This is an 1891 Morgan Silver Dollar belt buckle. The buckle shows a Western style with a gleaming Morgan silver dollar affixed at the buckle’s center. The obverse of the Morgan silver dollar is showing; the design features a personification of Lady Liberty facing left. In her hair is a headband with the engraved words “Liberty” running across it. Liberty's head is encircled with the words “E Pluribus Unum”, thirteen six-pointed stars, andthe date “1891.” The coin was designed by George T. Morgan and had a composition of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.
The United States Mint first minted silver dollars in 1794 and produced them continuously through 1804. It stopped for a period of time, but production resumed again in 1840 and continued through 1873. Upon Congress passing the Bland-Allison Act of February 28, 1878, the mint was authorized to resume producing silver dollars.
In 1891, the United States saw a mix of both prosperity and financial difficulties. A new gold rush began in Cripple Creek, Colorado, after Robert Womack discovered gold in an area known as Poverty Gulch, located on the western slope of Pikes Peak. By 1900, Cripple Creek would be known as the richest gold district on earth with over 50,000 citizens residing there.
Yet financial conditions remained difficult in the prairie states, and many homesteaders gave up their efforts and headed back east. Politicians believed if the government would buy silver in a limited quantity, conditions would approve. This practice was the predecessor to the “Free Silver” movement that would gain momentum in the coming years.
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of July 14, 1890, required the United States Treasury to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver each month and manufacture silver dollars with it.
The buckle is in good overall condition. It does show some wear to the nickel finish. The back of the belt is stamped “MADE IN USA”. Coin has wear, due to past circulation, but details are still visible. Belt Buckle Dimensions: 2 1/2"H x 3 1/2" W.
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