The Morgan dollars have gained a reputation for themselves many decades after their minting and circulation stopped. The last of the magnificent, beautiful and inspirational of the Morgan dollars to be minted remains the 1921 Morgan.
Today, the Morgan dollars are desired and prized by collectors and enthusiasts. But this always was not the case, especially during the time period when they were being minted, circulated and used. The public met the Morgan dollar coins with a tone of indifference and ignorance and it was several decades after their minting as stopped, the Morgan dollars replaced and some of them resurfaced that they gained a reputation, were seen as rare, beautiful and inspirational and became coins that were enjoyable and entertaining to collectors.
After the Liberty Seated dollar coin was discontinued in 1873, the silver mining industry was suffering from under consumption and especially after the silver strike at Comstock Lode in Nevada, there were many lobbying the government to begin producing silver dollar coins again. And thus, the Bland- Allison Act of 1878 was passed in Congress and this paved the way for the silver coins to be minted again and the Treasury to buy millions of worth of silver from the strike each month.
The coin was designed by George T. Morgan and during the circulation and usage period remained unpopular. It was considered as being too heavy and also unattractive. The coin depicted a left side portrait of Madam Liberty on the front facing side of the coin and a bald eagle with 3 arrows and an olive branch on the reverse. The eagle was considered scrawny at the time of minting and use while the dollar was very commonly being known as the buzzard dollar since the eagle image resembled one.
The Morgan coins however managed to survive their unpopularity and were present as the US went through exciting and rapid changes such as the Old West and James and the Gang as well as the age of automobiles. Then there was also the Pittman Act passed in 1918 which called for over 270 million Morgan coins to be melted to meet demands of silver during the World War I. The silver was then sold to Britain, engaged heavily in the War at a rate of $1.0 per ounce.
There was a reminting of the Morgan dollar coins in 1921 when the Philadelphia, San Francisco and the Denver mint produced some 45 million Morgan coins. The 1921 Morgan was the only Morgan series coin to be minted at Denver. During the first minting phase, the locations of the mints coining the Morgan dollars were Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Carson City.
The Morgan dollars over time and through the course of history have become extremely popular and now are far from being scorned or ridiculed as they were when introduced or when in use. Morgan coins survived changes, survived ignorance, and survived adversity of all forms and have become arguably the most desired and popular of the coins ever minted in the US.