The 1882 silver dollar is one of the Morgan silver coins produced between 1878 and 1904. It’s one of the rare Morgan silver coins, making it a precious collectible for collectors. People often collect it as a form of financial investment, especially if it is in mint condition.
People have collected coins for as long as they have minted them. The earliest forms of coin collection date from medieval Mesopotamia to ancient Rome.
The reasons why people collect the 1882 silver dollar or any other coin vary. Some people collect them as a hobby or to give themselves the satisfaction of owning a rare piece of American history. Others collect them to recycle the metal alloys used to make them.
Table of Contents
- 1 History of the 1882 Silver Dollar
- 2 The 1882 Silver Dollar
- 3 Factors That Affect the Value of the 1882 Silver Dollar
- 4 How to Identify Valuable 1882 Silver Dollars
- 5 Where to Buy and Sell Valuable 1882 Silver Dollars
- 6 Varieties and Errors Found in the 1882 Silver Dollar
- 7 1882 Silver Dollar Value FAQs
- 8 Conclusion
History of the 1882 Silver Dollar
The 1882 silver dollar’s history began in 1878 when Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act. The law required the US Treasury to buy between two and four million dollars worth of silver monthly to facilitate the making of new silver coins.
George T. Morgan, a skilled dye engraver from Birmingham, England, was in charge of producing the 1882 silver dollar coin. He designed the 1882 silver coin while working as an assistant engraver. In 1917, he rose to the position of the chief engraver of the United States.
- Original Design and Features
The coin’s main metal composition is silver (90%), though it also has 10% copper. The coin is round with a reeded edge. During its production, it was one of the largest coins from the US mint, measuring 38.1 mm in diameter and 26.73 grams in weight.
- Production and Circulation
The Philadelphia mint produced the earlier versions of the 1882 silver dollar. Later on, Carson City, New Orleans, and San Francisco mints also produced the coin to add more coins to circulation.
The 1882 Silver Dollar
The coin’s design represents great American symbols, and one of the reasons people collect it is to preserve the American history it holds. So how does it look like?
On the front side is Lady Liberty, and above her head is the United States motto, which reads “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “out of many one.” On its edges are 13 stars representing the 13 original states that proclaimed their sovereignty from Britain. An 1882 engraving is also visible at the bottom of the coin.
The American Bald Eagle can be found on the reverse side. On its right foot, it holds an olive branch with 13 leaves to represent peace, and with its left, it holds arrows to represent the country’s ability to protect itself in war if needed. At the bottom of the coin is the engraving of its value: one dollar.
- Mintage Numbers and Rarity
The Philadelphia mint first produced around 11,101,100 coins. Carson City produced 1,133,000, New Orleans made 6,090,000, and San Francisco produced 9,250,000. In total, the four mints produced 27,574,100 silver dollar coins.
- 1882 E Pluribus Unum Silver Dollar Value
The face value of the coin is one dollar. In 1882, the coin could get you any product or service valued at one dollar. Currently, the coin is worth more than one dollar. Its value can range from $30 to $60.
The minimum value of the coin would be its value when melted. A single 1882 dollar coin is valued at $16.68.
Factors That Affect the Value of the 1882 Silver Dollar
The 1882 silver dollar has no fixed price because several factors dictate its price. They include:
The dollar-value coin is 141 years old, meaning that it’s hard to come by coins that have maintained their mint condition. However, there are still some coins that coin collectors have preserved well.
A common grading system ranges from Good (G), Fine (F), Extremely Fine (EF), Uncirculated (MS), and Brilliant Uncirculated (MS).
The rarer the coin, the more valuable it is. The rarest and most valuable 1882 silver dollar is the Carson City mint coin, followed by New Orleans, San Francisco, and finally, the Philadelphia mint coin.
The law of demand and supply applies to coin collection. The more the coins are in circulation with less demand, the lower their value. If the coins are less in circulation and the demand increases, the prices of the coins increase.
The origin of the coin also affects its price. For example, the 1882 silver dollar coins minted in Carson City are the most expensive ones since there were few. The Philadelphia mint produced so many coins, making them the least costly.
How to Identify Valuable 1882 Silver Dollars
Professional silver dollar valuers can give accurate valuations of the 1882 silver dollar coins. However, you, too, can identify valuable silver dollar coins before buying or selling them. Here is how.
- Examination of the Coin
A close inspection of the coin can reveal important details like die errors, the mint where the coin originated from, and the type of VAM variety of your coin.
One notable difference you can note is that on the earlier 1882 silver dollar value coins, the bald eagle on the reverse side had eight tail feathers, while recent coins had seven tail feathers.
- Use of Reference Materials
If you’re a beginner in numismatics, you can use material from the US Mint or the American Numismatic Society. You’ll find useful information here on all types of coins in US history up to the current ones in circulation today.
- Professional Appraisal
Seeking professional assistance is a quick way to determine the value of your coin. You can easily find a professional at a coin shop or auction.
Related: 1884 Silver Dollar Value
Where to Buy and Sell Valuable 1882 Silver Dollars
When buying or selling the 1882 silver dollar coin, some places will give you fair deals. There’s also a high chance that you’re transacting with enthusiasts in the numismatics field. They include:
- Coin Dealers
They know the value of the 1882 silver dollar coin, so it’s a fast way of selling it. The downside to this method is that they can buy your silver coin for less than its market value to make profits when they sell it.
Auctions are good places to go if you have a rare 1882 silver coin. The coin can attract an over-the-market price. The auction house will charge a certain percentage of the price. If you’re buying a coin, you may have to dig deeper into your pockets to compete with other prices.
- Online Marketplaces
There are ecommerce spaces that buy and sell coins. They’re an excellent way to buy and sell coins, as they eliminate the need for physical shops and auction spaces. To use this method, you must research and ensure that the online marketplaces are legitimate and that you are not dealing with impostors.
Related: 1972 Silver Dollar Value
Varieties and Errors Found in the 1882 Silver Dollar
Did you know that you can have two similar-looking silver dollar coins that are very different? The difference lies in the dies used to make coins, which may leave minor differences on the coin.
Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis did the most in-depth research to find these differences, which is why they are called VAM varieties. Here are the VAM varieties of the 1882 silver dollar value.
- VAM Varieties
There are six VAM varieties of the 1882 silver dollar coin. They include:
|Location of Mint
|No Mint mark
|1882-O/S silver dollar
- 1882 Morgan Silver Dollar Error
In the production of the silver dollar coins, minters use a die that has a mirror image of the coin.
The minters make the coins by placing a blank planchet between two hardened dies. Sometimes the dies don’t produce replica images as expected. The errors may be in the form of die cracks and double dies.
The errors may even affect the price of the silver dollar. Even though they are rare, coins with significant strikes or cracks can sell for less on the market.
The most notable error in the 1882 silver dollar coin is the one with the O struck over the S, commonly known as the O/S variations. These were different dies made at the San Francisco mint for use at the New Orleans mint.
Related: 1923 Silver Dollar Value in 2023
1882 Silver Dollar Value FAQs
Who Is on the 1882 Silver Dollar?
The 1882 silver coin differs from the common nickel coins we all know. Lady Liberty’s face faces left on the front, or obverse, side of the coin. The American Bald Eagle is depicted on the reverse side. It holds a bunch of arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other claw.
How Much Is a 1882 Silver Dollar Worth Today?
Depending on factors like condition, demand, and provenance, the 1882 silver dollar’s value ranges from $30 to $60. However, rare coins may attract prices of up to $100,000.
One particular New Orleans version of the coin broke headlines in 2015 when it sold for $108,687.50.
Where Is the Mint Mark on an 1882 Silver Dollar?
You can find the mint mark of the 1882 silver dollar coin above the letter “O” in the word “dollar” on the back side of the coin. The mint mark shows which United States mint made the silver dollar coin.
1882 Silver Dollar Value No Mint Mark
If you come across an 1882 silver dollar with no mint mark, it originated from the Philadelphia mint. It is one of the 11,101,100 coins that the mint produced in 1882.
What Year Silver Dollar Is Worth the Most?
The most valuable silver dollar currently is a 1794 “Flowing Hair” coin, which was among the first batches of silver dollar coins the Philadelphia mint produced. It sold for $10 million at an auction in 2013.
An estimated 10% of Morgan silver dollar coins are in circulation. It makes the 1882 silver dollar unique and shows why they sell for so much at auctions, coin shops, and online marketplaces.
Whether collecting coins as a hobby or preserving America’s history, numismatics has a financial benefit. All you need is knowledge of the coin you’re collecting from an article like this one, and you’re good to go.