1897 was quite a year! Thousands of Americans rushed to try their luck in Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush, Boston opened the first American underground subway and held the first marathon, Amelia Earhart was born and a youngster named Virginia was assured by The Sun newspaper that there was indeed a Santa Claus.
Meanwhile, just four million Morgan dollars were produced that year in New Orleans. Today, the 1897-O is a coveted rarity with as few as 5,500 remaining in mint-state quality. This Morgan is a tough date to find in mint-state quality, but even in nice circulated condition it has limited availability. Perhaps 100,000 remain today in Very Fine or better circulated quality.