The removal of the sword from the coinage hub, which had already been produced by reduction from the plaster models, was accomplished by painstaking work by Mint Chief Engraver Morgan, using extremely fine engraving tools under magnification. Morgan did the work on December 23 in the presence of de Francisci, who had been summoned to the Philadelphia Mint to ensure the work met with his approval. It was insufficient merely to remove the sword, as the rest of the design had to be adjusted. Morgan had to hide the excision; he did so by extending the olive branch, previously half-hidden by the sword, but had to remove a small length of stem that showed to the left of the eagle’s talons. Morgan also strengthened the rays, and sharpened the appearance of the eagle’s leg. The chief engraver did his work with such skill that the work on the dollar was not known for over 85 years.
On December 28, Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Freas Styer wired Baker in San Francisco, reporting the first striking of the Peace dollar. The Mint later reported that 1,006,473 pieces were struck in 1921, a rate of output for the four days remaining in the year that Burdette calls “amazing”; he speculates that minting of 1921 Peace dollars continued into 1922. The first coin struck was to be sent to President Harding, but what became of it is something of a mystery: O’Reilly indicated that she had the coin sent to Harding, but the inventory of Harding’s estate, prepared after the President died in office less than two years later, does not mention it, nor is there any mention of the coin in Harding’s papers. Breen, in his earlier book on U.S. coins, stated that the coin was delivered to Harding by messenger on January 3, 1922, but does not state the source of his information. A few proofs of the 1921 production were struck early in the run, in both satin and matte finishes, but it is unknown exactly how many with either finish were created; numismatic historians Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis estimate the mintage totals at 24 of the former and five of the latter.
The silver Peace dollar was released into circulation on January 3, 1922. In common with all silver and copper-nickel dollar coins struck from 1840 to 1978, the Peace dollar had a diameter of 1.5 inches (38 mm), which was larger than the Mint’s subsequently struck modern dollar coins. Its issuance completed the redesign of United States coinage that had begun with issues in 1907. Long lines formed at the Sub-Treasury Building in New York the following day when that city’s Federal Reserve Bank received a shipment; the 75,000 coins initially sent by the Mint were “practically exhausted” by the end of the day. Rumors that the coins did not stack well were contradicted by bank cashiers, who demonstrated for The New York Times that the coins stacked about as well as the Morgan dollars. De Francisci had paid Morgan for fifty of the new dollars; on January 3, Morgan sent him the pieces. According to his wife, de Francisci had bet several people that he would lose the design competition; he used the pieces to pay off the bets and did not keep any.
According to one Philadelphia newspaper,
Liberty is getting younger. Take it from the new ‘Peace Dollar,’ put in circulation yesterday, the young woman who has been adorning silver currency for many years, never looked better than in the ‘cart wheel’ that the Philadelphia Mint has just started to turn out. The young lady, moreover, has lost her Greek profile. Helenic beauty seems to have been superseded by the newer ‘flapper’ type.
Article Source: en.wikipedia.org