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Early United States Silver Dollars and Certified Silver Dollars

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Early US Dollars

silver dollar

The history of the United States silver dollar begins in 1794 when the U.S. Mint, established by the Coinage Act of 1792, struck the first silver dollar coin. This initial silver dollar, known as the “Flowing Hair” dollar, featured the portrait of Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. However, the design was short-lived, as it was replaced in 1795 by the “Draped Bust” design, which featured a more refined depiction of Lady Liberty.

In 1804, the U.S. Mint stopped producing silver dollars due to a lack of demand and financial challenges. However, in the late 1830s, diplomatic gifts of U.S. coins, including the silver dollar, were sent to foreign governments to promote trade and diplomatic relations. These coins, known as the “Gobrecht dollars,” were struck in limited quantities and are now considered rare numismatic treasures. In 1836, the U.S. Mint resumed regular production of silver dollars, using the “Seated Liberty” design, which featured a seated Liberty figure on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. This design was used until 1873 when it was replaced by the “Trade Dollar” to facilitate trade with Asia.

In 1878, the U.S. Mint introduced the iconic “Morgan” silver dollar, named after its designer, George T. Morgan. The Morgan dollar featured a profile of Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle with outstretched wings on the reverse. The Morgan dollar became a popular coin and was minted until 1904, and then again in 1921. In 1921, the U.S. Mint introduced the “Peace” silver dollar to commemorate the end of World War I. The Peace dollar featured a portrait of Lady Liberty on the obverse, and an eagle perched on a rock on the reverse. The Peace dollar was minted until 1935, and is highly sought after by collectors. In 1964, the production of silver dollars for circulation was halted due to rising silver prices. However, special commemorative and collector’s editions of silver dollars have been issued periodically by the U.S. Mint, featuring various designs and themes. The silver dollar remains a cherished part of American numismatic history, with its rich legacy of designs and cultural significance as a symbol of American prosperity, patriotism, and diplomacy.