The GSA sales of the 1970s are responsible for nearly all of the high quality Carson City Morgan dollars available in the market today. Starting in the 1920’s, the US Mint exchanged Silver Certificates at face value for Morgan Silver dollars stored at US Treasury vaults. This practice was halted in 1964 after rising silver prices made it unprofitable to maintain this practice. By the time the program ended, about $3 million worth of Morgan Dollars at face value remained. These were auctioned by the Government Services Administration (GSA) in 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1980. The sale was remarkable for many reasons - once scarce dates were available for the first time in high quality and quantity, with several previously "unseen" dates reaching the marketplace in quantity for the first time. The bulk of the GSA Morgan Dollars are from the Carson City Mint with most in uncirculated condition. In a few instances, the GSA dollars represented almost all of the original mintage. In fact, nearly all of the 1885 Carson City's mintage was held in treasury vaults. In all, the GSA conducted 7 sales raising nearly $100 million and selling 2.9 million coins. It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without the GSA sales - if the Treasury had simply melted down the coins in their vaults, the total population of “CC” coins (all denominations) would have decreased by almost 75%. GSA dollars hold an important place in collecting and are a staple to any serious Morgan dollar collection.
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