Littleton Coin Company

The Wild West’s Most Wanted Coin!

Are you a fan of the current crop of small-screen westerns? Or, did you grow up watching John Wayne on the big screen, chasing outlaws across the American West, brawling in barrooms as gartered piano players played ragtime tunes? In that cinematic sweep, did you hear the satisfying ring of hefty Morgan silver dollars?!

The Dawn of Our Most Popular Coin Club

Wagon Trains Showpak - Littleton Coin Blog

Picture it: Western Nevada. 1859. The discovery of precious silver ore unleashes a frenzy of mining. Soon prospectors find other silver deposits in Tombstone, AR, Leadville, CO, Park City, UT and Butte, MT. From 1878 to 1904 and again in 1921, U.S. Mints strike thousands of dollars in 90% silver, and put them into circulation.

Back East, in Philadelphia, a shy schoolteacher agrees to wear the symbolic liberty cap and model for a new obverse for the new dollar coin to be minted from these western mines. The sculptor of the Liberty Head dollar is new, too.

A rising star at London’s Royal Mint, George T. Morgan accepts a job offer from U.S. Mint Director Henry R. Linderman, who is looking for new coin designs. In the midst of all the celebrating going on during the Centennial Exposition of 1876, Morgan becomes the assistant to Chief Engraver Charles Barber.

Wild West Club Collection - Littleton Coin Blog

For the new silver dollar’s reverse, Morgan designs a patriotic American eagle with wings outstretched. Measuring 38.1mm in diameter (later to be the size of Eisenhower dollars) and weighing ¾ of an ounce, these substantial silver coins are used to pay for everything from wages earned on cattle drives and Mississippi River steamboat tickets to miners’ supplies and poker bets placed in smoky saloons. Their size was substantial enough for sharpshooter Annie Oakley to shoot holes through them during her performances of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows!

So irresistible are these Morgan dollar backstories to us at Littleton Coin that we launched a club – Tribute to the Wild West! We’ve paired these beautiful silver coins with well-researched historical vignettes, and then encased them in our exclusive Showpak® holders for club members.

Morgan Many Ways

One appreciative member, J.N. of Butler, PA, wrote us to say, “It is very fact-filled and interesting. Not only do I like Morgan dollars but the picture and the story of what it was like back in those days is very interesting.”  If you want to join the Tribute to the Wild West Club, sign up here!

We’re unveiling three new Showpaks for collectors of this unique silver dollar club. They feature two colorful and information-packed story cards on Native American leaders from the northern Plains, plus one on a notorious outlaw gang that roamed the Arizona Territory’s Mexican border.

The special hard-shell holders let you see both sides of each coin. When you become a Tribute to the Wild West club member, you also receive, in separate shipments, three deluxe presentation cases to display your historical collection.

Wild West Puzzle - Littleton Coin Blog

If you’re ready to take a deep dive, you’ll discover more about collecting these Wild West silver dollars at our recently upgraded Learn Center. You also might want to consider the ultimate guide book to this series by famed numismatist Q. David Bowers.


Our Morgan Dollar Challenge Coin might be a good, introductory example – especially if you’re wondering whether or not to gift the storied coin to a young collector. (Hint: its design honors the lowest-mintage business strike in the entire Morgan dollar series!)

But, if you’re looking for a gift for the Morgan silver dollar collector who has everything, check out Littleton Coin’s complementary Wild West offer. Why? Because what is building a collection if not putting a puzzle together?!

This article was written by Helen P.

An adventurous time-traveler, Helen P. is an author of numerous regional history books.

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