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    

1921 Peace Dollar, High Relief, Gorgeous Near Gem Bu++ Key Date Silver Dollar!1928 * Pcgs Ms64 * Silver Peace Dollar $1 * $1,600++++ Frosty White * Key Date !36 Peace Silver Dollars1928-p Peace Dollar Choice Au +1921 High Relief Peace Silver Dollar - Ngc Slabbed / Graded Ms 65 Mint State1928 Peace Dollar, Lowest Mintage In Series, Near Gem Bu++ Key Date ** Free S/h!1928 Peace Silver Dollar **ch/au** Us Coin "rare" !!!!!1934 Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 63 ** Very Tough Key Date ** Free Shipping!Original Roll 1935-s Peace Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1921 Philadelphia Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free Shipping1921 High Relief Peace Silver Dollar - Ngc Slabbed / Graded Ms 64 Mint State1934-d Peace Dollar, Tough Gem Bu++ Better Date Silver Dollar, Scarce This Nice!1934-s Peace Dollar Choice Au+Original Roll 1923-s Peace Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu1927-s Peace Dollar, Tough In Ms, Choice Bu++ Better Date Silver Dollar!1921 High Relief Peace Silver Dollar - Ngc Slabbed / Graded Ms 64+ Mint State1928-s Peace Dollar, Lustrous Bu++ Better Date Silver Dollar ** Free Shipping!Original Roll 1934-d Peace Silver Bu1926-d Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 64 ** Very Scarce This Pq, Tough Date! Usa 1921 Peace Silver Dollar High Relief Gem Coin Ngc Graded Ms61 Uncirculated1934 S $1 Peace Dollar Ngc Au 53Original Roll 1922-s Peace Silver Dollars.. Ch/gem Bu Original Roll (20 Coins) 1922 Peace Silver Dollar.. Ch/gem Bu1928 P Peace Silver Dollar Misprint Philadelphia Rare Nr Free ShipPeace Dollar Year Set! Ten Silver Peace Dollars In Capitol Plastics Holder! 1921 Us Peace Silver Dollar1926 Peace Dollar, Lustrous Blazer, Near Gem Bu++/gem Bu ** Free Shipping!Ngc Ms66 1923 Silver Peace Dollar $1 (51)1926 Peace Dollar, Nice Cartwheel Luster ** Free Shipping!Three Original Rolls (60 Coins) 1922 Peace Silver Dollar.. Ch/gem Bu1923 Peace Dollar $1 ~ Ngc Ms66 ~ Stunning Luster! #008-0021921 Peace Silver Dollar.. Ch/gem Bu1928 P Peace Silver Dollar Coin #1501 $ Hi-grade$genuine Us Mint$rare Key Date1923 Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 64 * Super Pq Lustrous Blazer * Old Green Holder1922-d $1 Peace Dollar Ms 63 Pcgs Ogh1928 P Peace Silver Dollar Coin #1442 $ Hi-grade$genuine Us Mint$rare Key Date1924-s Peace Dollar, Very Nice Bu++ Better Date Silver Dollar, ** Free Shipping!1923 $1 Vam 1d Lds Whisker Cheek Peace Dollar Ms 62 Ngc Top 50 Coin1922 Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 65 ** Tough This Nice! ** Silver Dollar!Uncirculated 1927 Philadelphia Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free S/hOriginal Roll 1925 Peace Silver Dollars . .ch/gem Bu Original Roll (20 Coins) 1922 Peace Silver Dollar.. Ch/gem Bu #2Drbobcoins 1923 D $1 Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms631928 Peace Dollar Key Date $1 Silver Coin Vf1928 Peace Silver Dollar Au Details1926-s Peace Dollar Ms63 Ogh Cac Nice Coin! Uncirculated 1927 Philadelphia Mint Silver Peace Dollar Free S/h1921 Peace Dollar Silver 90% Us Coin Nr1927 Peace Dollar, Great Luster, Near Gem Bu++ Better Date ** Free Shipping!1926 Pcgs Peace Dollar Pcgs Ms 63 ** Nice Cartwheel Mint Luster! ** Free S/h!1925 Ngc Peace Dollar Ngc Ms 64 ** Ultra Pq Lustrous Blazer! ** Free Shipping!1935-s Peace Dollar Ms 62 Ngc San Francisco1927 S Peace Silver Dollar! Wow! You Grade! Great Details!Peace Silver Dollar 10 Coin Year Set 1921-1935.. Au/betterLot Of 8 U.s. Peace Dollar Coins1922 To 1935 Peace Silver Dollar 90% Silver Lot (10) Coins Philadelphia MintLot Of 6 Peace Dollars Mixed Dates Silver1921 Peace Dollar- Ch Bu- High Grade- No Reserve1924-s Peace Silver Dollar Rare Raw Date Us Coin1928 Peace Dollar Awesome Bu++ Rare. Hard Find This Nice!