1921 Morgan Silver Dollar (VG-EF mixed)
VG is the contraction for the denotation "Very Good". "EF" is the contraction for the denotation "Extremely Fine". These grades are both part of the Sheldon coin grading scale. Dr. William Herbert Sheldon created this scale in 1949, and his scale has seen growing use ever since. The scale begins with 1 on the low end, and runs to 70 on the high end. VG coins begin with grade 8. Extremely Fine coins are higher in quality and encompass grades up to and including the grade 45. In-between VG and VF is another grade, the "Fine" grade which is denoted by the letter "F".
The Pittman Act and the Creation of the 1921 Morgan Dollar
In 1918 the Pittman Act was passed. This legislation allowed the U.S. to sell silver to Britain to help back their paper currency, and consequently roughly 47% of previously struck Morgan Dollars were melted and sold as raw silver. The new law also called for these coins to be replaced once enough silver was sold and delivered to Britain. Hence, in 1921 when Britain had it's fill of American silver, the U.S. Mints began producing Morgan Dollars in massive numbers, but only for this one year, as the "Peace" Silver Dollar design was created to commemorate the United States' desire for an end to all war. Therefore the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar is the most common Morgan, and has it's own market niche.
Specifics of the Grade
Morgan Dollars in the grades VG, F, and EF will have great variations in appearance. The coins on the low end will have worn and even missing details, and the silver in the coin may be heavily oxidized, or tarnished. Conversely, Morgan Dollars in the 40-45 range will show much sharper details, and by definition of the grade, only the highest points of the coin design will be worn. 1921 Morgan Dollars, again being the most common, that range between VG and EF are most often held for the value intrinsic to the silver, not for purposes of added value due to rarity or quality.