The Morgan dollar was introduced as the dollar coin in 1878 and was minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Carson City form 1878- 1921 with gaps and breaks through the period. However, the popularity of the Morgan dollar today does not stem out of the popularity it had during its time of use (in fact, it was ignored and met with indifference- too much of a clamour for the average American). The Morgan dollar developed it reputation and became valuable long after it had gone out of use, rising as a noted coin during the 1960s and 1970s and becoming very popular by the 80s.
When the Peace dollar was introduced to mark the end of World War I, it instantly became popular with the public, and this ruled out the Morgan design off the dollar coins forever. Even when in use, the public accepted and used the Morgan dollar coins with a tone of indifference and once they were replaced, no one mourned. More than 500 million coins were issued until 1904, after completing its 25 years, minting of the Morgan dollar stopped. The dollars were never widely circulated throughout the US and stock piles still sat in the Treasury vaults. In 1918, there were over 270 Morgan dollar coins that were melted to provide silver during the war. 86 million of them were reissued in 1921 but it was soon in 1922 that the Peace dollar followed marking the end of the First World War. The popularity of the Peace dollar led to its widespread use and to it being used as a permanent replacement of the Morgan design on the silver dollar coin.
The Morgan dollar was not missed. Not even by collectors who preferred smaller denominations. This followed widespread melting of the Morgan coins especially after the rise in silver prices. It was in 1972 when the General Services Administration auctioned off most of the 2.9 million coins still lying in Treasury vaults that it rose to fame and became very popular amongst the collectors.
When LaVerve Redfield died, a millionaire investor, when his Morgan dollar collection lying in bags in his basement was uncovered and people began taking notice of the worth of the silver dollar coins. He died in 1974, leaving the Internal Revenue Service to uncover the bags stuffed with the Morgan dollar coin during an appraisal of his property. The total of 411, 000 dollars that weighed around 11 tons were auctioned and ended up fetching around $7.3 million.
Following this, the Morgan dollar coins had earned themselves a reputation in the world of numismatics and coins. The purchasers of the Redfield collection ended up dispersing the collection amongst coin collectors and people who may have had other interests and thus eventually the Morgan dollar has become one of the most desired and famous in numismatic world and US history.