Semi-key Peace dollar among many GreatCollections auction highlights
Peace Dollar offerings found by CoinWeek ….
Over one million regular strike 1921 Peace dollar coins were minted at Philadelphia in the first year of the series, all of them featuring a high relief version of Anthony de Francisci’s design. Due to the usual problems with strike and die wear encountered during the mass production of high relief coinage, the United States Mint lowered the relief in 1922 and kept it that way for the rest of the run. Still, the million-coin mintage of the 1921 High Relief Peace dollar turned out to be one of the lower outputs for the entire series.
PCGS reports a census of 1,519 grading events for a 1921 Peace dollar in MS-65, with 257 higher in 65+ through 67. Having said that, PCGS also estimates the value of an MS-65 specimen to be $1,850 USD at the time of writing. Auction records for PCGS MS-65 examples sold just in the last few months average around $1,560, which is the price one went for at the May Whitman Baltimore Coin Show. In April 2019, a specimen sold for $1,920–which goes to show how much eye appeal can factor into a coin’s value, even at MS-65.
The Peace dollar being offered by GreatCollections on Sunday features toning that ranges from light orange to a dark, smoky amber at the top and bottom of the obverse along the rim, with slight toning at points along the rim of the reverse.
For more auction results, you can also search through the GreatCollections Auction Archives, with records for over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold in the past seven years.
At the time of writing, the high bid on this High Relief 1921 Peace dollar is $1,690 after 32 bids.
A Perennial Favorite
Demand for the Peace dollar has been high for many years. Along with the Morgan dollar, it is one of the most popular series of United States coinage to collect. However, the Peace dollar is a shorter and more affordable series to complete than the Morgan series.
Running from 1921-28 and 1934-35, the entire series includes only 25 dates and major varieties – though the 1921 and 1922 High-Relief Peace dollars will present some difficulty to many. And once a collector is ready to upgrade their coins or move deeper into the series, a few recognized Prooflike issues and a number of VAM varieties can provide that extra challenge.
But if you’re looking for gem quality coins and beyond, the Peace dollar series reveals itself to be a serious challenge for collectors. A complete collection of Peace dollars in MS65 has a market value today of about $79,250, while a set in MS66 (with a 1925-S in MS65) costs approximately $250,000 (keep in mind that these prices are for sight unseen coins certified by either PCGS or NGC; premium quality coins, including coins with high eye appeal, pristine surfaces, and CAC-approval may cost multiples of these amounts).
Beyond being one of America’s classic silver dollar types, the Peace dollar served as a circulating commemorative marking the end of hostilities in the First World War. Both politicians and numismatists advocated for a business strike coin to honor both the Allied victory in the war and the restoration of peace on the world stage–not to mention the return of a silver dollar to American pockets. Many stories have been told about the notorious American numismatist Farran Zerbe and his lobbying efforts on behalf of the Peace dollar, but according to some numismatists, it’s not clear if he had any real involvement.
Of course, one important aspect of the Peace dollar’s popularity is de Francisci’s classic design. Sometimes referred to as the “flapper” dollar, the obverse features a modern-looking Lady Liberty–using de Francisci’s wife Teresa as a model–that contrasts greatly with the previous Morgan dollar Liberty. The reverse features an eagle perched on a rock observing a brightly shining sunrise. It holds an olive branch in its talons and has its wings down, symbolizing the end of the war effort and the welcome beginning of peace. The reverse is yet another entry in the line of great early 20th-century eagles on American coinage.