The 1887 silver dollar is one of the many “Morgan Dollars” that were minted throughout the late 1800s into the early 1900s (1878 to 1904). The 1987 silver dollar is sought-after by coin collectors and signifies one of the last coins of what many refer to as the Wild West period. But, just what gives the 1887 silver dollar value?
1887 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1887 Silver Dollar No Mint Mark Value||$36.00||$38.00||$50||$120|
|1887 ‘’S’’ Silver Dollar Value||$36.00||$56.00||$258||$735|
|1887 ‘’O’’ Silver Dollar Value||$36.00||$69.00||$204||$600|
1887 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
Known as the Morgan Dollar, the 1987 silver dollar was one of the silver dollars made from 1878 to 1904. Named after its designer, the then Assistant Engraver to the United States Mint, George T. Morgan, these coins were minted following the Coinage Act of 1873, which saw the end of the free coining of silver. The U.S. Treasury bought between two and four million dollars worth of silver at market value and was dedicated to using this reserve to strike silver coins until it was fully depleted.
The U.S. effectively ran out of this silver reserve in 1904 and ceased the production of the Morgan Dollar. Several years later, in 1918, the Pittman Act was passed. This act authorized the melting and recoining of silver dollars, leading to continued mintage of the Morgan Dollar in 1921 before being replaced by a new design later that year.
Throughout its existence, more than 600 million morgan dollars were minted, and hundreds of thousands were melted to reuse the silver in other coins.
In 2021, the U.S. Mint began to strike Morgan Dollars once again in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of its use. As of 2023, the Morgan Coin was again struck as an annual release.
In regards to the 1887 silver dollar, this mint year was produced in the San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Orleans Mints. The Denver Mint did not strike any of these coins that year.
The Obverse of the 1887 silver dollar depicts the profile bust of Lady Liberty facing left. She sports a Phrygian-type cap with a floral crown worn around her head made of wheat sprigs and wildflowers. The word “Liberty” appears on the band of the crown. Her hair falls in waves just below the neck of the bust.
The top half of the coin displays the United States motto, “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin for “Of many, one”), which follows the curve of the coin. The bottom half of the coin depicts starts along the curve of the coin as well as the mint year 1887. Seven stars are placed to the left of the mint year and six stars to the right of it.
The Reverse of the 1887 silver dollar depicts a Bald Eagle holding a bundle of arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left. Sprigs of laurel form a garland around the lower half of the eagle. The face value is written out just below the laurel “One Dollar” and is enclosed by a star on both the right and left.
On the upper half of the coin’s reverse are the words “United States of America” and just above the eagle’s head, “In God We Trust”. The mint mark for both the S and O 1887 silver dollars can be found under the center of the laurel leaf garland between the letter D and O in “Dollar.”
Of the 33,611,000 1887 silver dollars struck, the largest of coins released into the circulation following the original mint date came from the Philadelphia Mint (1887 no mint mark silver dollar).
Only a partial amount of the coins struck in both the New Orleans and San Francisco Mint (“O” and “S” mint marks) were released following their original mint dates. Many of these coins were kept in vaults and released into circulation in the years following the Second World War.
The 1887 silver dollar is 38.10 mm in diameter and weighs 26.73 grams. As most coins released before 1935, it is made out of 10% copper and 90% silver.
As the original U.S. Mint, the Philadelphia mint was assigned the most significant production of the 1887 silver dollar. The Philadelphia facility produced 20,290,000 of these silver dollars. Per tradition at this moment in U.S. Mint history, coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint did not display mint marks.
Today a no-mint 1887 silver dollar can be taken for face value. However, the coin’s melt value, due to its 90% pure silver content, would be worth much more. Depending on the grading of the coin and such anomalies as errors that occurred during production can significantly affect the market value of this specific coin, as we will learn further along in the review. But because of the high number of these coins struck at the Philadelphia mint, these no-mint mark 1887 silver dollars are less valuable than the other mint marks we will dig into.
1887 S Silver Dollar Value
The San Francisco Mint struck 1,771,000 of the 1887 silver dollars, of which only a portion of the coins was released into circulation. The remainder of the 1887 S Silver Dollars that were struck that year was held in a vault and only released at the end of the second world war. The small number of these coins released from the San Francisco Mint following the second world war were put into circulation, though as is easy to understand, many of these coins were hoarded by coin collectors.
Today, circulated 1887 S silver dollars are worth anywhere from $36-$38 for coins that are graded as “Fine” to “Very Fine.” A circulated 1887 S silver dollar with a grade of 55 can go for $65.
However, the significant value comes from 1887-S silver dollars that were uncirculated and carry a Mint State of 61 or higher. For example, an 1887-S silver dollar with an MS 61 is valued at $162, A MS 63 at $254, and an MS 65 at $1,440. The largest amount paid for this silver dollar at auction was an astounding $58,800.
1887 O Silver Dollar Value
11,550,000 of the 1887 silver dollar was struck at the New Orleans Mint. This mint facility was known for having a lower quality trike and luster when compared to the other functioning Mints in the U.S. at the time. Many of the 1887-O silver dollars that have been found today struggle to be graded higher than an MS-63 because of the low-quality production.
Much like the 1887 silver coins struck at the San Francisco Mint were only partially released into circulation after being minted, the same occurred for the silver dollars struck at the New Orleans Mint. The U.S. Treasury released into circulation the remainder of the 1887-O silver dollars that were kept in their vault from 1962 through 1964.
As mentioned above, the value of a circulated 1887-O silver dollar in average condition is valued at $31 to $40. However, uncirculated coins of MS 61 are valued at up to $600. The highest amount of money paid for an 1887-O silver dollar was $48,000 for an uncirculated coin with an MS 66 grade.
1887 Silver Dollar Grading
Just as is true with all coins, the value lies largely within its grade. For the 1887 coin, there are a number of telling points that help to understand the grade of your coin. For example, a “Very fine” coin will show hairlines running on Liberty’s hairline just to her ear, and an “Extremely fine” coin will show the same in greater depth.
Rare 1887 Silver Dollar Errors
1887 Silver Dollar “7 Over 6 “ Error
There were a small number of 1887 Silver Dollars released with an overlap error. On both the no-mint mark coins (Philadelphia) and “O” mint marks (New Orleans), some 1887 silver coins had the number 7 minted over the number 6. Due to the rarity of this error, these coins are valuable and highly sought after.
An 1887 silver dollar with no mint mark that bears this “7 over 6” error with a fine condition tends to sell for around $50, and coins in extremely fine condition around $100. Even more, if you happen to have an uncirculated 1987 silver dollar with no mint mark with a grade of MS 65, the value shoots up to almost $2000!
As for the 1887 “O” Silver Dollar with the “7 over 6” error, these coins are even rarer, and an uncirculated coin in an MS 60 grade can sell for up to $700, and an MS 65 can go for a whopping $33,000!
1887 Silver Dollar Double Struck Error
An error that has occurred occasionally throughout Mint history is the double striking of a coin. When this happens, the planchet is stuck once and then a second time on the same planchet rather than a new one. The result is a coin with two overlapping strikes on it, and in the case of the 1887 silver dollar, the first strike appears to be misaligned towards the top of the coin, and the second strike is more properly aligned at the center. These errors in fine to very fine condition are valued up to several hundred dollars.
1887 Silver Dollar Alligator Eye Error
Known as the Alligator Eye, this double die error appears at the very front of Liberty’s eye, giving her eye the appearance of an alligator’s eye, much like the name suggests. This error occurred in 1887-P silver dollars, or to put it simply, coins that were produced at the Philadelphia Mint. These errors can run in value anywhere from $100-$300.
1887 Silver Dollar FAQs
What makes an 1887 silver dollar rare?
There are a variety of errors on the 1887 silver dollar that add to the rarity and value of the coin. In addition to these errors, the 1887 silver coin represents an important moment in Mint history as these silver dollars were the first to be struck following the congressional decision to end the free coining of silver in 1873.
Where is the mint mark on an 1887 Morgan silver dollar?
Traditionally, the original U.S. Mint in Philadelphia did not leave mint marks on any of their struck coins until 2018. Therefore you may come across an 1887 silver dollar that does not have a mint mark. However, additional 1887 silver dollars were struck at both the New Orleans Mint and the San Francisco Mint, so there are coins with “O” and “S” mint marks.
What year are silver dollars most valuable?
Although the 1887 silver coin can be quite valuable depending on grade and the existence of errors, many other silver dollars are much more valuable. Some of these coins include the 1884 S Morgan Silver Dollar, the 1901 Morgan Silver Dollar, and the most valuable, the 1893 S Morgan Silver Dollar, valued at up to $550,000.