1879 Morgan Silver Dollars have nearly as many different attributed varieties as their 1878 counterparts. Not only do 1879 Morgan Silver Dollars present some challenges to coin collectors thanks to the sheer number of varieties, but also because a couple of issues from that year are quite expensive. In many cases, coin collectors will skip over collecting the specific varieties (such as the various reverse differences), instead collecting only the basic date and mintmark combinations.
The 1879 Morgan Silver Dollar was produced in four mints: Carson City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The most valuable 1879 Morgan Silver Dollar carries the "CC" mintmark used by the Carson City Mint. It always carries a premium value because of very low production, making it the rarest 1879 Morgan Dollar. The Denver Mint used a "D", the New Orleans Mint an "O", and the San Francisco Mint an "S”. The main mint in Philadelphia did not use a mintmark.
1879 Morgan Silver Dollar Mintage Figures
- 1879: 14,806,000; $35+
- 1879 CC, CC over CC: 756,000; $300+
- 1879 CC, Clear CC: mintage included above; $300+
- 1879-O: 2,887,000; $35+
- 1879-S, 2nd Reverse: 9,110,000; $35+
- 1879-S, 3rd Reverse: mintage included above; $35+
- 1879 Proof: 1,100; $3,000+
Morgan Silver Dollar enthusiasts relish the idea of seeking more than half a dozen different mint varieties for these coins and can spend years seeking an example of each before calling their collections “compete.” These die variations are often known as VAMs, which is an acronym for authors Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis – two esteemed numismatists who published a book focusing on the various types of silver dollar die varieties. While the 1879 Morgan Silver Dollar varieties listed above cover the major attributed types, there are several others that are more obscure and are more closely followed by the most die-hard of Morgan Silver Dollar collectors.