Morgan silver dollar mintages reached their 19th century peak in the 1880s, when silver was still pouring out of the great Western mines. At that time the Philadelphia Mint was turning out up to 20 million per year. Does that mean that these dates are the most common today in Brilliant Uncirculated quality? No, far from it! Unlike other coins of the day, many Morgans were held in reserve at banks and issuing mints. And vast quantities of these Morgans were later lost in government melts during the world wars. So original mintages can be very deceiving in relation to the actual number of Morgans now surviving for individual issues.
This 1888 Philadelphia Morgan had an original mintage of 19.2 million. However, a disproportionate number were lost in the vast U.S. Treasury melts of the 20th century and more have certainly disappeared during recent silver boom times. As few as 3% of the original mintage remains in mint-state quality. That puts added pressure on circulated specimens like this Very Fine issue.