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1885 Silver Dollar

Updated on January 10, 2012

In 1885, Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, dedicated the Washington Monument and the Carson City Mint produced a fabulously and highly collectible 1885-CC Morgan Silver Dollar.

While the Philadelphia and New Orleans minted millions of dollars in 1885, San Francisco and Carson City respectively produced than 1.5 million and 250,000 copies of the coin.  The low mintage of 1885-S and 1885-CC makes both coins desirable amongst collectors.

The Carson City coin has a unique characteristic where basically all circulated grades of the coin have a value of about $500.   Of course the coin is worth more uncirculated and can fetch several thousand dollars in a pristine condition.

PCGS MS64 1885-O Morgan Silver Dollar

San Francisco Mint

The San Francisco minted version does not have a base value regardless of grade, but increases in value as the coin approaches the mint state. Like the CC, the 1885-S is very rare in uncirculated condition and is worth thousands of dollars.

The higher mintage of the 1885 New Orleans and Philadelphia silver dollars allowed for the survival of mint state uncirculated coins so they lack any rarity found in their cousin coins. Even still, they are quite collectible and affordable for most collectors even new to collecting Morgan Silver Dollars.

You can purchase 1885 silver dollars at your local coin store, but you need to be aware of the prices either by subscribing to the Coin Dealer Newsletter or checking the value online.  (It really helps if you have a cell phone with internet access to get the latest prices.)

I've purchased many of my coins on eBay where you can get close to market price.  Try to stick with PCGS graded coins since they're less subjective to grading and tend to follow a standardized process of grading.  The MS64 1885-O shown above was purchased on eBay for $30 which was a very good buy for the quality of the coin.


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  • howardyoung profile image

    Howard Young 7 years ago from California

    You can take a tour of the CC Mint/Museum for about $8. I went about 30 years ago and it was very interesting even when I was a teenager.

  • raisinkane profile image

    raisinkane 7 years ago from Auburn Wa

    Great article! I never knew there was a mint in Carson city! I Love Carson city,cant wait to go back!!