I am comcentrate and I'm proud to be a member of the Steem community. My posts will cover a variety of topics including (but not limited to) coin collecting, anime reviews, cryptocurrency and personal opinion pieces on movies, music and games. I was attracted to Steem after I noticed many news sources and blogs that I follow began linking to their articles on the website. I decided to join and start writing because I noticed that some of my interests and hobbies were not well represented on Steem. One of my interests is collecting coins; exclusively coins, I never go out of my way to buy paper currency. Any given coin can tell you a lot about its past - not just the wear from changing hands thousands of times over decades of circulation, but the history of why that coin was made. One of the most interesting examples of a historically significant coin in my opinion is the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar, which is why I've chosen it to be the subject of my first Steem article. And, without further ado...
The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar
The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most well-known and sought after coins available on the market. Everyone collects silver dollars - everyone. What makes them so attractive? For starters, they are absolutely beautiful coins full of rich detail. They also strike an important balance between thickness and diameter; the coin feels substantial in your hand, like it is worth something. Beyond its physical characteristics, Morgans also have a rich history that reflects politics of late 19th century America. All of this adds up to one of the most iconic and well-recognized designs in the history of US coinage.
Politics as Usual
The original Morgan Silver Dollar was produced between 1878 and 1904, when the US Mint's silver reserves ran low. During this period, the United States government was required by Congress to purchase silver bullion, strike it into coins and release them into circulation. A change in the law in 1890 mandated the continued purchase of silver but only required coins to be made for 1 more year. This law was repealed in 1893 and coins continued to be minted until 1904. In 1918, Congress passed the Pittman act, requiring that remaining reserves of silver coins be melted into bullion and sold on the foreign market in order to fund purchases of silver mined in the US. This silver was re-struck into coins, resulting in the return of the Morgan Silver Dollar. This new Morgan was only produced in 1921, after which it was supplanted by the new Peace Dollar design, commemorating the end of World War I.
A New Type of Morgan
The design of the 1921 Morgan dollar was slightly different than the one used in the previous runs of Morgans, since the original dies were destroyed when they became obsolete. A new master die was created, resulting in some variation in design, mostly in regards to the boldness of the lettering and position of some fine detail. Despite being a coin with such a unique history, the 1921 is going to be the cheapest year you'll find when shopping for Morgans, since it is also the year with the highest number of coins minted in the series. This also leads to an abundance of high-quality coins since so many examples of this year exist. Minting tens of millions of coins in one year is a very daunting task, especially at the beginning of the 20th century. Because of this rushed production of 1921 Morgans, die cracks, chips and other errors are prevalent - in my example above, a major die crack can be seen on the top right of the reverse, running through the word "OF" and the tip of the eagle's right wing. As a result of all these factors, the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is a great coin for those new to collecting and interested in the rich history reflected in coin designs.