Previous 1878 Variety | Next Date | 1878 Morgan Dollars | Morgan Dollars by Date | Silver Dollars by Type

Obverse of 1878 Morgan Silver Dollar, 7 Tail Feathers, Reverse of 1879     Reverse of 1878 Morgan Silver Dollar, 7 Tail Feathers, Reverse of 1879


1878 SILVER DOLLAR -
7 Tail Feathers
Reverse of 1879

PCGS Nos: 7076, 7077, 97077, 7313

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: estimated 4,300,000
Proofs: estimated 50

Designer: George T. Morgan

Diameter: 38.1 millimeters

Metal Content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 26.73 grams

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia)

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

The January 2000 "FUN" Sale, Lot 7012, PCGS MS-65

Notes:
After using up the 8 Tail Feathers and 7/8 Tail Feathers dies, the Mint finally settled down to the anatomically correct 7 Tail Feathers version.  However, two additional problems required a fix.  One was the eagle's breast, which appeared unnaturally flat on the earliest 1878 Morgan Dollars.  The other was the top fletch in the bundle of arrows on the reverse; early versions had a parallel fletch that was out of perspective with the way the arrows were aligned.  These two problems were fixed on the reverse dies used in the final part of 1878 - the eagle's breast became rounded and the top fletch was slanted.  The dies became known as the "Reverse of 1879" to differentiate them from earlier ones.  Thus, the 1878 7 Tail Feathers can be found with either a Reverse of 1878 or a Reverse of 1879!

The most common Uncirculated grade for this variety is MS-63, followed by MS-62 and MS-64 (which are of about equal rarity). Gems and Prooflikes are rare.  The finest examples graded by PCGS are six MS-66s, a single MS-66 Prooflike, and three MS-65 Deep Mirror Prooflikes.

Proofs of this variety are extremely rare, with an estimated mintage of only 50 pieces.  PCGS has examined only 10 of the Proofs and, of those, the finest examples graded by PCGS are only two PR-64s and one PR-64 Cameo!

Recent appearances:
NGC MS-65.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 358, "Rev. of 79", sold for $603.75

NGC MS-64 Deep Prooflike.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1023, not illustrated, not sold

NGC MS-64.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6340, not illustrated, sold for $258.75

PCGS MS-63 Prooflike.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6341, not illustrated, sold for $258.75

MS-63 Prooflike.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 1786, "7 Tail Feathers, Second Reverse", sold for $115.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, April 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service