Not long after the United States Mint stopped making circulating coinage out of 90% silver, they discovered a large quantity of Morgan Silver Dollars in uncirculated mint bags that had never been released into circulation. A great many (but not all) of these silver dollars had been minted at the long-closed mint in Carson City, Nevada. Knowing these coins were worth more than their $1 face value, and desiring to offer them to the public, they turned to the Government Services Administration (GSA). Most of these “GSA” dollars were encapsulated in hard plastic cases nestled in an outer black box, and included a certificate of authenticity from the U.S. Mint. They were sold to the public over a period of a few years, in an extremely popular program — and these coins remain wildly popular among collectors today.
It’s important to note a few important facts:
1. Coins that were tarnished or “toned” were not marked “Uncirculated” on the plastic cases — even if they WERE uncirculated! Often times, collectors only want “white” coins with no toning, with the word “Uncirculated” shown on the plastic case. We recommend that you keep that in mind when buying GSA dollars… it may or may not make a difference in the coin’s value.
2. For a GSA dollar to be considered “complete”, it *** MUST *** have the “right” card. What that means is this: When the coins were originally sold by the government, the certificate of authenticity that came with each coin had a serial number in the upper right hand corner, and the first two digits of that serial number matched the date on the coin. For example, the 1884-CC GSA dollars came with a card having a serial number beginning with “84”. Having a GSA dollar with the “wrong” card, or no card at all, can potentially affect the coin’s value.
3. GSA dollars that were tarnished or “toned”, and therefore do not say “Uncirculated” on the plastic case, also came with a different card that does NOT have a serial number on it. This is normal for coins that don’t say “Uncirculated” on the plastic case.
4. Any easily noticeable cracks or chips in the plastic case will most definitely affect the value of your GSA dollar, so be sure to inspect them carefully when you’re buying.
5. Even if a GSA dollar is “incomplete”, it can still be valuable! All GSA dollars are highly collectible and desirable, but knowing the facts above can help you become a more educated buyer if you’re in the market for GSA dollars.
The most affordable dates for GSA Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars are 1882, 1883 and 1884; any dates other than these three will be significantly more expensive.
Order your collectible Carson City Mint GSA Morgan Silver Dollars today!