The Morgan Silver Dollar is a United States dollar coin minted intermittently from 1878 to 1921. The coin is named for its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse portrays a profile portrait representing Liberty, whilst the reverse depicts an eagle with its wings outstretched.
The dollar was authorized by the Bland-Allison Act. Following the passage of the Fourth Coinage Act, mining interests lobbied to restore the free coinage. Instead, the Bland–Allison Act was passed, which required the Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars worth of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month. In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but only required further silver dollar production for one year. This act, in turn, was repealed in 1893.
In 1898, Congress approved a bill that required all remaining bullion purchased under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to be coined into silver dollars. By 1904, those silver reserves had been depleted. And so the Mint ceased to strike the Morgan dollar.
And then, The Pittman Act of 1918 authorized melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars. The Morgan dollars thus resumed mintage for one year in 1921. Later the same year, the design was replaced by the Peace Dollar.
In the early 1960′s, many uncirculated Morgan dollars were made available from Treasury vaults, including issues that were hitherto considered rare. Beginning in the 1970s, the Treasury conducted a sale of silver dollars minted at the Carson City Mint through General Service Administration.