Silver dollars have been around since the 1790s and there are many different types. The most common silver dollars are the Morgan 1878-1921, the Peace 1921-1935, and the Silver Eagles from 1986 to present day.
Generally speaking The US Silver dollar contains around 90 percent of silver and about 10 percent of copper. Being a coin that could go through some use and silver being a somewhat soft metal, this gives the coin some durability and strength.
By weight the silver content is .7736 troy ounces but the last circulating silver dollar coins which were struck in the 1970s were only 40% silver to 60% nickel and copper. These can be bought from dealer in bags believe it or not. The quality is not of the best but the value of the silver is the main reason people buy these bags. In the 1980s the US Mint began manufacturing the Silver Eagle dollar coin with 100 percent silver and no added alloys, giving a full troy ounce in each coin. This coin, however, was not designed for circulation as the value of the silver content is much more valuable than the face value of the coin.
All the silver dollars ever minted were at the following mints:
Philadelphia 1793-present - Flowing Hair, Capped Bust, Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Silver Eagle (no mint mark or 'P')The most collectible silver dollars are still the Morgan 1878-1921, Peace 1921-1935, and Silver Eagles 1986-present with the Morgan still the most popular so if you want to buy silver dollars the Morgan would be the one to get.
New Orleans 1846-1904 - Sitting Liberty, Morgan ('O' mint mark)
Carson City 1870-1893 - Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan ('CC' mint mark)
San Francisco 1859-1992 - Sitting Liberty, Trade, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Silver Eagle ('S' mint mark)
Denver 1921-1934 - Morgan, Peace ('D' mint mark)
West Point 1995, 2001-present - Silver Eagle ('W' mint mark)
Some of the most important date in silver coins that bring the best prices include:
In fact, three of these coins that are especially difficult to find and are of high value are the 1893 'S', the 1895 'P' and the 1995 'W'. Of these, the 1895 'P' is rare enough to fetch well over an impressive eleven thousand US dollars in fine condition. A excellent quality condition 1893 'S', if you are ever fortunate enough to find one in your attic, is worth over $250,000.
Carson City 1889 and 1893
New Orleans 1893, 1895, and 1903
San Francisco 1893, 1894, and 1895
Philadelphia 1893, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1921 and 1928
West Point 1995
But probably the most famous silver coin of all is the 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar. Not long ago at auction one was sold for over four million dollars. The most paid for a coin ever and, of course well over the face value and silver content of the coin.
But for most of us, when we buy silver coins, we will have to be content with buying at the best possible silver coin prices we can afford and keeping them as a nest egg for a rainy day.