After only a brief production run, the reverse design of the new silver dollar was slightly altered, giving rise to the 1878 Morgan Dollar 7 Tail Feathers. A number of varieties also exist for this coin which have varying levels of scarcity.
The reverse design change was initially accomplished by impressing the master die with seven tail feathers over dies containing the eight feathers. This did not completely obliterate the appearance of the eight tail feathers, which gave the appearance of “doubled feathers”.
Later in the year, dies were created showing only the seven tail feathers, but with two different reverse types. The so called “second reverse” (shown above) is identified by the parallel two top arrow feathers and also a concave breast on the eagle. The “third reverse” is identified by a slanted top arrow feather and a convex breast.
The mintage across all versions was approximately 9,759,300 circulation strikes with an additional 250 proofs. In uncirculated grades, there are premiums for the “doubled tail feathers” and “third reverse”.
1878 Morgan Dollar 7 Tail Feathers Mintage and Specifications
- Mintage: approximately 9,759,300 (circulation), approximately 250 (proof)
- Mint mark: none (Philadelphia)
- Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
- Weight: 26.73 grams
- Diameter: 38.1 mm