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1889-S Morgan Silver Dollar

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As the rarity of the 1889-S was neither publicized nor known, historical price data are very erratic. Today, however, the glory that was 1889-S has faded, and little attention is paid to the issue. Until the research was done for the present work, I, like everyone else, did not know of the former lofty status of this interesting variety. Not a whisper of its erstwhile rarity appears in any text I have ever read on the series.

Hoard coins: At the time of minting, nearly all 1889-S dollars went into storage, mostly at the San Francisco Mint. As noted, it was considered to be a great rarity for many years. Finally, a few bags broke on the market in 1937, and many in the early 1940s, after which the 1889-S became common. During the early 1950s, quantities were available for face value at the San Francisco Mint. The sum of these releases is not known, but I imagine that somewhere on the order of 50,000 to 100,000 coins went into the hands of dealers, investors, collectors, casino owners, and others who saved them.

Today in the 1990s, the 1889-S, with its relatively low mintage, is one of the scarcer San Francisco Morgan dollars in Mint State, although it is hardly rare. The Redfield hoard (1976) is said to have contained several thousand Mint State coins, most of which were heavily bagmarked.




Morgan Dollar






San Francisco