What is a Silver Dollar?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
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Silver dollars are United States coins made from silver metal and copper. This currency is widely kept by many hobbyists as part of a coin collection. There are many variations of the silver dollar, including the Susan B. Anthony dollar and the Sacagawea dollar. Many United States (US) presidents are depicted on silver dollars. For instance, the Eisenhower silver dollar, government issued in the 1970s, honors the 34th US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Typically in the collector's market, a mint-condition silver dollar will have greater value than a coin that is marred or flawed. Coin dealers who sell silver dollars may sell rare coins that have been out of circulation for a long time. These rare coins are generally valued and sought after by collectors. Auction houses are a common source for such rare coins, and online sources may be another.

American silver dollars have a rich history, dating back to the 1700s. Morgan silver dollars are widely sought after, and one of the rarest coins may be the 1895 Morgan dollar. According to US mint records, there may be several thousand Morgan silver dollars unaccounted for.


The American Eagle silver dollar is made of pure silver. It is made from one ounce of pure silver, which is stamped and documented onto the coin. A depiction of Statue of Liberty is on the front side of the silver coin, and the American Eagle is depicted on the other side. In 2006, the government issued uncirculated American eagle silver dollars, as well as a special commemorative 20th-anniversary silver dollar coin.

When the American silver dollars were issued from the late 1700s through the mid 1930s, there were many types in circulation, including the seated liberty silver dollar and the peace silver dollar. Seated liberty silver dollars were issued in the 1800s and their value varies greatly, according to condition. Uncirculated coins may be valued at thousands of dollars.

The grade of a silver dollar may be determined by several factors. This may include wear along edges, clarity, and general luster of the coin. Experience and expertise are required to grade silver dollars accurately.

Canadian silver dollars are another type of coin also sought after by coin collectors. These silver dollars were issued by the Canadian mint beginning in the 1930s. Maple leaf designs of Canadian silver dollars are one of the most notable varieties.


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