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Why Does My Morgan Dollar Have Two Eagles and No Lady?


Genuine Morgan Dollar Reverse

Eagle, or "tails" side of a genuine Morgan Dollar.

Photo courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries
Question: Why Does My Morgan Dollar Have Two Eagles and No Lady?
Reader Lauren S. writes,

I have a coin that has a Morgan eagle on both sides with no lady. Have you heard of such?
Answer: Two-tailed Morgan Dollars made from two genuine Morgans are certainly not very common. In thirty years of collecting, I have never run across one, although I have seen a couple of two-headed Morgan Dollars made from genuine coins.

Without seeing your coin, it is impossible to speculate about what you might have. Possibilities include:

(a) An altered two-tailed coin (similar to the two-headed coins) made for novelty purposes or magician's tricks.

(b) Any number of commemorative tokens made through the years, sometimes of good silver but usually base metal , sometimes with a very thin silver plating, which are sold as "collectibles" to unwary people.

(c) A minting error from one of the private mints that make the tokens in (b).

(d) An intentional "error" made by a private mint as curiosity piece.

One thing your coin is not is a genuine U.S. Mint two-tailed struck Morgan dollar. I have more about two-headed and two-tailed coins in my article about two-headed coins, which also explains why such coins are impossible (the die shafts are made differently so the Mint workers can't put a "round peg into a square hole.")

If your coin exactly matches the reverses of genuine Morgan dollars, then there's a decent chance you might have type (a) above. In such a case, the coin might be worth as much as $20 to $25, partly based on the silver bullion it contains, but also because Morgan Dollars altered in this two-tailed fashion are quite scarce.

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