The allure of collecting peace dollars
The Silver Piece Dollar, created between 1921 and 1935, represents one of the most famous and enduring designs in numismatics. Its simple beauty, its connection to peace after World War I, and its unique status as our country’s last circulating silver dollar make it a highly sought-after coin collector. Although there are many Familiar with this currency, which is less widely known, is how rare it is to have a high-grade piece of dollar.
The history of the peace dollar
After the end of World War I, moneylenders advocated for a coin to celebrate and commemorate peace after the “war to end all wars.” Farran Jarbe, president of the American Numismatic Association from 1908 to 1910, was the first to propose the idea of a currency that symbolized America’s role in the peace process.
Peace dollar design
A design competition for the new currency was announced. A 34-year-old Italian sculptor named Anthony de Franciski won the honor of designing this important coin. De Franciski’s stated goal for the coin was to “capture the intellectual momentum, vitality and vitality of the country’s consciousness.”
The piece depicts a portrait on the left of Miss Liberty wearing a stunning radiating crown against the dollar. Freedom at the top surrounds its crown, and in God we believe and the date is at the bottom. A bald eagle, resting on a rock, opposite the Silver Piece Dollar, clings to an olive branch above the word “PEACE”. The rays of sunlight illuminate the background.
De Francis made two different designs against the coin. The main difference? One version shows an eagle breaking a sword while the other had an olive branch. Initially, the design featuring broken swords was considered. After the public outcry representing this defeat was expressed, the broken sword was quickly removed from the coin design and the olive branch design was chosen to look more peaceful.
Minting began in 1921
The Silver Peace Dollar was issued under the terms of the Pitman Act. The law required the U.S. Mint to strike millions of silver dollars, starting in 1921 using Morgan dollar designs. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon approved the peace dollar in December 1921.
In Philadelphia alone more than one million 1921 $ 1 high relief peace dollars were made, the majority of which were filled in their fortune-telling containers. High relief was considered impractical for the currency and was quickly changed to “low relief” in 1922.
1921 $ 1 Survival estimates for all grades of high relief total 100,000 and only 5,000 grades 65 or better.
Today, collectors are attracted to the Peace Dollar not only because of the lack of specific grades and dates, but also because of the historical significance of recognizing America’s role as an international power, as well as honoring the sacrifices of our citizens in World War I.
Complete a set
There are several options for collecting Peace Dollars, including a low-cost set from an over-the-top collection. It takes 24 different combinations of date and mint symbols to complete a set.
One strategy is to acquire the first four Philadelphia Mint issues from 1922 to 1925. These dates represent the first four-year issue for the “lower relief” version of the Peace Dollar and create an outstanding set of four with successive dates.
The first year, 1921, was one of the scarce peace dollars in both the conventional and the Mint State. This coin is considered to be the only silver type coin of a very important one year.
If you want to collect an original date, consider the 1928 Peace Dollar made in Philadelphia, which stands as the smallest production year of this currency, hitting only 360,649.
Although MS-63 coins are fairly easy to obtain, quality MS-65 and higher grades are quite rare. Here is an example of a certified MS-66 peace dollar.
There are many strategies for collecting peace dollars. If you would like more information on a collection strategy that fits your budget and investment goals, contact a Blanchard Portfolio Manager for personalized recommendations. Your Blanchard Portfolio Manager can help you source certified dates in this series.
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