1893-S Morgan Dollar

The 1893-S Morgan dollar had a mintage of only 100,000 business strikes, the lowest of the entire series spanning from 1878-1904, and again in 1921. It is the granddaddy of all regular circulation Morgan dollars in terms of rarity and desirability.(1)

The only Morgan dollar date approaching the 1893-S in value is the 1895, a coin that is seldom seen, and only in Proof condition.

Disastrous economic conditions in the United States in 1893 sharply curtailed silver dollar production through 1895. The “Panic of 1893” caused banks to fail and destroyed businesses, leading to the loss of four million jobs nationwide.(2)

The financial debacle can be traced back to the Sherman Act of 1890, which required the U.S. government to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver every month at market prices, for coining into silver dollars. The government issued Treasury notes to facilitate the purchases, redeemable in either gold or silver.

The increased supply of silver caused the price of the metal to plummet. Naturally, T-note holders preferred redemption in gold, whose price was relatively stable. The growing imbalance between the metals resulted in the depletion of U.S. gold reserves, pushing the U.S. government toward insolvency, and igniting widespread panic.

In the face of this major depression, the need for new silver dollars was minimal. Production was low not only at the San Francisco Mint, but also at the other mints in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Carson City.

The Morgan dollar is perhaps the most popular collectible coin type in United States numismatics. Its large and attractive design, recognizable to even non-collectors, has attracted many devotees.

Acquiring the 1893-S has been and always will be one of the biggest obstacles in completing a set of this famous coin type. This reality has pushed values consistently higher and faster for as far back as anyone can research.

Occasionally, there are pauses in the upward momentum of the 1893-S Morgan. One such pause has occurred in recent years, giving collectors a temporary opportunity to acquire an example at a discounted price.

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: 9951
? 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: 3.0
? 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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1893-S Morgan dollar photos 1893-S Morgan dollar, King of the Morgan dollars
Trendline Avg = 13.03 GOOD
Last updated 9-4-23
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1. Garrett, Jeff and Guth, Ron.  100 Greatest U.S. Coins, 5th ed.  Pelham, AL: Whitman Publishing, 2019.

2. Heritage Auctions.  1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar, MS67.  Aug 2011 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.