Whitman Publishing’s upcoming fifth edition of A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars reveals a numismatic bombshell — evidence that the U.S. Mint considered striking 1964 Morgan dollars and actually produced hubs and master dies for the coin that survive to this day.
Researchers found models, hubs and master dies for a 1964 Morgan dollar during a July 2015 visit to the Philadelphia Mint, where they also found hubs and master dies for the 1964 Peace dollar, trial strikes of which were produced at the Denver Mint in 1965.
No trial strikes of either coin have been discovered, though, and it remains uncertain whether any trial strikes were made of the 1964 Morgan dollar.
Connect with Coin World:
Any such production of a Morgan dollar would, in theory, have coincided with the Mint’s consideration of what designs to use for the silver dollar after Congress authorized resumption of silver dollar production for the first time since Peace dollars were last struck in 1935.
The known experimentation included production of an estimated 322,394 1964-D Peace dollars at the Denver Mint between May 13 and May 24, 1965, according to author Roger W. Burdette in A Guide Book of Peace Dollars.
All of the Peace dollar trial strikes were reportedly melted, with none officially released into circulation. No examples are known extant, not even in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Unsubstantiated rumors persist that Denver Mint employees were permitted to acquire examples of the trial strikes before the program was canceled and that not all examples were returned by employees despite orders to do so.
1964 Morgan dollars
The July 2015 visit to the Philadelphia Mint by four professional numismatists, during which 1964 Morgan dollar dies, galvanos and other tooling was discovered by accident, did not uncover any struck examples of a 1964 Morgan silver dollar.
The four numismatists are Dennis Tucker, publisher for Whitman Publishing LLC; prolific numismatic author Q. David Bowers, chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers Galleries and numismatic director at Whitman; John Dannreuther, numismatic researcher, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service and owner of John Dannreuther Rare Coins in Tennessee; and David Sundman, president of Littleton Coin Company in New Hampshire.
Dannreuther and Sundman are also Whitman authors.