The second edition of “A Guide to Morgan Silver Dollars, A Complete History and a Price Guide” was published in paperback on March 31, 2005.
The first chapter discussed the appeal and challenges of collecting Morgan Dollars and a few tidbits about the history of the Morgan Dollar. Although it is only five and a half pages long, the first chapter is full of interesting facts. Going into chapter two, the book goes back and looks at the history of dollar coins in general, dating back to ground Spanish dollars, then to the Currency Act of 1792 and how American minting began. There are several paragraphs that discuss the early dollar coins, their popularity or lack thereof, and how the dollar was phased out and replaced by the commercial dollar.
The book does a very decent job of describing the events that were happening during this time period, such as troubled times for silver companies and political involvement to help them that ultimately led to the Morgan dollar. Chapters 3 and 4 are packed with excellent information on the Morgan dollar design process and the minting process. For a new collector, this is very good information.
Chapter 5 looks at the five, yes, five different mints that produced Morgan Dollars, although the Denver Mint only produced Morgan Dollars for one year, the year 1921. Chapter Five also gives a bit of history on each one. of the mints.
Chapter 6 looks at the various accumulations of silver dollars discovered long after the dollar’s demise. Some once thought that livelihood dates were plentiful now when the United States Treasury began releasing and selling silver dollars held in vaults for years.
Chapter 7 delves into the variety of ways you can collect Morgan dollars. If you are familiar with Morgan Dollars, then you know that there are a multitude of ways to collect this coveted coin. Chapter 7 will give you many ideas to help you narrow down how you can compile this series.
Chapter 8 deals with the rating and the ANA rating scale. If you are familiar with scales, there is not much news here. Also, this is also where I think the book could improve. There are pictures that provide examples for each grade, but like most, if not all grading books, there are only descriptions for MS60 and above. I would have liked to see large images for each MS grade. This would give collectors a clear indication of the impact of bag brands when it comes to sorting.
Chapter 9 looks at the many varieties within the Morgan series, while Chapter 10 is where the true essence of the book lies. Chapter 10 contains a page for each and every year and mintage of the entire Morgan Dollar series. Each page contains information on collection keys, circulation strikes, test coins, price guide, availability guide, minting and distribution, and varieties. Each page is packed with very specific information for each date and mint. In addition, there is a summary for each year that looks at what is happening at that time and other general information about Morgan Dollars for that year. To be sure, this type of information took years to collect and is invaluable to the serious Morgan Dollar collector.
Chapter 10 is the longest and provides incredible detail for each and every year of the Morgan series. There is a page for each date / mint that provides information such as optimal collection grade, PCGS population (although obsolete as more coins are certified), estimated field population, total mints, varieties, etc. Also, there is a page for each year that looks at the harvest and what life was like during that particular year. Altogether, Chapter 10 is for the Morgan Dollar series collector.
In short, if you are a collector of the Morgan Dollar series, or just a beginner, this is a must-have book. The information provided in this book is incredible and gives the collector incredible information to collect one of the most popular coins collected today.
This book gets 4 1/2 stars.
If this book had enlarged images of Mint State-type coins, it would have scored a 5. Since the Morgan dollar is the most desired in the Mint State, I am puzzled why graded images are not provided.