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Why Are Morgan Silver Dollars So Desirable?

Of the many silver coins that the U.S. government has minted, the Morgan silver dollar remains one of the most interesting. Not only was it a well-designed coin, but it was also minted for many years, even coming back twice (one of those times was commemorative) after its initial run had been over for a while. Buying Morgan dollars can be a good investment as you have both the silver scrap value and the collectible value of each coin in play should you need to sell the coin in the future. The coin's history is colorful and worth learning about.

The Silver Cartwheel Coin

The Morgan dollar was sometimes called the Silver Cartwheel because, when light would hit the coin's face, the resulting reflection resembled a pinwheel. Note that currently there are silver bars with the Morgan coin's image printed on them; those won't have the same effect just due to the smaller size of the face on the bar. If you want the cartwheel effect, you need to buy the Morgan dollar coin itself.

The Comstock Lode Coin

The Morgan silver dollar also has an amazing origin: The silver used for the coin came from the Comstock Lode, a giant silver claim in northwestern Nevada. Remember the TV show "Bonanza"? That took place near Virginia and Silver cities near the Comstock Lode's location. In fact, the term "bonanza" was used to describe the locations of ore deposits within the lode. North America was already rich in mined silver previous to the Lode's discovery, but the Lode itself was the first in U.S. territory. The Lode created a Silver Rush similar to both the California Gold Rush and one that occurred after a previous gold discovery near the Comstock Lode's location.

The Hidden Mint Bag Coin

Morgan silver dollars are also known as the coin that was in several bags of silver that were discovered in a mint vault in the 1960s. Back then, you could take bills, which until 1964 were also called silver certificates, and trade them in for an actual piece of silver. In other words, those dollars were linked in value to actual metal and not just fiat currency like we have now. At one bank, someone turned in a silver certificate and got a Morgan dollar in return, and that created a mini rush on banks as people tried to turn in their silver certificates for more Morgan dollars. The rush was so intense that the U.S. Mint stopped issuing bills as silver certificates.

So when you buy Morgan dollars, you're buying something that was part of an amazing financial history. Even if you're buying them as an investment, you can take pride in knowing that you have a piece of history in your file cabinet.