The Morgan dollar while in circulation met a tone of nothing beyond indifference and ignorance but over the course of time has become one of the most desired and popular dollar coins.
When the dollar coin in existence was legislated out of use in 1873, no one seemed to miss it. However, with the passing of the Bland- Allison Act in the Congress, the dollar coin returned and the public did not seem to be welcoming its return.
The stimulus and drive to reintroduce the dollar coin was driven from the fact that the richest silver strike in the US (Comstock Lode, Northern Nevada) needed a market and the US Federal Government remained an obvious customer. This river itself needed a market to survive and not cause the economy of Nevada to collapse. Thus with the lobbyists were able to very successfully able to guide the new silver dollar into returning and so the Bland- Allison Act was passed in Congress in1878. As a term of this Act, the US Treasury was required to purchase silver of worth $2- 4 million every month which could be minted into dollar coins.
The new coin which was to be introduced was designed by George T. Morgan, a British engraver who was sent to the US from the Royal Mint in London upon the need the director of the Philadelphia Mint, Henry R. Linderman. George T. Morgan arrived in the US in 1876 to serve as a special engraver and worked at the Mint. While usually, the task of designing the pattern for the coin would be left to the Chief Engraver at the Mint, William Barber, this project was turned into a competition with Linderman offering to choose the best design. Morgan’s design was chosen as the final design which was to appear on the silver coins. Morgan’s design depicted a portrait image of Lady Liberty from the left side on the obverse while on the reverse portrayed an underfed eagle with outstretched wings. The Morgan dollar remained to be the only coin George T. Morgan ever designed, but it made him thoroughly popular for the dollar coin’s name became Morgana and the coins were known as Morgan dollars.
The first of the Morgan dollar coins were struck on the 11th of March, 1878, 3 17 pm, less than two weeks after the Act had been passed and the coin authorized in the Congress. It was at Press # 4 at the Philadelphia mint and currently this coin is displayed at the Hayes Library and Museum in Ohio. Along with Philadelphia which remained to be the main mint to coin the Morgan dollars, they were also coined at New Orleans, San Francisco and on a very small scale at Carson City. The Carson City mint however did not survive for long and after the silver mine at Comstock Lode played out, the mint was closed down in 1893, never to start again. Morgan dollars that had been minted at Carson City are of extremely high value today owing to their rarity and collectability.