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1923 Peace Dollar : A Collector’s Guide

1923 Peace Dollar. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
1923 Peace Dollar. Image: Stack’s Bowers / Adobe Stock / CoinWeek.

The 1923 Peace dollar is one of the most common issues in the series, with 30,800,000 pieces struck. It claims the second-highest mintage of the series and, despite mass melting over the years, remains plentiful in all circulated grades.

Anthony de Francisci designed the Peace Dollar. Its obverse features a young Lady Liberty crowned with rays, strikingly resembling his wife Teresa de Francisci. First issued five years after the end of World War I, de Francisci’s youthful Liberty suggests a renewed hope for peace.

The silver dollar was struck for circulation starting in 1794, but the denomination was never a dominant circulating medium for the United States. Various efforts to kill and revive the coin occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries. For decades after the discontinuation of the Peace dollar, bags and roll quantities of the coin were readily available at banks at the Treasury Department’s cash window in Washington, D.C. A massive run on silver dollars depleted the Treasury’s stockpile in the mid-1960s.

By the 1970s, the silver content of the silver dollar exceeded the coin’s $1 face value. Although still a legal tender U.S. coin, the Peace dollar is bought and sold as a collectible or store of precious metal.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

In an August 1978 Numismatist ad, dealer George H. Ashley, Jr. of Capital City Coin Exchange in Richmond, Virginia, advertised GEM BU 1923 Peace dollars for sale at $10 each.

In circulated grades, the 1923 Peace dollar is bought and sold primarily based on its bullion value. For this coin’s current bullion value, check out CoinWeek’s Bullion Value of Silver Coin page. In uncirculated conditions, the value of this coin is largely dependent on grade. Our data table below only discusses coins at the very top of the condition census. For coins in grades MS63 to MS65, typical for this issue, the retail price ranges from $40 to $120.

Top Population: PCGS MS67+ (11, 3/2024), NGC MS67+ (15, 3/2024), and CAC MS67 (52:1 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

The PCGS population of MS67+ 1923 Peace dollars has increased from three at the end of 2020 to 11 today (March 2024), putting negative price pressure on coins in this grade. The NGC MS67 population has increased from 50 coins in November 2008 to 228 coins, with 15 finer as of March 2024. The NGC population of coins in MS67+ has increased from nine at the beginning of 2023 to 15 as of March 2024.

  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #47418129: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, November 2, 2023, Lot 194 – $27,025; Heritage Auctions, January 11, 2024, Lot 4183 – $27,600. Brilliant.
  • NGC MS67+ #6325661-004: Stack’s Bowers, March 23, 2023, Lot 6740 – $4,800. Irregular toning pattern. Dark spot on reverse above LL.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #44024874: Heritage Auctions, December 15, 2022, Lot 3558 – $31,200.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #44990620: Stack’s Bowers, June 14, 2022, Lot 1529 – $38,400.
  • NGC MS67+ CAC #6061020-005: Heritage Auctions, January 13, 2022, Lot 3625 – $6,600.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #43176837: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, December 16, 2021, Lot 262 – $39,950. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67+ CAC #256005578: “The JDC Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 17, 2021, Lot 3386 – $33,600. Brilliant. VAM-1V, Extra Hair and JDC on insert.
  • NGC MS67 #656805-002: Stack’s Bowers, August 18, 2023, Lot 6468 – $3,840. Lightly toned.
  • NGC MS67 #1884930-003: Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2023, Lot 3745 – $2,040.
  • PCGS MS67 #38748319: “The Jlionel51 #8 Rankled PCGS Peace Dollar Set”, Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2023, Lot 3746 – $3,360.
  • PCGS MS67 #46547641: Stack’s Bowers, March 23, 2023, Lot 6742 – $3,720.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #42384003: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, September 8, 2022, Lot 240 – $7,343.75.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #41415964: “The JDC Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 20, 2021, Lot 3992 – $6,600. Brilliant. JDC on insert.
  • NGC MS67 CAC #1556289-002: “The Pittstown Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2021, Lot 5480 – $5,760.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #40349544: Stack’s Bowers, November 13, 2020, Lot 8202 – $9,000; Heritage Auctions, June 18, 2021, Lot 3603 – $7,800.
  • PCGS MS67 #38673575: Stack’s Bowers, March 20, 2020, Lot 4115 – $12,000.
  • PCGS MS67 #36973051: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, June 27, 2019, Lot 398 – $3,172.50. Unattractive rim toning.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #06665912: Bob R. Simpson. Simpson on insert; “The Crow River Collection,” Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 17, 2018, Lot 211 – $13,512.50. Very light, wispy toning. The Reverse has a thin scratch over rays six and seven.
  • PCGS MS67 CAC #06660032: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, December 14, 2017, Lot 43 – $11,162.50. Apparent fingerprint over date and bust truncation. Brilliant.
  • NGC MS67* #5141984-003: Heritage Auctions, April 29, 2016, Lot 5410 – $15,275. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS67 #3320500: Stack’s Bowers, April 1, 2016, Lot 17626 – $3,760. Brilliant. Old Green Holder.
  • PCGS MS67 #25634814: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, February 18, 2016, Lot 377 – $3,525.

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Design

Obverse:

The obverse is dominated by a leftward-facing bust of a young Miss Liberty wearing a tiara of rays that unmistakably resembles the radiant crown upon the head of the Statue of Liberty. Most of Miss Liberty’s hair is contained within a bun at the back of her head, though several locks are seen hanging alongside her neck.

Arcing along the rim on the upper half of the obverse field is the inscription LIBERTY, and centered below the bust of Liberty near the bottom rim is the date 1923. The motto IN GOD WE TRVST appears in a single line of text across the lower quarter of the obverse and spreads across that section of the field, with the words IN GOD WE appearing to the left of Miss Liberty and the word TRVST located behind her neck. Dots appear between the words IN GOD WE and are also seen on the rim side of the words IN and TRVST. The designer’s AF monogram appears below Liberty’s neck in the lower obverse field.

Reverse:

The depiction of an American bald eagle perched on a mountaintop anchors the reverse. Clutched in its claws is an olive branch symbolizing peace; notably not included in this particular depiction of the eagle is a band of arrows representing military strength, a symbol commonly seen in similar visages of the patriotic avian emblem. The rightward-facing eagle is seen at an angle partly turned away from the viewer and towards a sunrise, which symbolizes the promise of dawning peace in the world.

The bold rays in the image of the rising sun harmonize with the rays seen in Miss Liberty’s tiara on the coin’s obverse. The legend UNITED STATES oF AMERICA appears along the rim in top half of the reverse. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is located directly below in lettering identical in size to the legend. The eagle’s beak breaks the bottom of the “S” in PLURIBUS and visually divides that word from UNUM; meanwhile, a dot punctuates the space between E and PLURIBUS.

The denomination ONE DOLLAR appears across the bottom third of the reverse in a single line of text, with the word ONE inscribed to the left of the eagle by its tail feathers and DOLLAR superimposed over the sun’s rays to the right of the eagle. PEACE is inscribed along the rim below the eagle, atop the rock on which the patriotic bird stands.

Edge:

The edge of the 1923 Peace dollar is reeded.

Designer

Anthony de Francisci was born in Palermo, Sicily, in 1887 and emigrated to the United States in 1905. He began his career as a sculptor, studying under notable numismatic artists such as James Earle Fraser, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, and Adolph Weinman. The Peace dollar (1921-35) is his most famous creation, but he also produced several medals. He died in 1964.

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1923
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia Mint)
Mintage: 30,800,000
Alloy: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 26.73 g
Diameter: 38.10 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: Anthony de Francisci
REV Designer: Anthony de Francisci
Quality: Business Strike

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Sources

[1] Zerbe, Farran. “Commemorate peace with a coin for circulation.” The Numismatist Oct. 1920: 443-44. Print.

[2] LaMarre, Tom. “The Dollar Daze of 1921.” Coins Oct. 1999: 56–57. Print.

[3] Taxay, Don. The U.S. Mint and Coinage (Reprint Ed.) Arco Publishing, 1983. Print.

[4] https://www.pcgs.com/News/Why-Does-The-Peace-Dollar-Have-A-Ivi-In-The


 

CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I have a 1923 silver $1. Peace coin and I wanna know how much is it really worth? And if it is worth anything ,how much is it worth on selling ?

    • It’s difficult to value it without seeing its condition, I would recommend going to ebay and searching for the particular coin and then check out the sold listings to get an idea of the value. You can also compare the condition of yours to others that have sold. I hope this helps.

  2. It’s worth noting that the unusual spelling TRVST on the obverse is NOT an error. During the early 20th century many artists adopted Roman motifs. This extended to use of the Latin alphabet where “V” represented the same sound as the modern letter U.

    This same affectation can be seen on both the obverse and reverse of the famed Standing Liberty quarter, issued from 1916 to 1930.

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