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”)



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    

1903 O Morgan Silver Dollar...ms65..ngc...layaway Reserve Auction1924 Ngc Ms64 Colorful Toned Peace Dollar In An Old Gold Embossed Slab1885 Cc Morgan Silver Dollar...ms65/ngc...layaway Reserve Auction1922 Peace Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms63 Rainbow Toned ~colorful Toning~ ColorComplete Peace Dollar Set 1921-1935 - From Jt Stanton's Cherrypickercoins-31051928 Us Peace Dollar1923 Peace Dollar Toned Pcgs Ms 66 Difficult To Find This Nice1921 $1 Peace Dollar High Relief Ngc Ms621921 High Relief Peace Silver Dollars Rare Roll Of 20 Au To Commercial Bu, Nice.Key Date 1921 Peace Dollar Certified Ngc Ms 641928 Peace Dollar High Grade No Wear Coin Series Key Date 100% White Coin1928 Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1928 P Peace Dollar United States Of America Silver Coin Currency1927-d $1 Pcgs/cac Ms64 Peace Silver Dollars - No Reserve!1928 P Peace Silver Dollar Rare Au+++/ms Key Date Coin - Mintage 360,6491934 Peace Dollar ** Lustrous Silver Surfaces! ** Free Shipping!1921 Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1928 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms64 *hucky* 1922 Silver Peace Dollar ++rare++ Encased "red Curtice" Buick (1940) Dollar1934-d Peace Silver Dollar Bu Beautiful Monster Rainbow Toning1923 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Ms64 Cac Rainbow Toned ~colorful Toning~ Color1921-p Peace Silver Dollar--xf+(very-rare-key-date)(lot Of 1)3 Days)free S/h1921 Peace Silver Dollar. Rarer Date. Good Shape. Circulated. No Reserve!!1935 Peace Silver Dollar $1 - Gem - Better Year - Last Year - Powerful Strike!Uncirculated 1927-d Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1934 Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1934-s Peace Dollar Ngc Ms621921 High Relief * Pcgs Ms63 * Silver Peace Dollar * $500++++ Choice Key Date !!1922 - Peace Silver Dollar - Error - Curved Clip @ 11:00 - Ngc Ms 651935-p Peace Dollar (au 58) Ngc Looks Ms!!!!!1934-s Peace Dollar Outstanding Uncirculated Rare In Gem Condition!!1925 $1 Pcgs/cac Ms66 Peace Silver Dollars - No Reserve!1928-s Peace Silver Dollar, Pcgs Ms-62!1921 Silver Peace Dollar Free ShippingUncirculated 1928-s Silver Peace Dollar Free ShippingLot Of 3 Peace Dollars 1922 1923 1924 ***au-uncirculated*** Blast White 1926-d $1 Pcgs Ms65 Peace Silver Dollars - No Reserve!(1) Roll 1924 Us Peace Silver Dollars Bu Uncirculated1928 Peace Dollar Ngc Ms621922 Ms65 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Certified Gem! - Great Coin!1921 Peace Silver Dollar #14346 $ High Grade Coin $ Us Mint Rare Key Date Estate1923 Peace Dollar Sample Slab Ms60 Ngc1921 Peace Silver Dollar Ef Details1934-d Peace Silver Dollar $1 - Key Date - Au/unc - Fantastic Strike - Noreserve1925 U.s. $1 90% Peace Silver Dollar, Nice Old Coin, Great Condition, Bright Collection Of Morgan & Peace Dollars In A Deluxe Chest Box.Roll Of Mix Peace Dollars (au++/unc) 20 Coins!!!!Set Silver Peace Dollars Minus The 1928 23 Coins Total1928 Peace Dollar ** Lowest Mintage In Series! ** Free Shipping!1921 Peace Dollar ** Key Date First Year Issue! ** Free Shipping!1934-d Peace Dollar Gem Bu Uncirculated Blast White! Pq+++1921-p Peace Silver Dollar Uncirculated1923 D Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 641935 Peace Dollar Nice Uncirculated Beautiful Rainbow Toning!1924 Ms64 Peace Silver Dollar Ngc Certified - Very Nice!1921-p Nice Grade "key-date" Silver Peace Dollar!!1921 Peace Silver Dollar 1928 ~ U.s. Peace Silver Dollar 1926-s & 1927-s Silver Peace Dollars » 2 Coins «1927 S Peace Silver Dollar #14366 $ High Grade Coin Us Mint Rare Key Date Estate