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Coins | 12.11.2020

The Origin of The Peace Dollar

1928 Silver Peace Dollar

The Peace dollars were struck in 90% silver between 1921 and 1935. This coin series is steeped in historical lore and was born from international demand for the precious metal contained within it. As such, the type remains popular for investors because of its content and is inexhaustibly collected and studied for its rich history, shear availability, and quintessential design.


How The Peace Dollar Came To Be

In response to international financial unrest at the end of World War I, Congress passed the Pittman Act of 1918 which obligated the United States to sell the United Kingdom up to several hundred million troy ounces of silver to shore up the UK’s weakened currencies. The result was the melting of 47% of all Morgan dollars struck between 1878 and 1904, resulting in draining the Treasuries own coffers. The Act also authorized the striking of replacement dollars used to back the United States’ own circulating currency and ordered the government to purchase hundreds of millions of ounces of silver from private interests to strike dollar coins to back their own silver certificates.

Public sentiment urged the U.S. Mint to create a new dollar design that would commemorate the end of the Great War. Ultimately, the Fine Arts Commission held a contest among the nation’s top sculptors and medalists. The winner was Anthony de Francisci and his creation now known as the Peace Dollar.

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New Design Production

Peace Dollar Front and BackThis new dollar design went into production late in 1921 after a brief reappearance of Charles T. Morgan’s classic design. The first-year issue was struck true to Francisci’s original work and was produced in high relief. This method proved difficult for Mint processes and in 1922, after modifications to enable mass production, the coins were produced continuously until 1928 and again for two years during the Great Depression in 1934-35.

In the mid-sixties the design saw some renewed interest, with a proposed new issue authorized but never entering circulation. Over 300,000 examples were struck at the Denver Mint in 1965, but all were supposedly melted. While rumors of examples exist, none have ever surfaced.

Despite some rarity in a few dates, the series is actively collected with all 24 circulating dates and mints available with moderate searching. The set is often assembled in conjunction with its’ Morgan dollar counterpart and can be completed with all examples obtainable in uncirculated condition with some patience.

If you’re looking to either complete set or searching for single examples, U.S. Coins and Jewelry can help. We carry an extensive inventory of more than just Peace Dollars and are dedicated to working with collectors and investors alike. We provide top-quality coins and high-end support regardless of intent. The art of collecting requires both careful planning and a trustworthy dealership. We can help in all situations. Come in for the single purchase, build a collection, or pursue a lifetime of numismatics. 


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