingly, this is an imminently available mintage. The very shallow dies used for the 1921 Morgans translates into a coin with above average volumes and below average eye appeal, even when fully struck.
The Value of A 1921 Morgan Dollar
Being the single largest production of Morgan dollars in history, "rarity" is not a word that can be used to describe the 1921 Morgan. Contemporary reports note that the Philadelphia Mint was striking more than a quarter million Morgan dollars a day at the height of production. Under conditions like that, there was little attention paid to replacing worn out dies.
1921 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 1921-P.
In coin collecting, condition means everything. Judging the condition of a coin is called "grading" a coin. There are several independent coin grading companies that you can send your coins to for a professional evaluation. The same coin that would fetch a certain price ungraded, will most often sell for more after being authenticated and graded by a recognized coin grading service. The two largest and most-trusted are NGC and PCGS.
When examining a Morgan dollar, pay special attention to these high spots on the coin's surface.
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 all over. Liberty's hair at the hairline, over the ear and the curls above the date are flat, but major detail remains. The cotton balls and leaves have lost fine detail to wear. The leaves are worn down the the major veins. The cheek shows medium abrasion. The top of the hat is flat. The eagle's breast and legs are flat, and minor detail is missing from the wings. The top leaves of the wreath are nearly flat, with much of the detail missing.
Most of the hairline on Liberty is intact. Flatness appears over the ear and on the curls below the neck. Light evidence of abrasion on the cheek.Traces of detail may be seen on the cotton balls. The edges of the leaves aren't as worn as on a Very Fine Morgan dollar. High points of the cloth cap show wear. The eagle's breast shows some feather detail on the sides, away from the high point of the middle of the breast. Legs show moderate wear, but horizontal rows of feathers are now visible between them. Head shows light wear. Light to moderate wear on the highest leaves of the wreath.
About Uncirculated Morgan dollars have nearly all detail present. Only the very lightest of wear on the high points is seen upon careful examination. Mint luster should be nearly complete, except perhaps on the highest places, such as the cheek. Tiny evidence of wear in the usual high points (hairline, over the ears, curls behind the neck, top of cloth cap). Breast of eagle should show feathers. Details are evident on the wings and legs. Details are all present on the wreath.
Uncirculated Morgan Dollars
Uncirculated Morgan dollars are those coins that were never paid out to the public. Also called Mint State, these coins either never left government vaults or a bank vault before a collector purchased them. Their numerical grade for an uncirculated coin can range from MS60 to a perfect MS70. (Note that there has never been a Morgan dollar graded MS70.)
Is is important to note that coins can receive even large amounts of damage while in government storage, but that does not prevent them from being graded Mint State. It does mean that high grade About Uncirculated Morgan dollars nearly always have more eye appeal than a MS60 to MS62 Mint State coin for example.
This mint damage can come from the reeded edge of one Morgan dollar striking the face of another one, leaving what looks like tire tread marks. This type of damage is actually called "tractor marks," and usually happens at the coining press, as the coins fall into the collection bin. The most common damage is called "bag marks." Morgan dollars were shoveled into giant canvas bags for storage, then tossed around as they were transported and stacked in Treasury Department vaults. Each of these "mint bags" held 1,000 Morgan dollars.
Mint State 61
No wear, as it is uncirculated, but time has not been kind to a MS61 Morgan dollar. Numerous light and heavy bag marks,scratches and abrasions over the surface of the coin seriously detracts from the coin's appearance. MS60 and MS61 coins are rarely authenticated and graded, unless it is a very rare mintage. There simply is no market for them.
Mint State 63
A Mint State 63 Morgan dollar has far fewer blemishes than a MS61 coin. There are visible, lighter scratches that affect the surface, but the coin has decent eye appeal. The most popular Mint State Morgan dollars are MS63 and MS64. The price escalates dramatically when you reach MS65.
Mint State 65
The MS65 Morgan dollar should have a full, pleasing luster. Any contact marks should be light and far between. There is a reason that a MS65 coin is sometimes called Gem Uncirculated. This is a substantially more attractive coin.