It was the first standard silver dollar minted since production of the previous design, the Seated Liberty dollar , ceased due to the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873 , which also ended the free coining of silver. The coin is named for its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty , while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched. The dollar was authorized by the Bland-Allison Act.Following the passage of the 1873 act, mining interests lobbied to restore free silver, which would require the Mint to accept all silver presented to it and return it, struck into coin. This act, in turn, was repealed in 1893. When those silver reserves were depleted in 1904, the Mint ceased to strike the Morgan dollar. The Pittman Act , passed in 1918, authorized the melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars. Pursuant to the act, Morgan dollars resumed mintage for one year in 1921.
The design was replaced by the Peace dollar later the same year. In the early 1960s, a large quantity of uncirculated Morgan dollars was found to be available from Treasury vaults, including issues once thought rare. Individuals began purchasing large quantities of the pieces at face value, and eventually the Treasury ceased exchanging silver certificates for silver coin.
Beginning in the 1970s, the Treasury conducted a sale of silver dollars minted at the Carson City Mint through the General Services Administration. In 2006, Morgan's reverse design was used on a silver dollar issued to commemorate the old San Francisco Mint building.
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