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The silver dollar celebrating the end of World War I
The silver dollar which was issued intermittently from 1921 to 1935 was a commemorative peace coin. It was a somewhat belated issue to celebrate the end of hostilities with Germany after the First World War. The coin was actually issued without congressional sanction under the terms of the Pittman Act which only referred to the bullion involved and did not affect the design. The coin was designed by Anthony de Francisci who was a medal designer by trade. His monogram can be seen in the obverse field under the head of Liberty. The first Peace dollars were minted in December 1921 and placed in circulation on January 3rd 1922. The high relief of the 1921 design was found to be impractical for slot machines and it was slightly altered in 1922. This has made the 1921 Peace dollar a highly collectable coin!
As shown in our photograph, the obverse is a beautiful engraving of the head of Liberty with the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST and the date. The reverse features a watchful eagle, perched on a mountain crag, with a laurel branch held in its talons and the inscriptions:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
E PLURIBUS UNUM (From the many, One)
Being a solid silver coin, the issue of the Peace dollar was dependent upon the American bullion market and fortunes of the economy. During the boom years of the early and mid-1920s the mintage figures of Peace dollars were very high, for example, the total for 1922 passed 83 million! However, the late 1920s and early 1930s were years of global recession and economic stagnation. The production of Peace dollars halted in 1928, not restarting until 1934 and only then for twelve months. The production of Peace dollars ceased in 1935 as Germany began to re-arm and war clouds were once again building in Europe.
Legislation was passed on August 3rd 1964 which authorised the production of 45 million silver dollars. Over 300,000 of these dollars were to be of the Peace design and they were minted at the Denver mint in 1965. Unfortunately, plans for completing this coinage were abandoned and all of these coins were melted down. No examples were preserved or released for circulation.
Specifications of Morgan Silver Dollars
|Diameter||Weight||Silver Alloy||Silver Content|
|38.1 mms||26.73 grams||.900||0.7735|
Peace dollars were struck at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver mints. Philadelphia coins do not carry a mintmark; the other mintmarks are to be found just below the 'O' and 'N' of the word 'ONE' on the reverse of the coin.
S = San Francisco
D = Denver
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