For Morgan Silver Dollar collectors, 1885 was a quiet year – there are no major attributed die varieties, and only the Carson City issue, as usual for the Morgan Dollar series, presents any significant challenge. Collectors who pursue the many VAM (Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis) varieties may find several die variations to pursue from 1885. However, the only significantly difficult target for the typical Morgan collector seeking 1885-dated dollar coins is the Carson City issue – which today is scarcer than most of the preceding CC-mint Morgan Dollar issues, as you will notice in the list below.
The 1885 Morgan Silver Dollar was produced in four mints: Carson City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The most valuable 1885 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 1885 Morgan Dollar. The New Orleans Mint used an "O" and the San Francisco Mint an "S”. The main mint in Philadelphia did not use a mintmark. Proof examples of Morgan Dollars from all years, including 1885, are rare which makes them expensive.
1885 Morgan Silver Dollar Mintage Figures
- 1885: 17,787,000; $35+
- 1885-CC: 228,000; $550+
- 1885-O: 9,185,000; $35+
- 1885-S: 1,497,000; $50+
- 1885 Proof: 930; $3,000+
While mintage numbers may seem high enough to suggest that a sufficient number of Morgan Dollars exist from that year, bear in mind that the Pittman Act of 1918 instigated the melting of more than 270 million Morgan Silver Dollars, which effectively means far fewer Morgan Dollars exist today than are reflected in mintage figures. Even when you are purchasing the most “common” Morgan Dollars, such as the 1885 Morgan Dollar, do your best to buy the highest quality you can afford, because when the time comes to sell, your coins will generate more excitement among buyers and could help you gain a better return on your dollar.