Collecting Peace Silver Dollars
Though not as famous as the Morgan dollars, the Peace Silver dollars havean understated appeal to some coin collectors. Meant as a Commemorative coin of Peace after the First World War, the Peace Silver dollar ushered in the roaring twenties. It was the age of the newly affluent middle-class American family; the age where womengotvoting rights and the country enjoyed a stable economy. The Peace Silver dollars design reflected this emerging modern age with a Liberty sporting a modern profile compared to the neo-classical Roman profiles of earlier Silver dollars.
Peace Silver dollar The history
After the end of First World War, President Hardings administration was advocating for a limitation of armaments with the major powers in the World. There was also a strong public sentimentto commemorate the peace after the first great war. After witnessing major world-wide destruction, the American psyche wantedto celebrate what washoped asthe beginning of a peaceful era.Frank Duffield, the editor of The Numismatist published an article in November 1918 suggesting that a victory coin be released. Farran Zerbe, a numismatist released a paper which was presented in the American Numismatist Convention in 1920 in Chicago, that supported a peace coin commemorating the end of the First World War.
As it was more than 25 years since the Morgan dollars were struck, it could be replaced with a new coin without any congressional approval. The US mint announced a design competition for the new Peace Silver dollar and Anthony de Francisci, a young medal designer won it.
De Francisci used his wife, Teresa de Francisci as the model for his obverse Liberty design. The design had the liberty with hair blowing in the wind and a Statue of Liberty style crown on the head. For the reverse, he submitted two designs, one of which was approved. It had a perched bald eagle holding a broken sword and an olive branch. The broken sword design came under immense controversy. The New York Herald wrote a derisive editorial about the design saying .America has not broken its sword. It has not been cashiered or beaten; it has not lost allegiance to itself. The blade is bright and keen and wholly dependableAfter a public backlash on the broken sword symbolism, the design was changed to remove the sword completely.
Peace Silver dollar - The varieties
The Peace Silver dollar was minted from 1921 to 1935. The 1921 and a portion of 1922 Peace Silver dollars were released in the high relief versions as in the original design of De Francisci. The high relief coins in Mint-state conditions above MS-65 command around $2500. The only proof coins released in 1921 and 1922 sell anywhere above $50,000. No more high relief coins were released after 1922.
The 1928 Philadelphia coins in uncirculated conditions are rare and worth more than $20,000. The 1934D Peace Silver dollar has a double-die variation that may be interesting to some collectors. The other error coin variety sort after is the 1935S which has either 3 or 4 rays below the word 'ONE' in the reverse. The1934S is also considered rare and sells to around $25,000 in Mint-state conditions MS-65 and above.