Most Valuable Silver Dollars
Morgan's Dollars and Peace Dollars — often just called "silver dollars" — are the most collectible coins in the world outside of the Lincoln penny. They're also some of the rarest and most expensive slider dollars, or coins that are almost uncirculated. But they aren't the most expensive coins.
American mints have been issuing silver dollars, coins with a $1 dollar face value that are made of 90 percent silver, since 1794. Since then, many kinds of silver dollar coins have been created, but only a select few can command hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars on the open market.
These are the most valuable silver dollars of all time. If you find one of these coins, chances are they won't be worth sky-high prices unless they're graded accordingly. But if they happen to be in fantastic condition, you could start a whole new life after selling them.
25. 1839 Gobrecht Silver Dollar Jud-88 Restrike
Sold at auction: $199,750
Bottom line: Gobrecht Silver Dollars, minted from 1836 to 1839, were the first silver dollars struck for circulation after silver dollar production was halted in 1804.
This Gobrecht, known as Jud-88, is the only silver dollar of its kind to have stars on both of its sides. Only three are known to exist, but since one belongs to the American Numismatic Society, only two are able to be held privately.
The one that sold for nearly $200,000 was graded 64+.
24. 1845 Seated Liberty
Sold at auction: $207,000
Bottom line: This 1845 Seated Liberty Silver Dollar is graded a PR-67 and belonged to the Jay Pittman Collection.
Considered one of the finest Seated dollars from its decade, this coin was described by the late David Akers as "essentially perfect and is unquestionably the finest proof dollar of the decade that I have ever seen."
It is the finest of only three gem proofs, and sold for $207,000 in 2008.
23. 1798 Draped Bust 13 Stars Small Eagle
Sold at auction: $230,000
Bottom line: This 1798 Draped Bust Silver Dollar is significant because it is the only Small Eagle marriage with just 13 stars on the obverse. It is rated AU58 and sold for $230,000 in 2007.
The Draped Bust dollars were minted from 1795 to 1803, the successor to the Flowing Hair dollars, which were redesigned during their second year of production.
22. 1922 Peace Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $325,000
Bottom line: This is one of the first of 3,200 trial 1922 Peace Dollars ever struck. It is an experimental coin from George Morgan, who made efforts to reduce the relief of the coin.
Included among the 3,200 coins were singular coins with a sandblast finish, a satin finish and one with a normal strike. The one offered for sale in August 2014 was the satin or "bright" finish.
This historic coin sold for $325,000.
21. 1799 Draped Bust No Berries
Sold at auction: $379,500
Bottom line: This 1799 Draped Bust dollar is known as the "No Berries" due to the lack of any berries on the olive branch clutched in the eagle's left claw on the reverse.
This is because the die was lapped to remove certain defects and clash marks, but the berries were also removed in the processes, and other details were weakened, according to Heritage Auctions.
This outstanding, MS-66 graded coin sold in 2007. There are only about 400 known to exist, although finding one in such good condition is extremely rare and very expensive.
20. 1797 Draped Bust Small Stars, Small Letters Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $381,875
Bottom line: This is the only mint state example of the B-22, B-722 variety, making it the rarest of all 1797 silver dollars. Of all the 1797 silver dollars, it's estimated that 150 to 200 examples survive, but few with grades better than XF50.
This one is graded at MS-64, making it a pristine example of the 1797 silver dollar. It's the only mint state example known of this particular die marriage.
19. 1801 Draped Bust Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $399,500
Bottom line: This Draped Bust dollar comes from Max Mehl's 1950 Golden Jubilee auction, where it was described as "Brilliant Proof." It once sold for just $100 in the distant past, then sold for nearly $400,000 in 2017.
There are no finer examples of an 1801 Draped Bust. Mehl called it, "As beautiful a specimen of the early silver dollar of any date that has ever come to my attention."
18. 1896-O Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $528,000
Bottom line: A coin from the legendary Larry H. Miller Collection, this silver dollar from the New Orleans Mint was graded MS-66, being one of the finest known examples of its kind.
It sold without much fanfare for $528,000 at a Stack's Bowers auction in November 2020.
17. 1895-O Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $575,000
Bottom line: Only 10 examples of all 1895-O Morgan Dollars are known to exist with a grade of MS-65 or higher, and the finest known example — an MS-67 — sold for an astounding $575,000 in 2005. Yes, it has been over 15 years since this coin has come on the market.
This one is unique because the coins minted in New Orleans were done, well, shoddily. Workers at the New Orleans Mint simply wanted to mint as many coins as possible and get home, and they had no incentive to make these coins look good. They took shortcuts and made coins that Wayne Miller called in his silver dollar textbook, "terrible-looking."
Consider this a very pricey, terrible-looking coin.
16. 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $600,000
Bottom line: In terms of total numbers of coins known to exist, the 1893-S is the rarest of all Morgan Silver Dollars.
1893 was a year where Morgan Silver Dollars were not as as prolifically as other years, likely due to an ongoing economic depression leading to the Panic of 1893. Only 100,000 Morgan Silver Dollars were struck in 1893 in San Francisco.
The 1893-S that sold at a Stack's Bowers auction in November has been called the rarest mint-state Morgan to exist.
15. 1892-S Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $630,000
Bottom line: Apparently, the 1892-S Morgan Silver Dollars were not sought after by collectors, but after the Treasury Department released their silver dollar in the 1960s, collectors realized just how rare these coins were.
They were exceedingly rare if you wanted to find one in uncirculated, mint grading. The one sold by Stack's Bowers in November 2020 was graded MS-68, the finest known example of any of these coins.
14. 1896-S Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $720,000
Bottom line: Mint 1896-S coins are extremely scarce, and there are only nine that bear the MS-69 rating. This is one such example. It first came to be known in 1980, when numismatist David Hall purchased it at a Midwest coin show along with the 1884-S Morgan Silver Dollar (which is next on this list).
Where this 1896-S coin was prior to 1980 remains unknown, but it was kept with the utmost care.
13. 1884-S Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $750,000
Bottom line: 1884-S coins were placed in circulation during the 19th century, making them easier to obtain but difficult to find in mint condition.
But by some twists of fate, it is theorized that between a few hundred to 1,000 of the 1884-S Morgan Dollars found their way into the hands of collectors after the Treasury Department flooded the market with them and other Morgan Dollars in 1964.
The one that sold for $750,000 in 2020 is known as the Larry H. Miller specimen, and was first introduced to the market in 1980. It's graded MS-68.
12. 1886-O Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $780,000
Bottom line: This 1886 Morgan Dollar minted in New Orleans is the finest one of its kind, with an MS-67 grading. With mirrored, mark-free fields and a deep cameo finish, this piece was likely an early cast, struck from a die that had seen little or no wear.
Although there were more 1886-Os minted, it's nearly impossible to find one in uncirculated, mint state. It was sold in 1990 by Stack's Bowers for $231,000, a price that was smashed when the gavel came down for the winning bid of $780,000 in late 2020.
11. 1870-S Seated Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $805,000
Bottom line: This Seated Dollar from 1870 bears a curious little "S" on the reverse, something that was a mystery among numismatics for nearly a century.
It's now believed that the "S" comes from a working relationship between the San Francisco Mint and the Carson City Mint superintendents. According to Heritage Auctions, this coin was used as "a memento for groundbreaking ceremonies" and would have been " produced under clandestine circumstances" with no record of their existence being noted in Mint records.
It's believed that 11 of these S pieces from 1870 exist, and each one is unique. The Seated Dollar-S is one of them, and it sold for $805,000 in 2008.
10. 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar 822.5
Sold at auction: $822,500
Bottom line: This 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is considered to be the greatest example of a 1795 Flowing Hair in existence.
Rated an MS-66, this coin is considered to have been "produced with much the same intent and preparation as Proof coins of a later era," according to Stack's Bowers, which sold the coin in 2015.
No 1795 silver dollar had ever been graded higher than MS-65+ at the time of the sale, and it seems like none have since.
9. 1889-CC Morgan Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $881,250
Bottom line: This MS-68 Morgan Silver Dollar came from the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection. It's basically flawless, and while this isn't the oldest Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar, it's the one in the best condition.
This silver dollar sold for $881,250 in 2013, nearly doubling its value from the last time it sold in 1997, when it fetched $462,000 after a bidding war.
8. 1795 Draped Bust Off Center
Sold at auction: $910,625
Bottom line: A regular 1795 Draped Bust is worth about $2,400, but when they're uncirculated or have mistakes, then they can be worth a whole lot more.
This 1795 Draped Bust that sold for nearly $911,000 was placed too far to the right of the die, causing the bust of the figure to be produced on the left. The hair is also blending into the first star on the obverse. On the reverse is the Small Eagle design.
It's believed that 2,000 to 2,500 of these Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollars survive today out of 100,000 to $125,000 originally made, and those are the ones without unique imperfections like the off-center minting. This example was in uncirculated, MS66+ condition.
7. 1802 Novodel Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $920,000
Bottom line: The 1802 novodels, or "restrikes," were minted sometime around or after 1832, and only a dozen are known to have been made with only four confirmed to actually exist, according to Heritage Auctions.
These coins are steeped in mystery about why or even when they were produced. One popular theory, by Q. David Bowers, believes that the novodels "were produced from dies that Mint Director Samuel Moore instructed Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt to prepare in 1831, in anticipation of a resumption in the coining of silver dollars that never actually occurred," according to the auction house.
Whatever their origin, the novodel proofs from 1801 to 1803 are treasured among collectors.
6. 1884 Silver Trade Dollar
Sold at auction: $998,750
Bottom line: Only 10 1884 Trade Dollars were ever produced, and they are some of the most mysterious coins ever minted in America. It's believed they were once owned by two businessmen, John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy, who "had unsavory reputations for dealing in restrikes and Mint-made delicacies," according to Heritage Auctions.
As such, proving which coins were the real deal — and worth lots of money — took some time. But now researchers believe that these coins were indeed struck by the actual Mint.
One of them went up for sale in 2014 and picked up a very savory $998,750 sale.
5. 1866 No Motto Seated Liberty Dollar
Sold at auction: $1.05 million
Bottom line: Only two 1866 silver dollars without the "In God We Trust" motto are known to exist, and one of them belongs to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. So for collectors, there's really only one of these silver dollars that can be had, and this is it.
Its very infrequently up for grabs, with this coin only coming on the market 15 years after its last sale, in the mid-2000s.
This one sold for $1.05 million in April of 2021.
4. 1796 Small Date, Small Letters Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $1.175 million
Bottom line: This B-2, BB-64 is an ultra-rare silver dollar that is the only 1796 Small Date, Small Letters of any variety to be graded mint by PCGS.
Early silver dollars are exceedingly rare as it is, but this one is rare for its Small Letters and Small Dates, and its "miraculous preservation" skyrockets its value.
It sold for $1.175 million in 2013 at Heritage Auctions.
3. 1804 Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $3,877,500
Bottom line: The 1804 Silver Dollar wasn't even made in 1804. It was minted in 1834 or 1835. Why? Because it was made on behalf of President Andrew Jackson, and all eight of them known to be made were to be given as gifts during diplomatic trade missions.
The Mint hadn't produced silver dollars since 1802 to 1804. So the Mint produced the last date they had on record to create this diplomatic coin.
Collectors call this one the "King of American Coins."
2. 1885 Silver Trade Dollar
Sold at auction: $3.96 million
Bottom line: 1885 Trade Dollars are proof coins, with only five ever produced. In fact, these coins weren't even known to exist until 25 years after they were minted. According to USA Coinbook, the first one to appear at auction went for sale in 1913 and sold for $1,140.
Fast-forward a century, and these things are a few of the rarest and most expensive silver dollars in existence. In 2019, a PR66 sold for nearly $4 million at Heritage Auctions.
1. 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar
Sold at auction: $10,016,875
Bottom line: The "holy grail" of all silver dollars is a 1794 Flowing Hair, which is believed to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States. Numismatist and coin dealer Bruce Morelan bought the coin in 2013, spending $10 million to own this insanely rare coin.
The coin is rated a 66 on the Sheldon Scale, making it near flawless. The newly minted coin was presented to then-Secretary of State Edmund Jennings Randolph, who referred to it in a letter to President George Washington.
In October 2020, Morelan put the coin up for auction in Las Vegas, but it failed to sell. Maybe it was just bad timing.