Coin Specifications

Category: Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 749,500
Catalog: KM-110
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $14.35 (8/25/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1878 8TF S$1 MS obverse 1878 8TF S$1 MS reverse


  
Expand All    Collapse All

VarietyPlus®

Variety Fee
1878 8TF S$1 MS -
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-5 DDO "RIB" $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-9 FIRST DIE MARRIAGE $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.11 EYE SPIKES $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-15 DDO "LIBERTY" $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-23 DDO LIPS $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-1 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-2 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-2A $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-3 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-4 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-6 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-7 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-8 STICK FEATHER $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-10 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-12 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.1 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.2 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.3 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.4 CONCAVE REVERSE $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.5 SPIKED "A" $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.6 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.7 DOUBLED EAR $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.8 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.9 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.10 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.12 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.13 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.14 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.15 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.16 DDO PROFILE $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.17 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.18 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.19 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-14.20 BOLL LINES $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-16 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-17 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-18 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-19 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-20 DOUBLED DATE $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-21 $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-22 WEAK "LIB" $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-22A "LIB" & CLASH $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-39A 7/5TF $15
1878 8TF S$1 MS VAM-40 7/5TF $15

Click on a coin to see VarietyPlus details.

Description & Analysis

In early 1878, the Morgan dollars were issued with eight tail feathers as part of the reverse design. The popular nugget goes that naturalists immediately informed the Mint that they had committed a grave design error, and that eagles' tails have a central feather with equal numbers of feathers on either side, thus they must have an odd number of tail feathers. The legend continues that the Mint quickly changed the design to one with seven tail feathers, although they could have just as easily chosen nine tail feathers. Q. David Bowers writes in Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia that numismatic researcher Eric P. Newman, to assist with Bowers' manuscript, contacted the Raptor Center in St. Louis. Newman discovered that most birds of prey, including the American bald eagle, have 12 tail feathers! Bowers writes further that various evidence indicates that designer George T. Morgan planned to use seven tail feathers from the very beginning, but that the dies were prepared in haste without attention to minute details: hence the various tail-feathered varieties of 1878; and that in reality, the dies with seven tail feathers have many more minute differences than merely a different number of tail feathers, apparently aesthetic tweaks on Morgan's part.

The 8 Tail Feathers reverse was used only in 1878, the first year of the Morgan design, making this issue extremely important to type collectors.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation

 
NGC PRICE GUIDE
NGC CENSUS*
AUCTION PRICES REALIZED
NGC REGISTRY
SCORE

Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/29/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1878 8TF S$1 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00 55.00 60.00 70.00 90.00 115 140 200 235 290 600 1825 7750 57500 - - -
$ - - - - - - 215 255 325 800 2450 11750 - -
1878 8TF S$1 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - 80.00 100.00 - 155 230 285 415 850 2650 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - 250 315 485 1100 - - - -
1878 8TF S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 185 265 450 1100 5700 25500 58500 - - - -
$ - - - - - - 290 525 1650 - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 12221
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/24/2009 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 404, 410/Lot# 620 $115.00
9/6/2009 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 6-8, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 54/Lot# 2769 $690.00
6/19/2011 PCGS MS 62   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/19/2011, 122/Lot# 10466 $164.38
8/11/2011 PCGS MS 64   Deep Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(3), 1158/Lot# 4414 $3,450.00
2/12/2012 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 3223, 3223/Lot# 1848 $70.00
12/5/2013 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(6), 1192/Lot# 8258 $528.75
5/19/2014 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3482, 6031/Lot# 20346 $103.40
6/3/2014 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4136 $616.88
1/30/2015 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3519, 6088/Lot# 21106 $705.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 8TF S$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base13914715115916316717117521624127837556365374511932261481710113106181395423004
1421481541601641681721892242533104385936848941549311365821028111730169710
000000172189224253310438593684894154931136582102811173000
0000001742022332663435006237141044190539658348104501284200
1878 8TF S$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base151163167171175179186194201230308450615764109413452445515810455109732555947392
15516416817217618118819621025635550566487411771711334969231062715835328360
0000001881962102563555056648741177171133496923106271583500
0000001911982202824025607149841261207842538689108002069700
1878 8TF S$1 MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1751831861982012092122162652923365026679451483348673391011310928262383835671283
1771841901992032102132322743063915577591124215047708263103841603130277493310
000000213232274306391557759112421504770826310384160313027700
000000214248283321446612852130328186054918810656211343431600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65 DPL
Points: 7339
Owner: Coxe
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 6582
Owner: AYWP
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

E Pluribus Unum, Part Two

8/17/2009 — In the second part of a new series, David W. Lange continues to de-mystify a great legend in numismatics.
View full article >
Silver Dollar Varieties Growing in Popularity

1/1/2004 — While there are several United States coin series that can claim to be the most popular with American collectors, I believe the consistent front runner in recent decades has been, and will continue to be, Morgan silver dollars.
View full article >


NGC Auction Central Disclaimer