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Obverse of 1878 7/8 Tail Feathers Morgan Dollar     Reverse of 1878 7/8 Tail Feathers Morgan Dollar
 


1878 SILVER DOLLAR -
7 over 8 Tail Feathers

Mintage:
Circulation strikes: 544,000
Proofs: None

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 F.U.N. 2000 Sale, January 5-7, 2000, Lot 7004, PCGS MS-65 Weak

Notes:
The 7 over 8 Tail Feathers (7/8TF) variety was a transitional issue between the "incorrect" 8 Tail Feathers (8TF) variety and the "proper" 7TF variety.  In fact, the 1878 7/8TF variety was an economic move to prevent the waste of the previously made, but unused, 8TF dies.  The design was simply corrected in the die itself.  On some of the corrections, traces of the underlying 8 TF design are barely visible; these are known as Weak 7/8TFs.  On others, the 8TF are not so shy and are readily visible even to the naked eye; these are known as Strong 7/8TFs.

The Weak and the Strong 7/8TF varieties are easily obtained in Uncirculated condition, with the Strong version being slightly more common.  The most common Uncirculated grade is MS-63, followed by MS-64, then MS-62.  Gems of either variety are scarce.  Of the Strong variety, the finest examples graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service are 4 MS-66s, 7 MS-65 Prooflikes, and only a single MS-65 Deep Mirror Prooflike.  Of the Weak variety, the finest examples graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service are 9 MS-66s, 18 MS-64 Prooflikes, and 5 MS-65 Deep Mirror Prooflikes.

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-66.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6342, "7/8TF", plated, sold for $12,075.00  From the Gary Wolkwitz Collection

NGC MS-65.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6226, "7/8 Tail Feathers,Strong", illustrated, sold for $1,495.00

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1995, "Clear doubled tailfeathers", illustrated, sold for $862.00

ANACS MS-64 Deep Mirror Prooflike.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 6227, "7/8 Tail Feathers, Strong", illustrated, sold for $1,006.25

PCGS MS-64.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 8173, "7/8 Tail Feathers, Strong", not illustrated, not sold

PCGS MS-64.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 635, "7 Over 8 Tail Feathers", sold for $40.25  Ex: Strong Museum Collection

Choice Brilliant Uncirculated with claims to a full Gem designation.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1309, "7 over 8 Tail Feathers, VAM-41", not plated, sold for $126.50

Choice Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 466, "Weak 7/8 Tailfeathers", not plated, sold for $230.00

MS-63.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1996, "Clear doubled tail feathers", not illustrated, sold for $80.00

Brilliant Uncirculated, virtually Choice.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1310, "7 over 8 Tail Feathers", not plated, sold for $184.00

Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 636, "7 Over 8 Tail Feathers", sold for $172.50

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