Varieties and prices of Key Morgan Dollar

The 1888 Morgan Silver Dollar is best known for its interesting die varieties. For collectors of rare varieties and erroneous coins, this is certainly a key date in the Morgan dollar series.

What is an 1888 silver dollar worth?

Here is a table of average prices of 1888 Morgan dollars in different grades. Included are two popular varieties of Morgan 1888-O dollar, the “Scarface” and “Hot Lips”.

Very well
Extremely good
About Uncirculated
Mint condition 61
Mint condition 63
Mint condition 65
Auction registration
1888 (P)
$ 39
$ 45
$ 55
$ 80
$ 125
$ 275
$ 18,400 (MS67)
$ 39
$ 47
$ 55
$ 85
$ 125
$ 375
$ 20,563 (MS66)
$ 110
$ 180
$ 205
$ 360
$ 550
$ 2,000
$ 31,200 (MS66 +)
1888-O “Scarface”
$ 350
$ 525
$ 1,700
$ 4,250
$ 7,250
$ 16,000 (MS64)
$ 14,688 (MS64)
1888-O “Hot lips”
$ 225
$ 400
$ 1,150
$ 15,000
$ 17,500 (MS62)
n / A
$ 12,925 (MS60)

How much is an 1888 silver dollar worth?

1888 Morgan silver dollar.

A total of $ 19,183,000 Morgan was minted in Philadelphia in 1888. Average prices can be misleading on this mintage, as quality varied widely in Philadelphia that year. This is a problem that is more often associated with mints branches, especially in New Orleans.

No matter where they are minted, all Morgan dollars contain 0.77344 troy ounces of pure silver and are 38.1mm in diameter.

How Much is a Morgan 1888-O Silver Dollar Worth?

1888 Morgan silver dollar

1888-O Morgan silver dollar.

The Morgan 1888-O Silver Dollar saw a mintage of 12,150,000 coins. Like most silver dollars of this coin, many 1888-O Morgans exhibit abrasions from rough handling in storage bags.

Due to the low to medium strikes on this coin, another trait sadly seen on many New Orleans Morgan dollar prints, the Morgan 1888-O in the upper ranks go a bit more expensive than their Philadelphia counterparts.

Hot Lips and Scarface Morgan Dollars

The big claim to fame of the 1888-O Morgan Dollar is that the mintage features two of the most famous (and favorite) Morgan dollar varieties: the Morgan “Scarface” and “Hot Lips” Dollar.

These two elements are considered VAM Morgan Dollars. What is a VAM Morgan dollar? It is a group of varieties of special dies which are extremely attractive to coin collectors. “VAM” is an acronym names of the numismatists who discovered and documented variety coins, Van Allen and Mallis.

Each different variety is identified by a number. Another lesser-known 1888-O variety is the “Shooting star”, VAM 7A.

The Morgan “Scarface” 1888-O dollar

1888 o morgan silver dollar scarface

1888-O Morgan silver dollar, variety “Scarface”.

The Morgan “Scarface” dollar was caused by a die break on the obverse that begins at the upper left edge, near the point between the E and the PLURIBUS. The crack runs diagonally down and to the right, making a “scar” on Liberty’s nose and cheek. The length and depth of the crack / scar can vary, depending on how close the die is to completely fail when the coin has been struck. This variety is cataloged as VAM 1B.

The Morgan 1888-O “Hot Lips” dollar

1888 o double obverse hot lips morgan silver dollar

1888-O Obverse of double coin “Hot Lips” variety Morgan silver dollar.

The Morgan Hot Lips dollar displays a heavy matrix doubling which is most pronounced on Liberty’s lips. On some examples a full second set of lips can be seen on the original upper lip. This coin was an important factor in the generalization of the collection of varieties of Morgan dollars. It is classified VAM 4.

What is a “doubled die”?
Part dies are made by printing the design into the die using a die hub. Until very recently, it took several prints to completely transfer the design to the die.

If the die moved slightly during this process, you might get a second offset print of the design. If the error is not detected and the dies are used, the resulting “doubled” pattern has been transferred to the coins made with it.

How Much is a Morgan 1888-S Silver Dollar Worth?

Morgan silver dollar from the 1888s

1888-S Morgan Silver Dollar.

Only 657,000 Morgan 1888-S dollars were minted at the San Francisco Mint. This small mintage makes the coin relatively rare compared to the Philadelphia and New Orleans Morgans minted in the same year (not counting the “Scarface” and “Hot Lips” varieties).

Find more information about Gainesville Coins

You can find information and pricing tables for each Morgan dollar draw in the Gainesville Coins coin library. This resource is not just for Morgan dollars. Our coin library contains mintage history and pricing guides for everything from old pennies to pre-1933 $ 20 Double Eagle gold coins.

When you’re ready to buy (or sell), look for Gainesville parts for good prices and great service!

Read more coin value articles and related publications from the authors of Gainesville Coins:

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