1889-CC Morgan Dollar

The 1889-CC Morgan silver dollar is among the greatest obstacles in completing a collection of Morgans issued from the fabled Carson City Mint.

Production of Morgan dollars began in 1878, following passage of the Bland-Allison Act earlier that same year. In a bow to the western mining lobby, the law required the Treasury Department to purchase $2 to $4 million in silver every month. Furthermore, the silver was to be coined into silver dollars.(1)

Under these circumstances, far more silver dollars were produced than what were truly needed for the nation’s business. Only in the western states did the new dollars circulate with any regularity, and this occurred primarily through the efforts of local leaders to maintain high visibility for the their silver commodity. Consequently, most of the Morgan dollars disappeared into government vaults, where millions of them languished for many decades.(2)

Operations at the Carson City Mint were halted in 1885. The newly inaugurated president, Grover Cleveland, was opposed to the coining of silver dollars and took action to close the Nevada facility within two weeks of taking office.(3)

The fortunes of Carson City were revived when Benjamin Harrison defeated Cleveland in the presidential election of 1888. Minting operations in Carson City were resumed on July 1, 1889, but it took several months to prepare the facility for manufacturing once again. By year’s end, only 350,000 of the 1889-CC Morgan dollars were struck.

Fascinating Fact: The 1889-CC had one of the lowest mintages of the entire Morgan dollar series. Of this, an estimated 250,000 to 325,000 were melted down for reasons unknown.(4)

The mere mention of the 1889-CC dollar brings heartfelt joy to coin collectors of all stripes. Hands down, it is the rarest and most difficult to obtain of the Morgan dollars from Carson City, and with an upwardly mobile value trends to prove it (though prices are somewhat down from their 2009 record highs).

Please Note: For the Morgan dollar price trend survey, only grades F-12, VF-20, EF-40, AU-50, and MS-60 were analyzed. Higher grades, Prooflike (PL), and Deep Mirror Prooflike (DMPL) were omitted because in these conditions, even rather ordinary Morgan dates can attain astronomical values that could easily skew results. The goal of the survey is to identify coins demonstrating superior price trend histories, regardless of grade.

Estimated survivors in all grades: 25,850
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
PCGS Rarity Scale: 2.7
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
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1889-CC Morgan dollar value analysis 1889-CC Morgan dollar value analysis
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1. Doty, Richard.  America's Money, America's Story.   Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1998.

2. Bowers, Q. David.  The History of United States Coinage.  Los Angeles, CA: Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Inc., 1979.

3. Stack's Bowers Galleries.  1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar. MS-65 PL.  Nov 2020 Auction.

4. Heritage Auctions.  The Amazing Eliasberg 1889-CC Dollar, MS68.  Jan 2009 Auction.

**Many very fine coin dealers sell on eBay. At any point in time, there may be over one million search results for United States coins. This includes quite a few of the recommendations on our Key Date Coin List.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a rare coin, eBay is certainly worth a look. For your convenience, the links from this site to eBay are coded to bring up only coins certified by PCGS and NGC.

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Coin Images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.