Almost ten million pieces of the 1896 silver dollar coins left the US mints. Most of them are still in circulation in high-grade condition. Thus, they have an approximate worth of $32-$63 in a relatively circulated state. Scroll below for more in-depth information regarding the 1896 silver dollar.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much is an 1896 Silver Dollar Worth in 2023?
- 2 Overview of the 1896 Silver Dollar
- 3 History of the 1896 Silver Dollar
- 4 1896 Silver Dollar Value Mint Mark
- 5 1896 Silver Dollar Value no Mint Mark
- 6 1896 Morgan Silver Dollar Errors
- 7 Factors Affecting the Value of the 1896 Silver Dollar
- 8 How to Identify Valuable 1896 Silver Dollars
- 9 Where to Buy and Sell Valuable 1896 Silver Dollars
- 10 Where is the Mint Mark on an 1896 Morgan Dollar?
- 11 What Makes an 1896 Silver Dollar Rare?
- 12 What Year Silver Dollars are Worth a Lot of Money?
- 13 Conclusion
How Much is an 1896 Silver Dollar Worth in 2023?
NGC price guide indicates the worth of an 1896 silver dollar to a value between $32 and $63 in circulated condition. The 1896 silver dollar in pristine and uncirculated condition can fetch hundreds of dollars on the open market. Here is a coin value chart showcasing its worth in different grades/conditions:
|Very Good (G-8)||$32|
Overview of the 1896 Silver Dollar
- Category: Morgan Dollars
- Year: 1896
- Designer–Engraver: George T Morgan
- Diameter: 38.1 mm
- Weight: 26.73 grams
- Edge: Reeded
- Metal composition: 90% Silver and 10% Copper
- Price: $32+
- Melt value: $16.20
Also termed as 1896 Morgan dollars, the 1896 silver dollars are among the pieces that survived circulation with minimal wear. Most of them come in average condition bringing about $32 per dollar coin. 1896 Morgan silver dollars in Uncirculated Mint Condition fetch $59 to $290, whereas proof coins sell for $3,219.
The 1896 Morgan silver dollar incorporates unique features on the obverse and reverse. The obverse features the head and neck of Lady Liberty in profile. The portrait image faces left surrounded by a ring of stars. The Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (From the many, one) fits at the top, whereas the date comes at the bottom of the coin.
The reverse integrates Morgan’s image of a bald eagle, a symbol of the United States. The eagle appears with outstretched wings and a raised head while perching on fletched arrows and a sprig of leaves. Its wing tips stretch to the outer edges of the coin. The tips cover spaces between the curved words ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.’
A wreath tied with ribbon surrounds the eagle’s image. Other inscriptions on the reverse include the words ‘In God We Trust’ that appear above the eagle’s head. The creators inscribed it in Gothic Script. The coin denomination comes at the bottom. Additionally, the mint mark appears on the reverse above the letters ‘D’ and ‘O’ of the DOLLAR.
History of the 1896 Silver Dollar
The 1896 silver dollar is a part of the Morgan dollar series, minted from 1878 to 1904. They got named after George T Morgan, who designed images on the obverse and reverse. Initially, mine owners allowed the Mint to take silver from the mines and return it as coins. Later, a mintage of these silver coins graced the market after new legislation passed requiring the Mint to purchase a set amount of silver every month.
The Bland-Allison Act committed the Mints to purchase silver worth $2 million to $4 million monthly. Silver bought required transformation into coins. That led to the minting of large amounts of Morgan dollars. Later in 1890, a new law (Sherman Silver Purchase Act) replaced the Bland-Allison Act. The Sherman silver purchase Act required the Mint to purchase silver by weight instead of value.
The new law saw the Mint purchasing 4.5 million troy ounces of silver monthly. The mintage of silver dollars only lasted for one year due to inflation. Inflation soared all over, leading to the Panic of 1893. The disaster led to the abolishment of the Sherman Act.
The government sought to avoid further inflation by producing low mintages of Morgan dollars in 1893, 1894, and 1895. About 1.5 million coins got struck in 1893, about 3 million in 1894, and less than 1 million in 1895. By 1896, the economy was recovering, resulting in a marked upturn in dollar production.
Approximately 5 million Morgan dollar coins left the San Francisco mint, 4.9 million coins were released from the New Orleans mint, and around 9.9 million silver dollars were struck in the Philadelphia mint.
1896 Silver Dollar Value Mint Mark
Coins minted in New Orleans and San Francisco mints integrate mint marks on the reverse. The mint mark will appear above the letter ‘D’ and ’O’ of the word DOLLAR. 1896 silver dollar with the mint mark ‘O’ represents coins struck in New Orleans, whereas coins from San Francisco integrate the mint mark ‘S.’
The New Orleans mint struck 4.9 million coins, making them harder to find in pristine grades. Pieces from New Orleans have a higher price range of about $100 (XF45). Silver dollars from San Francisco carry premium prices of about $600 in excellent condition.
Related: 1884 Silver Dollar Value
1896 Silver Dollar Value no Mint Mark
The Philadelphia mint struck the 1896 no mint mark silver dollars. About 9,967,762 Morgan silver dollars left the Philadelphia mint. Finding these coins isn’t too difficult. The 1896 silver dollars released from Philadelphia consisted of several proofs and proofs like silver dollars. Proof coins carry premium prices.
Finding an outstanding coin (XF45) can fetch over $50 in the coinage market. Other graded uncirculated (MS+) condition silver dollars have higher values. A quality MS65 goes for about $275.
1896 Morgan Silver Dollar Errors
Watch the video to see the rare rarities on the 1896 Morgan Silver Dollar. Below are common imperfections notable on some 1896 silver dollar coins:
A Strike-through error occurs when a foreign body enters the coin press. Coins get struck through the object, leaving a mark on the surface. Strike-through errors visible on an 1896 dollar can bring $175.
- Partial Collar
A partial collar is an error that occurs when the blank sits inappropriately in the collar die. Thus, when the coin gets struck, some metal elements from the planchet escape past the collar. The edge of the coin will appear stepped. Such an error has an estimated value of $100.
These errors result from issues with the planchets disc. The disc leads to parts of the metal cracking/flaking off, causing alloy contamination. Lamination errors can happen before or after the coin gets struck. An example is a Morgan dollar from the Philadelphia mint with a lamination error running along Liberty’s cheek. Such an error can fetch approximately $70.
Related: 1972 Silver Dollar Value
Factors Affecting the Value of the 1896 Silver Dollar
It is essential to carefully examine various aspects to understand the pricing trends for silver:
Coins that have been in circulation for extended lengths sustain damage and tear. That’s why a collector will carefully analyze the coin’s overall condition before deciding to buy one of these coins. Silver dollars coins with good detail and free of wear marks are scarce and highly valuable.
A coin’s rarity will increase its quality and worth. Coins with imperfections are harder to find and more expensive depending on the particulars of the error.
Coins with mint marks (San Francisco “S”) and (New Orleans “O”) are rarer than coins from Philadelphia (no mint mark). Therefore, the demand for coins with the mint mark is higher. The demand increases the worth.
The 1896 Morgan silver dollars are historically significant because the coins encompassed 90% Silver and 10% Copper. The pieces are a part of the low mintage experienced during the economy’s inflation between 1891–1903.
How to Identify Valuable 1896 Silver Dollars
To identify the most valuable 1896 silver dollars, scrutinize the condition, errors, and mint mark. Sending a coin to be graded by a reputable organization like PCGS is one of the best ways to determine its condition. NGC has managed to grade about 6,000 1896 silver dollars.
To determine the value of the silver, you can also consult reference sources such as historical records. You can also hire professional appraisers to check the value of your coins. When hiring an appraiser, check their credibility and integrity to avoid losing your coins.
You can find proof-like coins from Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Proof coins have a darker, almost charcoal finish and tend to get hairlines easily than proof-like dollar coins. Proofs have sharp and distinct edges. Here is a video showing proof-like coins.
Where to Buy and Sell Valuable 1896 Silver Dollars
You can examine the top coin dealers to get incredible deals while buying or selling. Open coinage markets and auctioneers provide a viable place to buy or sell Morgan dollars.
Online coinage markets are yet another way to exchange your coins. eBay and Etsy are two well-known online market platforms for silver dollars from 1896.
Where is the Mint Mark on an 1896 Morgan Dollar?
The mint mark appears on the reverse for San Francisco or New Orleans coins. The mint mark is visible at the bottom, above the letters “D” and “O” of “DOLLAR.” The coin produced in New Orleans has the mark “O,” whereas the symbol “S” represents coins from San Francisco.
What Makes an 1896 Silver Dollar Rare?
Coins with precise detail, better quality, and imperfections are harder to find. For instance, the 1896-O is highly rare. Coins from New Orleans and San Francisco mints are rarer than coins struck in Philadelphia.
What Year Silver Dollars are Worth a Lot of Money?
A silver dollar with a 1794 “Flowing Hair” specimen set the record price for a coin. This coin may have been the first dollar ever produced at the US Mint in Philadelphia. 1895-O Morgan Dollars are also worth a lot of money. Fine grades (MS-67) of such a coin sold for $575,000 in 2005.
The 1896 silver dollar is among the most fascinating collectibles by most coin collectors. Coins with minimal wear and tear elements value higher in the coinage market. On average, a circulated 1896 Morgan dollar is worth $32, whereas a coin in an uncirculated state goes for up to $18500. Coins from the San Francisco mint are valued higher than those from Philadelphia and New Orleans.