The Peace Dollar’s Rich History
This new dollar coin was first proposed at the 1920 American Numismatic Association (ANA) convention by avid coin collector, Farran Zerbe. The ANA committee then proposed the idea to Congress, and by May 1921 the Peace Dollar Bill was officially written.
Despite Morgan dollars already in production, the US Treasury loved the idea of a new dollar coin. They hosted a competition between eight prolific sculptors to create the design, which included established coin designers Victor Brenner (designer of the Lincoln cent) and Adolph A Weinman (designer of the Mercury dime and Walking Liberty half dollar). However, an Italian immigrant named Anthony de Francisci won the contest and claimed the $1500 prize.
The Peace dollar’s obverse features a profile of a left-facing, young Lady Liberty. “LIBERTY” is inscribed above her and “IN GOD WE TRVST” below her. The “V” in the altered “TRVST” stands for “Victory.”
The coin’s reverse featured an American Eagle on a mountain top with olive branches in its claws, symbolizing the worldwide desire for peace following World War I. The coin was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper until 2021, when the silver composition was increased to 99%.
In 1925, the “Almighty Peace dollar” of the coin was minted. This mild redesign featured an emboldened “GOD” in “IN GOD WE TRUST.” It’s unclear if this was a strike error or an intentional design tweak by Chief Coin Engraver John Sinnock in the midst of the national “Monkey Trial” scandal, when a Tennessee school teacher violated state law by teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. This prompted a nationwide discussion of whether faith and evolutionary theory belong in the classroom.
Circulation and Availability
The Peace dollar is a United States dollar coin minted for circulation from 1921 to 1928, from 1934 to 1935, and from 2021 until the present day.
They were struck every year from 1921 until 1928, when the mine purchased as part of the Pittman Act ran out of silver. At the time, this pause in production had no notable effect on circulation — most people were using paper money instead of coins. A few years later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on the US Mint to create silver dollars out of a small amount of newly-purchased silver, and these patriotic silver dollars were minted again from 1934 until 1935 before production ended.
Unfortunately, like the Morgan dollar before it, millions were melted down in the Wartime Act of 1942 to gather silver for the war effort. Even more were melted down in the 1980s when silver prices were ballooning. Production of Peace silver dollars only resumed decades later in 2021. Although the US Mint plans to continue minting them annually in 2023 and beyond, the total number of Peace dollars coins that remain is unknown.
L&C Coins is Your Trusted Destination For Authentic, Rare Coins
L&C Coins is a family-owned and operated business founded in 1974 by Lee Crane, an avid coin collector himself. Today, L&C Coins is dedicated to bringing our loyal customers a large collection of authentic, brilliant coins at a range of price points to be accessible to both new and seasoned collectors.
Ready to grow your collection? Find your own little piece of history today and enjoy free shipping, as well as free express shipping for orders of $25 or more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us — we’re here to help.
What are Peace silver dollars made out of?
From 1921 until 1935, these silver dollars were composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, while those produced from 2021 until present day are composed of 99% silver.
What are the rarest Peace dollars?
Some of the rarest dates of these dollars are the 1928-S, 1925-S, 1934-S, 1927-D, and 1928. The rarest of all is the borderline-mythical 1964-D, produced in the midst of a crippling silver and coin shortage. Production was authorized in 1964, but was almost immediately discontinued. A few hundred thousand were produced, but the vast majority — if not all of them — were melted down again. There remains no published sale of a 1964-D dollar coin.
How many Peace silver dollars were struck?
From 1921 to 2021, 111,430,179 Peace dollars were struck in Philadelphia, 52,286,000 in San Francisco, and 27,061,100 in Denver. Altogether, the three Mints have struck a total of over 190 million of these coins.