1881 Morgan Dollar
The 1881 Morgan Dollar represented the fourth year of the series of silver dollars. Production would take place at the Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City Mints. Despite a significantly low mintage for one of these issues, all remain relatively available to collectors.
After some minor modifications in the earlier years of the series, the large silver denomination took on its most familiar design. The obverse carried a portrait of Liberty wearing a cap adorned with agricultural elements. The reverse featured an eagle grasping an olive branch and arrows in its talons and surrounded by a simple wreath. This design was created by George T. Morgan.
The 1881-CC Morgan Dollar struck at the Carson City Mint had mintage of only 296,000 pieces, representing one of the lowest figures of the series. These coins are widely available to present day collectors since a large portion of the original production was held back in Treasury vaults only to be distributed within the GSA hoard released in the 1960's. Coins from the hoard may be found in their original plastic holders of issue, or in third party graded holders.
The issue struck at the San Francisco Mint is famous for being widely abundant in gem grade. The major grading services PCGS and NGC have certified more than one hundred thousand examples in grades MS65 and higher. Since they are so abundant, many collectors will choose this issue for an affordable high grade specimen from the series.