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    

1922-d Peace Silver Dollar Pcgs Cac Ms63 Light Rainbow Toned~colorful Rev ToningPeace Dollar Complete Set, 24 Coins, Comes In Dansco Album (3)1921 United States Peace Dollar 90% Silver Philadelphia Circulated Coin No Res.Complete Peace Dollar Set, 1921 Thru 1935-s, Various Grades, Including Key Dates1921-p $1 Peace Silver Dollar Ch-bu, High Relief1923 Anacs Peace Dollar Anacs Ms 65 ** Stunning Lustrous Blazer ** Free Shipping1928-p $1 Peace Silver Dollar Bu+++ Blazing Mint Luster1934-d $1 Peace Dollar Brilliant Uncirculated (9)1925-p Bu Roll Of 20 Silver Peace Dollars. Read!!1928 Peace Dollar, Lowest Mintage In Series, Key Date Silver Dollar, ** Free Shi1928-s Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms63 ~ Beautiful Rainbow Tone Silver Coin!1923 Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 65+ Nice Coin Blast White1921 Peace Dollar High Relief Pcgs Au531928 Peace Dollar - Pcgs Vf Details1934 Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 63 ** Strong Pq Cartwheel Mint Luster!Bu Full Roll Half 1923, Half 1924 Peace Silver Dollars Choice / Gem Bu 20 CoinsUncirculated 1934 Philadelphia Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free S/h1934-d $1 Peace Dollar Brilliant Uncirculated (8)1924-s Peace Silver Dollar. Almost Uncirculated. Auction!20 Peace Silver Dollars - Average Circulated Roll 1922 - 19241927-d Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms63 ~ Stunning U.s. Silver Coin!1927-s Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms62 ~ Stunning Luster/blast White1928 Peace Dollar Ms-60 Anacs (key Date)1928 Peace Dollar , Lowest Mintage In Series, Desired Choice, Bu+ Key Date! 1921 Peace Silver Dollar, Au Condition. Raw And Uncertified.1921-p Peace Dollar In Choice High Grade Condition1922-p Bu Roll Of 20 Silver Peace Dollars. Read!!1924-s Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms 62 ~ Gorgeous Luster ~ Beautiful Silver Coin!1935-s Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms63 ~ Lovely Better Date Silver $1 Coin!1928 Peace Silver Dollar "au+" *free Shipping After First Item*1921 Peace Silver Dollar High Relief Beauty Au+1921 Peace Dollar, High Relief, Choice Bu Detail Cleaned, Key Date Silver Dollar1934-d Denver Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping 1927 S Peace Dollar Slabbed & Graded By Blanchard Holder Redfield HoardKey Date 1928 Peace Silver Dollar...ch Au...was Cleaned...absolutely Genuine!!!Superb 1921 Peace Silver Dollar High Relief Pcgs Au-55 Key Date1926-s Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms63 Cac Ogh1934p $1 Peace Dollar-unc Coin, Better Date (8)1927 Peace Dollar, Brightly Lustrous Choice Bu++ Silver Dollar ** Free Shipping!1935-s Peace Dollar, Super Pq Gem Bu++ Key Date, ** Ultra Rare This Nice!1921 Peace Dollar, High Relief, Popular Choice Bu++ Key Date, ** Free Shipping!1934 S Peace Silver Dollar. Brilliant/uncirculated1924 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms651934 Peace Dollar ~ Pcgs Ms64 ~ Gorgeous Rainbow Tone Silver Coin!1928 Silver Peace Dollar, Very Nice Condition, U-grade1928 P Peace Silver Dollar Us Coin - Key Date No Reserve1928 Peace Silver Dollars1922 Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 65 ** Tougher Silver Dollar This Nice! 1926 S Peace Dollar Slabbed & Graded By Blanchard Holder Redfield Hoard1927-d Peace Dollar, Lustrous Bu++ Silver Dollar, ** Free Shipping!1928 United States Silver Peace Dollar. Rare Date!1934-d Denver Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1926-s Peace Dollar, Lustrous Beauty ** Free Shipping!1921 Peace Dollar Ngc Ms61 High ReliefUncirculated Collectible 1923 United States Silver Peace Silver Dollar Coin1/2 Roll Morgan 1/2 Roll Peace With Bonus 10 1957 Series Sil Certs FsLot Of (10) 1922 Peace Silver Dollars1928p Peace Silver Dollar (au) Cond W/ Lots Of Luster #1 (key-date))))1921 P Peace Silver Dollar Coin #5793 $ Hi-grade$genuine Us Mint$rare Key Date1928-s Peace Dollar, Tough Key Date ** Free Shipping!