The 1881-S Morgan dollar is a big silver coin the was struck at the San Francisco branch that the United says Mint. Known an ext officially together the Liberty Head dollar, the Morgan dollar is named for designer George T. Morgan, who offered as a U.S. Mint engraver native 1876 till his fatality in 1925. He to be born in England and moved to the United states in 1876, wherein in October of that year he to be hired as an assistant engraver under the Mint’s chef Engraver William Barber.

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Morgan designed plenty of coins and also patterns throughout his virtually four-decade tenure at the Mint, consisting of the Columbian commemorative half dollars that 1892 and also 1893. Notable among his patterns and also non-circulating designs was the $100 Union yellow coin, i m sorry was never actually struck.

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While Morgan was a prolific engraver, his most famous coin remains the Morgan silver- dollar, which to be struck from 1878 v 1904 and once much more in 1921. The version for the Liberty Head architecture that restrict the coin’s obverse to be a Philadelphia schoolteacher named Anna Willess Williams, who agreed to offer as a Morgan’s design for the coin ~ above the problem that her identity not be revealed. In the 19th century that would have actually been thought about scandalous for a mrs to serve as an artist’s model, and Williams legitimately risked losing her job as a teacher.

Soon after ~ the first Morgan dollars were issued, Williams’ identification was leaked come the public. She was barraged by pan mail and individuals that attempted to visit she home. She likewise received offers to serve as one actress, yet she rejected many of the general public attention and also spurned her function as the Morgan dollar’s model as “incident that youth”. Much from being fired, she retirement in 1924 and also died unmarried at the period of 68 in 1926 – one year ~ Morgan himself.

While Morgan and Williams are long gone, their memory continues to be alive and well ~ above the 1881-S Morgan silver dollar, i beg your pardon is by and huge a reasonably common coin in all however the highest possible uncirculated grades. Much more than 12.7 million 1881-S Morgans to be struck, and also enough of them continue to be today to meet general numismatic demands.

Design

Obverse:

The leftward encountering bust of miss Liberty is topped through a Phrygian cap encircled with a ribbon bearing the engraving LIBERTY. Miss Liberty wears a crown adorned with cotton and also wheat, which, in the 19th century, were 2 of the nation’s top crops.

Along the pickled in salt on the upper half of the obverse is the expression E PLURIBUS UNUM. In ~ the bottom center of the obverse near the rim is the coin’s date, 1881. 13 stars space seen ~ above the obverse – seven on the lower left and also six on the reduced right; jointly these indicate the initial 13 colonies that joined to kind the united States. At the base of Liberty’s neck is an “M” to offer as Morgan’s initial.

Reverse:

A heraldic eagle claims the reverse of the 1881-S Morgan dollar. The eagle’s wing spread throughout much of the upper fifty percent of the reverse, v the tips of the wings basically touching components of the top reverse in salt of the coin. The eagle clutches one olive branch in its best claw to indicate peace, when a bundle of three arrows in the left claw represents the nation’s capability to defend itself in war.

A laurel wreath encircles much of the central reverse design, and also the motto IN GOD us TRUST is centered in part of the field room between the eagles outstretched wings. The inscription UNITED states OF AMERICA rides follow me the upper part of the reverse rim when the denomination ONE dollar is centered at the bottom close to the rim, through a solitary six-pointed star close to either end of the denominational inscription. The coin’s “S” mintmark is centered above and between the “D” and “O” of “DOLLAR,” simply under a bow in ~ the bottom the the laurel wreath.

Edge:

The leaf of the 1881-S Morgan dissension is reeded.

Designer(s)

Engraver George T. Morgan to be born in Birmingham, England in 1845. That emigrated to the unified States and also began work as one assistant come Mint chief Engraver william Barber and continued to develop patterns and commemoratives under the administration of Barber’s son, Charles. Morgan himself became Chief Engraver in 1917. He passed away in 1925.

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Coin Specifications

Country:United States
Year that Issue:1881
Denomination:1 Dollar
Mint Mark:S (San Francisco)
Mintage:12,760,000
Alloy:90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight:26.73 grams
Diameter:38.10 mm
EdgeReeded
OBV DesignerGeorge T. Morgan
REV DesignerGeorge T. Morgan
Quality:Business Strike

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Sources

Allen, Leroy C. And also A. George Mallis. Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Morgan and also Peace Dollars, 4th Edition. Global Ventures (1998). Print. 75.