The popular "8TF" (eight tail feathers) variety marks the first adopted reverse for the new silver dollars of 1878. The design was later revised to seven tail feathers in accordance with Morgan's original intent, although the even number eight is actually more accurate. (According to Hawk Mountain's Research Center, most large birds of prey including the Bald Eagle have precisely 12 tail feathers, an even number.) This spectacular coin has some prooflike characteristics, exciting eye appeal, and PQ technical qualities - high end for the assigned grade. Ex Bowers & Merena, Baltimore (11/10/06:3521); previously ex Dale Larsen; Larry Shapiro; Superior, pre-Long Beach Sale (6/1/04:3105)
Ron Guth: The first Morgan Dollars bore 8 Tail Feathers, which apparently is an ornothologic impossibility, since bald eagles have seven tail feathers. This error was corrected later in the year but not until nearly three-quarters of a million dollars were made with the 8 Tail Feather reverse. This is a fairly common date that can be found in average Uncirculated grades but is scarce in Gem condition. Prooflike examples make up a small portion of the surviving population and Deep Mirror Prooflikes are an even a smaller subset, although both can be found with relative ease. In MS-64 and better conditions, DMPL 1878 8TF dollars are very rare.