Most collectors associate the Peace dollar with the word "PEACE" stamped below the perched bald eagle on the coin’s reverse. But Peace dollars (1921-1928 and 1934-1935) were named long before the coins were designed.

The coin originated with the Pittman Act, a 1918 law that required the melting of more than 270-million silver dollars for bullion. Peace dollars replaced Morgan silver dollars in late 1921 at a time when a post-World War I nation was looking for a hopeful sentiment. Collectors prize the high-relief coins struck that first year—the relief was so great that the coins could not be fully struck.

New York sculptor Anthony de Francisci won a limited competition among sculptors for the coin’s design. Using his wife, Teresa and a Saint-Gaudens' bust titled "Nike Erini" as models for Lady Liberty, de Francisci created what may be the only Art Deco coin in U.S. history—the font in the coin’s lettering and Liberty’s tiara are particularly Art Deco touches.

Even though de Francisci was the coin’s designer, the Mint’s chief engraver, George Morgan, had a hand in the final coin. Francisci's approved design had the eagle on the coin’s reverse holding a broken sword, a symbol of peace. But when a short editorial in the "New York Herald" complained that the broken sword symbolized defeat, thousands of letters and telegrams flooded the Treasury Department, Mint, Congress, and White House.

Pushed by the negative publicity, Morgan, with de Francisi looking over his shoulder, carefully removed the broken sword from the only steel hub in existence. Morgan also fashioned an additional olive branch, leaves and berries, and modified the coin's mountain peak. His work was so skillfully done, it was not until 2005 that collectors learned of the change.

Like Morgans, Peace dollars get the VAM (die variety) treatment by specialist collectors. Instead of having their variations identified by Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis, most Peace VAMs have been compiled by Jeff Oxman and Dr. David Close. Famous VAMs include a die break in a 1922 Philadelphia Peace dollar that looks like Lady Liberty is wearing an earring. In a similar vein, a die break from the same mint in the same year gives the impression that Miss Liberty had a mustache.

Production of Peace dollars ceased in 1928 when the Mint completed striking sufficient coins to replace those melted in 1918. Less than 10 million more were struck in 1934 and 19...

The coin almost returned to circulation in 1965, when more than 300,000 silver Peace dollars were struck on a trial basis. The Denver-minted coins were dated 1964 to comply with the Coinage Act of 1965 (it eliminated the silver content of all coins except Kennedy half dollars, which were reduced to 40 percent), but in the end, the coins were melted down—to own one might be illegal, so if a few escaped the furnace, they would not be likely to come up for auction. Thus, the Peace dollars of 1935 were the last silver dollars produced by the U.S. government.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

VAMworld

VAMworld

This group-authored wiki is devoted to Morgan and Peace dollar die varieties known as VAMs - named after the two co… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Complete Peace Silver Dollar Set 1921-1935 .. Ch/gem Bu1921 Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 60 High Relief Rare Uncirculated Silver Dollar 1928 Peace Silver Dollar1928 $1 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 62 - No Reserve!1921 $1 Peace High Relief Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 63 - No Reserve!1921 Peace Dollar High Relief Uncirculated Details Impropertly Cleaned Ngc1921-1935 (24 Piece) Complete Set Of Circulated Peace Dollars In Dansco Album1928 Liberty Peace Silver Dollar Coin1927-s $1 Peace Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 - No Reserve!1921-1935 Nearly Complete Set Of Peace Dollars - Missng Only 1 Date - Vf-bu1927-d $1 Peace Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 - No Reserve!1928-s $1 Peace Dollar1934 S Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Au 53. Free ShippingNice 1928-p Silver Peace Dollar ~ Anacs Au 50 ~ Wow! Free Shipping1924-s $1 Peace Dollar1921 $1 Peace Dollar1928 (p) - Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms58 - Pristine1927-s $1 Peace Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 62 - No Reserve!1926 S Peace Silver Dollar Uncirculated The Redfield Collection Nice Toning1921-p High Relief Silver Peace Dollar Au++/unc Details Read!!Original Roll 1924 Peace Silver Dollars ...ch/gem BuOriginal Roll 1922 Peace Silver Dollars ..ch/gem BuVintage Us 1922 Peace $1.00 $1 One Dollar Silver Coin ~ Ms65 Grade Pcgs 1921 Peace Dollar, Coveted Rare Key Date! ** Free Shipping!1923 Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 65 ** Beautiful Violet Hues! ** Free Shipping!1927-s $1 Peace Dollar1928 S Peace Silver Dollar No Reserve Extreemly Fine ConditionOriginal Roll 1923-s Peace Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1921 Peace Dollar, Well Sought After Key Date First Year Issue ** Free Shipping!1921 Peace Dollar Dollar Full Brilliant Mint Luster 100% Original Hig ReliefLot Of 5 Peace Silver Dollars- Coins Are Au+ Or Unc.Original Roll 1923-d Peace Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1921 Peace Dollar Ms62 Pcgs. Free Shipping1923-s Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms63 Light Rainbow Toned ~colorful Toning~color1928 Peace Silver Dollar Coin Pcgs Genuine Xf 1928 Silver Peace Dollar Xf 45 Pcgs1928 Peace Dollar $1 - Circulated Good Detail - Must See #2301921 Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1922 Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 65 ** Stunning Pq Luster! ** Free Shipping!Uncirculated 1934 Silver Peace Dollar Free S/h!! "rare" "pcs" 1921 High Relief Peace Dollar Unc Bu !1925-s Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 ** Strong Cartwheel Mint Luster! ** Free S/h1928-p Peace Silver Dollar- Rare Key Date- Large Estate- Au Cleaned1928 P U.s. Silver Peace Dollar1927 Peace Silver Dollar No Reserve Extreemly Fine ConditionUnc 1926-s Silver Peace Dollar Free ShippingPeace Dollar Roll 20 Coins Very Good To Extremely Fine1934-d Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 64 ** Tough This Nice! ** Free Shipping!1928 Peace Silver Dollar $1 Ngc Vf Details1934-s Peace Dollar Key Date S$1 - Pcgs Au50 - Certified & Graded *no Reserve!1924 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms 65+ Blast White Estate Lot Of 6 Silver Morgan,peace Dolllars ..1884,188 O ,1891,1892o,1896o,19231921 $1 Peace Silver Dollar1928-p Peace Silver Dollar 90% Silver Nice Extra Fine Plus Condition 1921 Peace Dollar Peace Silver Dollar 1928 1934-s Peace Silver Dollar - Great Deatails - Key Date - No Reser...!1927-s Peace Silver Dollar Coin .900 Semi Key Date 1928 S Peace Silver Dollar (goPeace Dollar Complete Date Set