Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

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RogerB
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Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by RogerB » Fri Feb 25, 2022 6:19 pm

The accompanying letter states that 18,913,583 silver dollars were "in circulation." That included all designs from 1794 to 1880.
18800827 Silver dollars in circulation_Page_1.jpg
18800827 Silver dollars in circulation_Page_1.jpg (129.69 KiB) Viewed 1089 times
This means that 18 million were not in Treasury of US Mint vaults -- not that they were actually in the hands of people and being exchanged in commerce. Most were in bank vaults counted as reserves, or awaiting shipment to Treasury, or consumed by silversmiths.
Last edited by RogerB on Sat Feb 26, 2022 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tekkie1
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by Tekkie1 » Fri Feb 25, 2022 11:31 pm

That penmanship!
AND no Whiteout available.

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HawkeEye
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by HawkeEye » Sat Feb 26, 2022 12:28 am

For some reason this triggered a memory of a study I did for myself trying to figure out just how many Morgans are left. This is not scientific, but as close as I could come given available data. In this first chart I assumed that there was a 0.1% loss of Morgans each year since the 1881-O coins were minted. Then I assumed that the 1881-O participated in the two big melt events on a pro rata basis based on the surviving coins to that date.
Surviving1881-OMorgans.jpg
Surviving1881-OMorgans.jpg (40.46 KiB) Viewed 1052 times
150 years is a long time and this shows that there are probably less than 600,000 1881-O's out there and this is probably a conservative estimate of the loss.
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SurvivalMorgans1880-2015.jpg
SurvivalMorgans1880-2015.jpg (62.68 KiB) Viewed 1052 times
This chart only goes to 2015, but shows the probable surviving rate for each New Orleans date, and that also is surprisingly small.
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RogerB
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by RogerB » Sat Feb 26, 2022 1:28 am

Converting to percentages will smooth the graph so you can compare survival rates, not quantities.

There is a series of Treasury Dept journals that show the movement of silver dollars. This also serves as a check on SSD production figures from the Cashier's records. Here's the entry label.

DSC_0005.JPG
DSC_0005.JPG (171.23 KiB) Viewed 1047 times
It's on my photography list once NARA opens.

(When first located, I hoped that there would be a follow-on series through about 1920 -- thus revealing the dates/mints destroyed during WW-I. But there is nothing except a few aggregated quantities.)

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HawkeEye
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by HawkeEye » Sat Feb 26, 2022 1:58 am

My goal here was to try and get a feel for how many are left. I think most over estimate the number. The wild card for me is the unknown melts every time silver prices go up. If my estimate is close then there are only 500,000 or less 1881-O for collectors to see. Break those down by grade and the upper end gets to really be a small population. It is impossible to know, but interesting to ponder.
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alefzero
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by alefzero » Sat Feb 26, 2022 2:25 am

About 10 years ago or so, a full bag of 1881-O Morgans, nearly all prooflike, was found. It was an anomaly. They were all the same die pair and not VAM-5. I forget which one, but I had a 65DMPL and a 64DMPL of that VAM which went down well below cost overnight. Ash should remember that bag and might have even noted the VAM. I seem to recall I had a bunch that were 1A, 1G (discovery), and 16 (besides the hoard of 5 that too many of us probably accumulated) in prooflike. So it was probably one of those.

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HawkeEye
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by HawkeEye » Sat Feb 26, 2022 3:15 am

Interesting, you will enjoy my look the 1A this month
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keilg1
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by keilg1 » Sat Feb 26, 2022 11:23 am

Wickedly cool stuff. Thanks for sharing.

It would be fascinating to figure out just how rare, for example, the 1893-5-O dollars really are. The numbers in the graph suggest them to be much lower than I'd suspected!

Gary

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messydesk
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by messydesk » Sat Feb 26, 2022 2:46 pm

alefzero wrote:
Sat Feb 26, 2022 2:25 am
About 10 years ago or so, a full bag of 1881-O Morgans, nearly all prooflike, was found. It was an anomaly. They were all the same die pair and not VAM-5. I forget which one, but I had a 65DMPL and a 64DMPL of that VAM which went down well below cost overnight. Ash should remember that bag and might have even noted the VAM. I seem to recall I had a bunch that were 1A, 1G (discovery), and 16 (besides the hoard of 5 that too many of us probably accumulated) in prooflike. So it was probably one of those.
Another common 81-O in PL is VAM 28.3 (just VAM 28 ten years ago). It has the same obverse as VAM 16, but a different reverse. VAM 16 is quite rare and only in PL.
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RogerB
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Re: Silver dollars in circulation - August 1880

Post by RogerB » Sat Feb 26, 2022 4:33 pm

alefzero wrote:
Sat Feb 26, 2022 2:25 am
About 10 years ago or so, a full bag of 1881-O Morgans, nearly all prooflike, was found. It was an anomaly. They were all the same die pair and not VAM-5. I forget which one, but I had a 65DMPL and a 64DMPL of that VAM which went down well below cost overnight. Ash should remember that bag and might have even noted the VAM. I seem to recall I had a bunch that were 1A, 1G (discovery), and 16 (besides the hoard of 5 that too many of us probably accumulated) in prooflike. So it was probably one of those.
Most of the bags of S and O mint dollars from the 1964 release were mixtures from two die pairs. This indicates that two presses were in use on the same day, and the coins mixed during quality review.

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