History of the Silver Dollar

Dollar coins in burlap bag on wooden table

Silver mining in the U.S. is the driving force behind the popularity of silver dollar coinage in the early days of the coin. Before the birth of the paper dollar bill, Americans used the U.S. silver dollar as the main form of currency.

Over time, the dollar coins have become a collector’s item simply because these gems are hard to find, and their production has declined. This blog highlights a brief history of the silver dollar along with the most valuable types.

1794 to 1804: Minting of the First U.S. Silver Dollar

The first U.S. silver dollar coin, “Flowing Hair,” was minted in 1794 and featured Lady Liberty on the front. This development was followed by the Draped Bust. Although different versions of coinage were doing rounds in North America as early as 1792, it was after the passage of The Coinage Act that the idea of dollar coins exploded.

1836 to 1885: Development of Seated Liberty Dollar Coin

The Seated Liberty coin offered a slight variation (Lady Liberty is seated on a rock) of the initial silver dollar types. The “Gobrecht” silver dollar coin was also created around this time.

Silver dollar production was paused in the United States from 1905 to 1920. And it was not until December 1921 when Andrew Mellon, the Treasury Secretary, approved the Peace Dollar to be minted. This coin affirmed the declaration of peace between the U.S. and Germany following the atrocities of WWI.

The 2000s were the golden years of dollar coins. Unlike the early days when U.S. dollar coins were created as part of the circulating currency, the U.S. Mint started creating many versions of non-circulating silver coins for commemorative events in the 2000s.

Types of Silver Dollars

    • Flowing Hair
    • Draped Bust
    • Morgan Dollar
    • Peace Dollar

Buy or Sell Silver Dollars!

Ready to buy or sell silver? Get started by visiting our store in Denver at 8966 W. Bowles Ave Unit N, Littleton, CO 80123. Need more information? Feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (720) 696-6750.