1878 Silver Dollar Value

Posted - June 27, 2023
1878 silver dollar value

Bullion investors sometimes underestimate the value of highly collectable silver and gold coins. For decades, savvy collectors have built their silver and gold portfolios using some of the high-purity coins from the early years of United States bullion. The 1878 Silver Dollar is one of the most popular numismatic coins on the market. 

But how can investors accurately determine 1878 Silver Dollar values? Value for this coin can vary greatly depending on several factors. Most notably, the condition of the coin and the presence (or lack of) certain mintage errors can contribute to the overall value of a 1878 Silver Dollar. 

In today’s guide, we’re helping new investors learn everything they should know about 1878 Silver Dollar values. We’ll outline the history, market trends, and value considerations associated with this important piece of American coinage history. 

1878 Silver Dollar Specifications

1878 Silver Dollars are also known as Morgan Dollars. The name for these coins is taken from their designer, George T. Morgan. Morgan was hired by the U.S. Mint to create a coin commemorating Lady Liberty, a classic symbol of American freedom and pride. She appears on this coin wearing her bonnet, along with a headband bearing the word ‘Liberty.’

File:1889-p-morgan-dollar-obverse.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Morgan Silver Dollar Obverse

The reverse of the coin pays homage to another classic symbol, the American bald eagle. It flies proudly through the air and carries both an olive branch and a bundle of arrows. 1878 Silver Dollar values are at least partially related to their designs; the classic depiction of American symbolism they feature carry significant collectable value to bullion enthusiasts. 

History of the 1878 Silver Dollar

How are 1878 Silver Dollar values influenced by their historical significance? The place a coin occupies in bullion history is an important indicator of collectible value. 

The subject of today’s article is actually the first edition of the Morgan Silver Dollar. These coins were produced from 1878 to 1904, with a special collector’s version being released in 1921. From 2021 until the present, the Morgan Silver Dollar has been produced with .999 pure silver as a bullion product by the U.S. Mint. 

Adding to its historical importance and securing 1878 Silver Dollar value is the fact that this coin was released at a fascinating time in American coinage. Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act in 1873, requiring the U.S. Mint to purchase pure silver and mint it into silver coins for distribution to the general public. 

1878 Silver Dollar values are intimately related to the unique spot the coin occupies in American history. The release of this coin in 1878 represented a golden age of American silver coinage, and it’s easy to see why so many American coin investors still appreciate the beauty and historical symbolism of the 1878 Silver Dollar. 

Assessing 1878 Silver Dollar Value

Not all 1878 Silver Dollars are created equal. In fact, 1878 Silver Dollar values can range from twenty dollars to thousands, depending on several key factors. This section will cover some of the main factors that help to determine the value of each Morgan Silver Dollar. 

Condition and Grade

Grading is the most important consideration for investors who want to better understand the value of their 1878 Silver Dollar. 1878 Silver Dollar values can be highly variable, and coins in mint condition can cost thousands of dollars. 

Accurately evaluating the condition of an 1878 Silver Dollar can be difficult, especially for novice collectors. We generally recommend using a professional coin grading service to make sure you have a solid understanding of the authenticity and grade of your coin. Coins can range from Poor – the lowest possible grade – to About Uncirculated, or AU. 

1878 Silver Dollar Values are primarily determined by condition and grade. Because so few of these coins have been kept in near perfect condition, AU graded 1878 Silver Dollars can go for quite a bit of money on the open bullion market. 

Key Factors Considered by Collectors

To newer investors, the market for numismatic coins can seem almost impossible to navigate. Several factors contribute to 1878 Silver Dollar values, and even seasoned collectors might struggle to make sense of these ever-changing paradigms of evaluation.

There are five main considerations that investors should use to determine how much an 1878 Silver Dollar is worth: rarity, condition, mint mark, variations, and historical significance. We’ll cover each one of these factors below. 


1878 Silver Dollar values are heavily dependent on their rarity. Some Morgan Silver Dollars are more expensive than others because of how rare they are, and this rarity mostly comes down to errors. The “8-tail” 1878 Silver Dollar is the rarest silver dollar from this year. Only a small number of these unique coins were made, as experts fixed the issue almost immediately after the first batch was released. 

1879S Morgan Dollar NGC MS67plus Reverse - PICRYL - Public Domain Media  Search Engine Public Domain Search
Morgan Dollar Reverse

Bald eagles only have seven tail feathers, so it’s impossible for them to have eight. When the very first 1878 Silver Dollars were minted, they included the impossible number of tails as a mistake. Like with many rare minting errors, coins featuring this issue can be extremely valuable – some are worth tens of thousands of dollars in exceptional condition. 

After the error was fixed, it led to the creation of a new line of error-ridden coins, although these were slightly less valuable. These 1878 Silver Dollars are called ‘7-over-8s.’ 1878 7-over-8 Silver Dollars were struck with an additional die to give the appearance of only seven feathers. But the mistake is still visible by the faint outline of an eighth tail feather on the reverse side’s bald eagle. 

Carefully evaluate your Morgan Dollar to see if it includes one of these valuable errors. 1878 Silver Dollar values can skyrocket when they feature a rare minting error. 


In the world of collectible circulated silver coins, condition is king. Professional grading can go a long way in helping you determine 1878 Silver Dollar values. Coins that are in cull condition still contain numismatic value, meaning that they’re worth at least a bit more than their pure silver melt content. 

But the most valuable coins are both rare and in exceptionally solid condition. If you visit any 1878 Silver Dollar value guide, you’ll note that prices seem to jump significantly once you get closer to mint condition. 

Mint Mark

The mint mark with the highest 1878 Silver Dollar value is the CC mark. Distributed from the Carson City Mint, these coins were minted in extremely low numbers. Compared to the other mints in the U.S. system, CC was relatively small. The mint itself was created during the silver boom of the late-1800s and was short-lived, having been sold just sixty years later to Nevada state. 

Mint marks with the least 1878 Silver Dollar values include coins from the San Francisco Mint. Even in uncirculated condition, 1878 Silver Dollars with this mint mark are typically only worth around $56, offering little value over the spot price of silver. 


The 1878 Silver Dollar only comes with one set of obverse-reverse designs. On the obverse, we’ve already covered Morgan’s depiction of Lady Liberty, complete with her bonnet and ‘liberty’ headband. The reverse includes a bald eagle carrying an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its talons. 

Like we explained earlier, some Morgan Silver Dollars were accidentally minted with eight tail feathers on the eagle instead of seven, and other rare variations of the coin include a die of seven tail feathers – the eighth mistaken feather remains visible underneath. 

1878 Silver Dollar value is closely related to the variation/edition of the coin you find. Silver Dollars minted during this year can come with three possible mint marks: No mint mark (Philadelphia), CC (Carson City), and S (San Francisco). While errors from the Philadelphia mint can be the most valuable, the most valuable non-error coins generally bear the CC mint mark. 

Historical Significance

The Morgan Silver Dollar is historically significant for several reasons. First, the coin was minted following the passage of the Bland-Allison Act, which charged the mint with the task of minting raw silver into a certain number of dollar coins each year. Additionally, the coin was minted during the height of the late-1800s silver rush, an important time in the history of American bullion and coinage. 

Coins from the Carson City Mint are especially historically significant. This is one reason why 1878 Silver Dollar values are highest when they carry the rare CC mint mark. After all, the Carson City Mint was only in operation for a small number of years, and the remoteness of the CC Mint compared to most other parts of the U.S. minting system made coins from this distributor especially rare. 

Market Trends

Market trends for both this coin itself and for silver generally influence 1878 Silver Dollar values. Each silver dollar from 1878 is minted using 90% pure silver bullion. When the spot price of silver increases, 1878 Silver Dollar values spike. In times of volatility or a bear market, values for these coins might decline dramatically. 

Historical Price Trends

Market trends also play a role in determining numismatic 1878 Silver Dollar values. These historical price trends are a little bit more difficult to gauge than silver’s spot price. After all, demand for specific collectable coins is tough to measure directly. No such thing exists as an ‘1878 Silver Dollar spot price.’ 

Investors intent on investing in 1878 Silver Dollar values should carefully follow the market. Looking through selling forums and tracking prices in the long term can help you figure out the historical price trends for 1878 Silver Dollars. Tackling a numismatic market takes quite a lot of research, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with leading authorities and magazines on rare coins before trying to speculate on 1878 Silver Dollar value charts. 

Factors Influencing 1878 Silver Dollar Values

Five main factors influence 1878 Silver Dollar values. Rarity, condition, mint marks, variations, and historical condition are the things that determine how much an 1878 Silver Dollar is worth. The rarer a Silver Dollar is, the more expensive it will be on the secondary market. Coins that contain valuable errors are worth even more, and all 1878 Silver Dollars contain at least a degree of historical value. 

Noteworthy Auctions

Historically, some 1878 Silver Dollar values have been exceptionally high. One record-breaking auction saw an 1878 P Morgan Silver Dollar sell for an incredible $155,250. Several other noteworthy auctions for these rare coins demonstrate the highly variable 1878 Silver Dollar value charts. 

Historical Price Trends

Like we explained above, historical price trends are tough to predict, especially when we deal with numismatic collectable coins like the 1878 Silver Dollar. It’s possible to generate an understanding of long-term value trends by looking through old auction sites and evaluating aftermarket sales prices. 

File:Moneda de 1 dólar USA 1921.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Morgan Silver Dollars from 1921

Similar to most other old coins, 1878 Silver Dollar values tend to rise over time. The further we get from the initial minting year of an old collectable bullion product, the more valuable it is likely to become to collectors. While the 1878 isn’t quite the rarest of all Morgan Silver Dollars, it still remains rare and increasingly valuable to investors.

The value of 1878 Silver Dollars also increases over time as the spot price of silver rises. Silver is quite a bit more valuable now than it was just a decade ago, which means that the .90 pure silver bullion in each 1878 Silver Dollar is worth more money. 

Factors Driving High Prices

Especially high 1878 Silver Dollar values come down to two main factors: historical significance and rarity. Because all 1878 Silver Dollars include the same amount of pure silver, the price difference between two different coins results from different rarities. Like we explained, coins minted during 1878 by the Carson City Mint are worth more than other coins, especially if they remain in exceptionally fine condition. 

1878 Silver Dollars with rare errors, including the coveted 8-feather error, are worth more than normal coins without minting mistakes. 

Tips for Collectors

Collectors who consider investing in Morgan Silver Dollars should worry about more than just 1878 Silver Dollar values. Considerations during the research, purchase, and storage process should occupy your time to ensure that you get the most out of your long-term silver investment. We often talk about the importance of proper storage and best practices for selling in our articles. Whether you’re buying a pure bullion American Silver Eagle or choosing to put your money in collectable coins like the 1878 Silver Dollar, you need to be careful about how you store and sell your investment. 

Considerations When Purchasing 

First, make sure that you’re only doing business with sellers you trust. Reading ample online reviews from real buyers can help you make a more informed decision. This isn’t just about getting the right 1878 Silver Dollar value estimate, either. You also need to be sure that the online bullion dealer shipping your coin will take precautions to avoid your products being damaged in transit. 

Hero Bullion has developed a careful, safe shipping process to make sure that your coins will never arrive with chipping, scuffs, or other marks that might impact the long-term value of your investments. We’ve received great reviews for our shipping process, and we’re happy to walk you through how we safely and discreetly ship your items. 

Storage of your coins is also an important consideration. How do you store 1878 Silver Dollars? We recommend storing them like you’d store any other pure silver coin. A temperature controlled safe is always a smart bet. Investors with hundreds of ounces of pure silver should consider buying additional insurance for their bullion products, as some home insurance plans don’t cover precious metals above a certain dollar value. 

Authenticity Resources

This is very important. Bullion buyers investing in old American coins like the 1878 Silver Dollar should take precautions to make sure their coin is genuine and authentic. Modern coins, like the Canadian Silver Maple, come with state-of-the-art security features to fight against increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting operations.

Older coins don’t offer this luxury to investors. These coins were minted at a time when anti-counterfeiting technology was still new, so it’s relatively easy for smart counterfeiters to sell fake Morgan Silver Dollars. 1878 Silver Dollar values tank when the coins are not verifiably legitimate. Coin authenticity can be tough to verify for new investors. 

We generally advise having your coins evaluated and graded by a professional coin grading service to make sure that you have all your bases covered. At the very least, this certification can help you accurately price a coin before purchase or sale. 

Final Thoughts: 1878 Silver Dollar Values

Tracking values for coins like the 1878 Silver Dollar can be a difficult process, and this can quickly become overwhelming for people who are new to buying and selling silver coins. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to get a more accurate picture of 1878 Silver Dollar values. 

By extensively researching the silver market, learning about different types of available 1878 Silver Dollars, and taking precautions to keep your investments safe and secure, you can buy with confidence. 

Never hesitate to contact Hero Bullion’s dedicated customer support team with any questions that you might have. 

About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.