Production of the Morgan Silver dollar coins did not commence until March 11, more than a week after the passage of the Bland–Allison Act. The first acceptable strike, after adjustments to the press, was coined at 3:17 p.m. at the Philadelphia Mint. This piece was given to President Hayes; the second and third were given to Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman and to Mint Director Henry Linderman.
Linderman desired to involve the western mints of San Francisco and Carson City in production in order to help reach the monthly quota necessary under the Bland–Allison Act. Pressure was so great at the Philadelphia Mint that it halted production of all other coins and began operating overtime. Use of the western mints was delayed, however, as all dies were prepared at the Philadelphia Mint, and it was believed that the Western mints did not have the proper equipment to prepare the dies for use. During the second week of production, Linderman pointed out what he called a “slight imperfection” in the dies for the silver dollar.
The reason for the changes was to reduce the relief of the designs and to change the number of tail feathers on the eagle from eight to seven; this was done because all prior United States coinage depicted the bald eagle as having an odd number of tail feathers. The high relief had caused the dies to have a shorter life. Dies were eventually sent to the Western mints, arriving in both San Francisco and Carson City on April 16, 1878. The New Orleans Mint began striking the new silver dollars in 1879. Throughout the series numerous small die varieties occurred. These have been cataloged by Leroy Van Allen and George Mallis into VAM Numbers for each year, and examples of each are in demand by advanced collectors.
The Denver Mint, established in 1906, struck the coins for only one year, in 1921. The mint marks appearing on the coins are none, representing Philadelphia, “CC” for Carson City, “S” for San Francisco, “O” for New Orleans and “D” for Denver. In order to conform to the Coinage Act of 1837, the Morgan silver dollar contained ninety percent silver and ten percent copper, measured 38.1 millimetres (1.50 in) in diameter and weighed 412.5 grains (26.73 g).
Article Source: en.wikipedia.org
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