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HomeUS Coins1925-S Peace Dollar : A Collector's Guide

1925-S Peace Dollar : A Collector’s Guide

1925-S Peace Dollar. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1925-S Peace Dollar. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

With 1,610,000 struck, and only about two dozen bags equivalent of uncirculated examples saved, the 1925-S Peace dollar is the key to the Peace dollar series. The coin is a condition rarity–the most difficult issue in the series to source in Gem grades, as a matter of fact–with the average example being heavily bag-marked with lackluster eye appeal. The issue is also typically poorly struck.

The 1925-S Peace dollar was represented in the Redfield Hoard of Morgan and Peace silver dollars.

Historic Pricing Data

In the August 1976 issue of The Numismatist, coin dealer Joel Rettew advertised that he was selling Gem BU examples of the 1925-S Peace dollar from the Redfield Hoard for $82.50 each.

In an August 1978 Numismatist ad, dealer George H. Ashley, Jr. of Capital City Coin Exchange in Richmond, Virginia, advertised GEM BU 1925-S Peace dollars for sale at $139 each.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS-65+ (2, 2/2024). NGC MS-66 (1, 2/2024). CAC MS-65 (9:0 stickered:graded, 2/2024)

  • PCGS MS-65+ CAC #43574075: Heritage Auctions, August 24, 2022, Lot 3979 – $132,000. Top pop, pop one when offered. Rust-colored tarnish around RTY to the top of T in TRUST.
  • PCGS MS-65 CAC #22022280: “The Jlionel51 #8 Ranked PCGS Peace Dollar Set”, Heritage Auctions, July 20, 2023, Lot 33151 – $69,000.
  • PCGS MS-65 CAC #41415970: “The JDC Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 18, 2021, Lot 3391 – $50,400. JDC on insert. Obverse is brilliant; reverse is toned salmon throughout; Heritage Auctions, May 3, 2023, Lot 3162 – $72,000.
  • NGC MS-65 #365578-020: Stack’s Bowers, June 13, 2023, Lot 2048 – $12,000.
  • PCGS MS-65 #44109144: Heritage Auctions, May 5, 2022, Lot 3826 – $16,800. Gallimaufry toning throughout.
  • PCGS MS-65 CAC #39840331: As PCGS MS-65 CAC #24577511. Heritage Auctions, August 2015, Lot 4231 – $30,550. As PCGS MS-65 CAC #38940331. Heritage Auctions, Janaury 21, 2021, Lot 4048 – $37,200. Monterey Bay on insert. Brilliant.
  • PCGS MS-65 CAC #22022280: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, April 18, 2019, Lot 36 – $36,425.
  • PCGS MS-65 #30761877: “The Ward T. Miller, Jr., Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, February 28, 2019, Lot 1119 – $24,000.
  • PCGS MS-65 #6590421: “Anne Kate Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1236 – $18,000. Light haze.
  • NGC MS-65 CAC #506344-003: “The Warsaw Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 9, 2013, Lot 5796 – $18,800; Heritage Auctions, December 5, 2013, Lot 3771 – $17,625. Darkly toned obverse and reverse. 
  • PCGS MS-65: Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2012, Lot 11550 – $15,000 Reserve Not Met.

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Design

Obverse:

The obverse features a left-facing bust of a younger Liberty wearing a tiara of rays that resembles the radiant crown on the Statue of Liberty. Most of Liberty’s hair is contained in a bun at the back of her head, though several locks are loose and 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 1925. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST 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 Liberty and the word TRUST 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 TRUST. The designer’s monogram, AF, appears below Liberty’s neck in the lower obverse field.

Reverse:

The reverse features an American bald eagle perched on a mountaintop. Clutched in its claws is an olive branch symbolizing peace; not included in this particular depiction of the eagle is a band of arrows representing military strength, a symbol commonly seen in most portrayals of the patriotic bird. 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 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. Beneath the word ONE is the S mint mark of the San Francisco Mint. PEACE is inscribed along the rim below the eagle, atop the rock on which the patriotic bird stands.

Edge:

The edge of the 1925-S 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 such notable numismatic artists 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: 1925
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: S (San Francisco)
Mintage: 1,610,000
Alloy: .900 Silver, .100 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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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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1 COMMENT

  1. The “V” in the word “TRVST” does -NOT- represent the word “victory”. Like many artists of the era de Francisci harked back to the Latin alphabet which lacked the letters U and J. The other most-familiar numismatic example of this stylistic choice is of course the Standing Liberty quarter which displays both “TRVST” on its obverse and “E PLVRIBVS VNVM” on the reverse. The SLQ was issued in 1916, a year before America’s entry into the Great War, let alone the Armistice.

    The style was far from limited to coins; there are also many buildings and sculptures where inscriptions were written with the Latin alphabed.

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