Peace Dollar

Peace Dollar

Infobox Coin
Country = United States
Denomination = Peace Dollar
Value = 1.00
Unit = U.S. dollars
Mass = 26.73
Diameter = 38.1
Thickness = 2.0
Edge = reeded
Composition = 90.0% Ag
10.0% Cu
Years of Minting = 1921–1928; 1934–1935; 1964
Catalog Number = -
Obverse = Peace_dollar_obverse.jpg
Obverse Design = Lady Liberty
Obverse Designer = Anthony de Francisci
Obverse Design Date = 1921
Reverse = Peace_dollar_reverse.jpg
Reverse Design = A perched Bald Eagle
Reverse Designer = Anthony de Francisci
Reverse Design Date = 1921
The Peace Dollar is a silver United States dollar coin minted from 1921 to 1928, then again in 1934 and 1935. Early proposals for the coin called for a commemorative issue to coincide with the end of World War I, but the Peace Dollar was issued as a circulating coin.

Designed by Anthony de Francisci, the Peace Dollar was so named because the word "PEACE" appears on the bottom of the coin's reverse. It contains 0.77344 troy ounces of silver, and was the successor to the Morgan Dollar, which had not been regularly minted since 1904. With the passage of the Pittman Act in 1918, the mintage of dollar coins was enabled to start again. Prior to the design and acceptance of the Peace Dollar, the Morgan Dollar was minted again in 1921.

After a six-year pause in minting, the Peace Dollar was again minted in 1934 and 1935. It was minted briefly in 1965 (dated 1964), but no examples of this issue were ever released to the public and the entire mintage was melted. The Peace Dollar is the last silver dollar minted for circulation in the United States.



The original inspiration for the Peace Dollar was a paper published in the November 1918 issue of "The Numismatist", the magazine of the American Numismatic Association. In it, editor Frank G. Duffield called for a commemorative coin to mark the impending end of World War I. The paper was to be presented at the summer 1918 convention. The convention was cancelled due to the Spanish flu pandemic.Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.] Duffield's paper stated that:

"An event of international interest, and one worthy to be commemorated by a United States coin issue, is scheduled to take place in the near future. The date has not yet been determined, but it will be when the twentieth century vandals have been beaten to their knees and been compelled to accept the terms of the Allies... It should be issued in such quantities that it will never become rare, and it should circulate at face value."Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.]

The theme for the proposed coin was elaborated upon at the Chicago ANA convention of August 1920. A paper written by Farran Zerbe called for a coin that would showcase the ideals of democracy, liberty, prosperity, and honor. The proposal called for either a half dollar or dollar, in order to provide as much space as possible for the design.Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.]

Return of the silver dollar

The biggest hurdle faced by proponents of the new coin was that no dollar coin had been minted for general circulation in the United States since 1904, the last year of the Morgan Dollar series. The demand for silver dollars was so low that vast quantities of Morgans were still sitting in bank vaults. That hurdle was overcome with the passage of the Pittman Act on April 23, 1918. Sponsored by Nevada Senator Key Pittman, the Pittman Act allowed the US government to melt as many as 350 million silver dollars, and then either sell the bullion or use it to produce subsidiary silver coinage. Additionally, the law required the government to mint replacement dollars for any that were melted, with domestically purchased silver.

Since the Act required the minting of new silver dollars, and since no new designs had been accepted, on May 9, 1921, the US Mint resumed production of the Morgan Dollar after an 17 year respite. More than 86 million Morgan Dollars were struck during that year, by far the single highest mintage in the coin's history. The same day that mintage of the Morgan resumed, legislation was introduced in the US Congress that called for the issuance a new silver dollar to commemorate the post-World War I peace. The measure did not come to a vote, but one was not needed. Since the Morgan had been in production (during its original run) for more than 25 years, alteration of the design no longer required legislative approval.

The job of designing the new coin would normally have fallen to George T. Morgan, the mint's chief engraver and designer of the Morgan Dollar. But in compliance with an executive order by then President Warren G. HardingExecutive Order #3524, July 28, 1921.] , an open design competition for the new dollar was held by the Commission of Fine Arts. Nine artists participated, including Adolph A. Weinman, Hermon A. MacNeil, and Victor D. Brenner, designers of the Mercury Dime, Standing Liberty Quarter, and Lincoln cent, respectively. The winner of the competition was an Italian immigrant and sculptor, Anthony de Francisci, whose most recent work had been the design of the Maine Centennial half dollar in 1920.Reiter, Ed. [ "The Lady on the Dollar"] . Professional Coin Grading Service. Retrieved June 24, 2006.]

Production of the Peace Dollar commenced on December 21, 1921, and it was placed into circulation on January 3, 1922Yeoman, R.S., "A Guide Book of United States Coins" (2004 edition), Whitman Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-58238-199-2] . That same day, President Harding was presented with the first Peace Dollar.Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.] Roughly one million examples were struck before it was realized that the relief on the coin was so high that it was difficult to strike, and the dies used were breaking at a high rate. Also, the coins were nearly impossible to stack. The relief was lowered considerably starting with the 1922 issue. That year more than 84 million Peace Dollars were struck, the highest mintage of the series.

End of production

By 1928, the US Mint had struck enough silver dollars (Morgan and Peace combined) to satisfy the requirements of the Pittman Act. Since public demand for silver dollars did not materialize, the mint halted production of the Peace Dollar that year (with fewer than two million struck). The Peace Dollar returned briefly in 1934 and 1935, as the government needed additional backing for Silver Certificates. [$1_peace.htm "Peace Liberty Head Silver Dollar 1921-35"] . Retrieved June 25, 2006.]

The coin almost made a return in 1964, when Congress approved the mintage of 45 million new silver dollars to fulfill the needs of the booming casino industry in Nevada. [$1peace.htm 1921-35 SILVER DOLLAR PEACE] . Retrieved June 25, 2006.] The decision was controversial due to a critical silver shortage in 1965, which led to widespread hoarding of silver coinage. [ "The 1964 Peace Dollar: A Coin with Many Question Marks"] . Jefferson Coin & Bullion, Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2006.] In response to the shortage, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965, which authorized the removal of silver content from circulating coinage (except for the Kennedy half dollar) minted after December 31, 1964. But under pressure from some members of Congress from the Western states, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued an order on May 15, 1965 to resume production of the Peace Dollar (dated 1964 to allow silver to be included). 316,076 Peace Dollars were struck at the Denver mint that month, before Congress overrode the Presidential order and demanded that production cease. All the coins produced to that point were ordered to be melted. [ "The 1964 Peace Dollar: A Coin with Many Question Marks"] . Jefferson Coin & Bullion, Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2006.] Although rumors persist that some examples still survive, owning them is illegal, making it unlikely that anyone who does own one will ever come forth publicly.Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.] [$1peace.htm 1921-35 SILVER DOLLAR PEACE] . Retrieved June 25, 2006.]

Production of dollar coinage did not resume until the Eisenhower Dollar in 1971. That coin, however, has no silver content, except for some sold directly to collectors by the Mint. Likewise, the Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea dollars, and Presidential dollars that have been minted since the Eisenhower dollar contain no silver, making the Peace Dollar the last true silver dollar struck for circulation.Yeoman, R.S., "A Guide Book of United States Coins" (2004 edition), Whitman Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-58238-199-2] Since 1983, the Mint has produced a series of $1 commemorative silver coins of the same dimensions and fineness as the Peace dollar and its predecessors, but these were marketed to collectors. As their silver content has always exceeded their face value, it is highly unlikely that these coins will ever circulate.


Anthony de Francisci's design featured his rendition of Lady Liberty on the obverse. His wife, Teresa, was the model for the sculpture.Reiter, Ed. [ "The Lady on the Dollar"] . Professional Coin Grading Service. Retrieved June 24, 2006.] The font used is an example of the then-popular Art Deco style. This is exemplified by the inscription, "IN GOD WE TRVST," which uses the Latin angular "U".

The original design for the coin's reverse featured a Bald Eagle holding (or standing on) a broken sword, symbolizing peace. This design was interpreted as one of defeat, rather than peace, so Chief Engraver Morgan altered the design to replace the sword with an olive branch (itself a symbol of peace).Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.] The eagle is perched on a rock, facing a group of the sun's rays.

The design of the Peace Dollar drew considerable criticism upon its release. A few of the elements of de Francisci's design that drew negative commentary were the open-mouthed Lady Liberty and the Latinized spelling of "trust." The negative response was sufficient enough that the US Mint issued a statement on February 9, 1922, stating that the coin would not be withdrawn.Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.] In recent years, however, coin collectors have come to view the Peace Dollar as an attractive and desirable coin.


Mintmarks appear underneath the word 'One' on the reverse, and include:
*no mark (Philadelphia Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
*D (Denver Mint in Denver, Colorado)
*S (San Francisco Mint in San Francisco, California)

Mintage figures


The numismatic value of Peace Dollars (as opposed to intrinsic value) is determined by a number of factors. Examples of Peace Dollars minted as proof coins (not intended for general circulation) are rare, and extremely valuable. For circulated Peace Dollars, two types that command higher market prices are varieties (coins that have design elements that differ from usual examples) and rarities (coins that are available in fewer quantities than others in the series). [ "What Makes A Coin Valuable & How It Is Graded"] . California Numismatic Investments. Retrieved July 7, 2006.]


A limited number of proof Peace Dollars were minted in 1921 and 1922. These coins feature a high relief (design elements that protrude from the background higher than usual) and are extremely rare. They are worth up to $50,000, according to the 2006 "Red Book".Yeoman, R.S., "A Guide Book of United States Coins" (2006 edition), Whitman Publishing, 2005. ISBN 0-7948-1948-6]

pecial varieties

Due to subtle differences between the dies used to mint Peace Dollars, there are a few different varieties available for collectors. Some notable examples include:Marotta, Michael E. [ "The Peace Dollar"] . Coin-Gallery Online. Retrieved June 25, 2006.]
*1926-S: The "S" mintmark may be higher or lower than normal.
*1934-D: The "D" mintmark may be small or large, depending on the coin.
*1935-S: Due to a new reverse die at the San Francisco mint, some examples have an extra ray below the "ONE."


Certain examples of Peace Dollars are considered rarities, for a variety of reasons–lower mintage numbers, a relative shortage of remaining examples, or a relative shortage of examples in a certain grade. The higher the grade, the fewer examples are likely to exist. Rarities usually command a higher price from collectors than more commonly available examples. [ "What Makes A Coin Valuable & How It Is Graded"] . California Numismatic Investments. Retrieved July 7, 2006.]

Due to lower mintage figures, 1921, 1928-P, and 1934-S Peace Dollars graded as Extra Fine (EF or XF, roughly the midpoint of the grading scale) are considered rare. The 1925-S and 1928-S issues have higher mintage figures but are worth approximately $20,000 in the grade of MS-65 (near the top of the scale, MS-70), considerably higher than all other Peace Dollars of the same grade. This is because very few examples of these two coins exist in this condition. [ Peace Dollar values] . Professional Coin Grading Service. Retrieved June 30, 2006.]

Notes and references

External links

* [ Peace Dollar pictures]
* [ VAMworld Morgan & Peace Dollar VAMs and varieties reference site]

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