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Premier Coin Galleries - Peace Silver Dollar Facts

The silver dollar minted from 1921 to 1935 is often called the Peace Dollar because the word is featured on the reverse of the coin at the bottom. It was issued as a commemorative coin under the terms of the Pittman Act of 1918, which authorized the minting of millions of silver coins to help subsidize the American silver mining industry.


1. Identification


The Peace silver Dollar features Liberty on the front wearing a headdress and a perched eagle on the back with the words “One Dollar” on either side. The date is on the front and the mint mark is on the reverse. The coin is 38 millimeters in diameter and weighs about 27 grams.


2. Composition


The Peace silver dollar is 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper and was minted in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco (denoted by mint marks of “D,” “S” or none for Philadelphia).


3. Grades


Common grades of the coin range from very fine (VF-20) to gem uncirculated (MS-65). For a copy to grade MS-65, it must be free from any wear, have strong luster and good eye appeal. Examples in VF-20 have plenty of wear in Liberty’s hair, as well as in the feathers of the eagle’s wings.


4. Values


Common VF-20 examples were valued at $12 to $20 in 2009, while coins that grade MS-65 can be worth several hundred dollars.


5. Rare Varieties


The 1921 coin was created with a high relief, meaning the features are higher and more pronounced. The design proved to be impractical for mass coinage and the relief was changed to normal in 1922. Only about 1 million Peace Dollars were minted in 1921 and values ranged from $125 to $3,000 in 2009. Fewer than 400,000 Peace Dollars were minted in Philadelphia in 1928 and prices were between $500 and $5,000.


6. Abandoned Plans


The Peace silver Dollar nearly made a comeback in the 1960s. Congress authorized the coinage of more than 45 million silver dollars and more than 300,000 copies of the Peace Dollar were struck at the Denver mint in 1965. Silver was phased out of all coins that year and the plans for the Peace Dollar were abandoned. All of the coins were melted.

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