Silver US dollars have been minted since 1795, when the first mints were founded in America. Until 1933, silver coins were an ordinary and convenient legal tender due to small denominations – 1 dollar, and also 50, 25, 20 and 5 US cents. The silver coins were minted with interruptions, and in the second half of the 20th century entered the bullion coins category. Also, America’s mints issue a lot of commemorative coins, series of coins of the same theme and collectible coins that are interesting to numismatists around the world.
Types of the US Silver Coins
1 US dollar denomination
The 1795 year of minting
The 1799 year of minting
The 1868 year of minting
The 1875 year of minting
The 1879 year of minting
The 1922 year of minting
The 1971 year of minting
The 1980 year of minting
The 1983 year of minting
The 1986 year of minting
The 1988 year of minting
The 1991 year of minting
The 1999 year of minting
The 2002 year of minting
The 2010 year of minting
The 2012 year of minting
The 2013 year of minting
The 2018 year of minting
50 cent denomination
The 1849 year of minting
The 1916 year of minting
The 1921 year of minting
The 1925 year of minting
The 1927 year of minting
The 1934 year of minting
The 1936 year of minting
The 1948 year of minting
The 1950 year of minting
The 1956-1970 years of minting
The 2016 years of minting
25 cent denomination
The 1806 year of minting
The 1911 year of minting
The 1944 year of minting
5 cent denomination
The 1800 year of minting
Circulations of the US silver coins
The circulations of the US silver coins have always been quite large due to the needs of the domestic market of the country until the middle of the last century, and because of the high demand on bullion coins today:
- 1 dollar 1878-1921 – 495,000 – 44,690,000 pcs.;
- 1 dollar 1922 – 51,737,000 pcs.;
- 1 dollar 2018 «Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative» – 400,000 pcs.;
- 1 dollar 2012 – 350,000 pcs.;
- 20 cents 1875 – 39,700 pcs.;
- 25 cents 1944 – 12,560,000 pcs.;
- 25 cents 1911 – 3,720,543 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1965 – 65,879,366 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1948 – 4,028,600 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1921 – 100,000 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1927 – 28,142 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1916 – 608,000 pcs.;
- 50 cents 1849 – 62,600 pcs.;
During the entire period of the creation of the US silver coins, many famous architects, artists and sculptors worked on their design:
- Christian Gobrecht(1 dollar 1879 , 20 cents 1875);
- John Flanagan (25 cents 1944);
- Charles E. Warber (25 cents in 1911);
- Robert Scott (50 cents 1976-1797);
- Gilroy Roberts (50 cents in 1965);
- John R. Sinnock (50 cents in 1948);
- Adolph A. Weinman (50 cents in 1916);
- Anthony De Francisci(1 dollar 1922).
However, there are a lot of common features in the design of coins:
- the bald eagles are a heraldic symbol of the United States;
- the image of a woman’s profile or her full-length figure that symbolizes freedom;
- the inscriptions on many coins: “LIBERTY”, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”;
- the stars, symbolizing the American states.
The modern bullion coins from silver can be purchased directly from the sale points of mints or from their authorized dealers all over the world. Such coins can be purchased by piece in individual branded packages, or in bulk by several dozen pieces in plastic tubes. The individual serial number and a certificate is the guarantee of the quality of these coins
The Mint in Philadelphia is now the main mint of the United States. The silver coins were minted in Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City, and West Point. Today, silver bullion and collectible coins are minted mainly by the mint in West Point.
In order to identify the mind, there’s a mint mark on the reverse of the coins:
- “P” – Philadelphia;
- “S” – San Francisco;
- “W” – West Point;
- “O” – New Orleans;
- “D” – Denver;
- “C” – Carson City.
Along with the mint mark, they often put a brand of the main engraver.
Cost on the market
Despite the small denominations of the US silver coins, their cost on the market is quite high and can reach several tens of thousands of dollars:
- 1 dollar 1878-1921 – $ 30-509;
- 1 dollar 1922 – $ 19-76,351;
- 20 cents 1875 – $ 238-2,992;
- 25 cents 1944 – $ 4.31-35;
- 25 cents 1911 – $ 5.38-822;
- 50 cents 1965 – $ 3.7-15;
- 50 cents 1948 – $ 7.59-119;
- 50 cents 1927 – $ 204-14,950;
- 50 cents 1916 – $ 47-549;
- 50 cents 1849 – $ 258-35,051.
The price is primarily affected by the rareness of the coin and the number of preserved circulation. In addition, the cost of 1 troy ounce of silver on the world exchanges plays an important role, which only increases every year, so it is more profitable to buy bullion or commemorative US silver dollars with the fineness of 999 specifically. If we are talking about antique coins, which are interesting to coin collectors, the condition of a coin also affects the price. And considering modern bullion coins, you should pay attention to the quality of minting. It is worth noting that the cost of bullion coins is low, if circulations are large. So, for example, the price of the US silver dollar of the American silver eagle series of 1991 varies from 29 to 55 US dollars. You can find out exactly how much one US silver dollar or its fractional denominations cost at specialized numismatic auctions or exchanges.
- The minting of a trade dollar of 1875 was officially stopped in 1878, and then it was issued as a regular coin for internal circulation from 1879 to 1885. The coins of 1884 and 1885 were made secretly, and they were unknown to the public until 1908, therefore they are very rare.
- The silver dollar of the USA was issued in 1876 exclusively for trade operations with China, Japan and Korea, so the fineness of silver (90% Ag / 10% Cu) was much higher than in similar coins for domestic circulation.
- The silver dollar of 1799 is the smallest in size. This rare item was specially minted for the numismatist and collector, the king of Siam. In 2001, such dollar was purchased for an impressive amount of 4,140,000 US dollars.
- 1 dollar coin of 1795 is called “Flowing Hair” and is officially considered the most expensive coin in the world. The price of this silver coin reaches 7,850,000 US dollars.
- With the sale of every silver coin of the “Infantry” series of 2012, approved for minting by the Congress with circulations of up to 350,000 copies, a 10 dollars surcharge was transferred to the National Infantry Museum and the US Army Soldier Center.
- In 1782, the legislative act of the US Congress approved the minting of the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (“Out of many, one”) on silver and gold coins. This phrase was depicted on the US state seal, found in 1776.
- The United States Mint issued one-dollar silver coins with the image of Susan B. Anthony from 1979 to 1981, and then again in 1999.
- The US silver dollar of 2002 was issued for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Like the gold coin that was included in the same commemorative coin program, the silver dollar has geometric design elements.