Want an easy payday this holiday season? You may need to look no further than the spare change in your purse! It turns out that if you have a rare coin called a Morgan Silver dollar, you could be lining your pockets with an extra $2,500 — or even more.
Minted from 1878 to 1904 and then in 1921, the Morgan Silver dollar was named after its original designer, then-U.S. Mint assistant engraver George T. Morgan. (Fun fact: He eventually became Chief Engraver of the United States Mint in the 1900s. Way to go!) It features a profile bust of Lady Liberty on the front and a bald eagle with its wings outstretched on the back. The coin was meant to represent the nation’s westward expansion at the time, and the desire for the country to further industrialize in the late 19th century.
Interestingly, the portrait of Lady Liberty was actually modeled off of Anna Willess Williams, a teacher and philosophical writer, giving it a more realistic look than other coins that featured Lady Liberty at the time. And because many of these cents were re-melted and fashioned into new silver coins, they became increasingly rare for many years as the number of them in circulation dwindled.
Just how much can these dollar coins go for? Well, in a recent eBay auction, 47 different buyers bid on an 1893 Morgan Silver dollar before it sold for a cool $2,550. Some rarer ones, especially those found in sets of multiples, are also going for as much as $91,000 in auctions.
While it might be sad to part with such a wonderful piece of history, that kind of cash wouldn’t hurt either. So what are you waiting for? Take a gander in your purse or spare change jar! You truly never know what you may find.