Marking another for-the-books centennial this year, the United States Mint is set to launch a modern-day rendition of the early 20th century United States Peace Dollar beginning Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at noon Eastern Time. The release of this 21st-century issue aims to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the coin’s first year of production, a significant milestone in the already enduring legacy of the U.S. Peace Dollar.
The Peace silver dollar was first struck by the United States Mint in late December 1921 as a way to celebrate the period of relative peace experienced around the world after World War I had drawn to a close. While a legislative act from Congress did not technically authorize the transition from the Morgan Dollar to the Peace Dollar, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon approved the newly conceived Peace Dollar to replace the long-running Morgan Dollar coin. The Peace Dollars would be struck from late 1921 until stipulations outlined in the Pittman Act, which passed a few years earlier, were satisfied, a milestone met in 1928. Production of the Peace Dollar resumed in 1934 and 1935 after additional legislation was passed that required more purchasing of significant quantities of domestically mined silver. Some thirty years later, in August of 1964, the Peace silver dollar production resumed yet again. However, these mid-20th century strikes were deemed “trial strikes” never intended for public circulation and were reportedly melted down and never released.
The Mint is releasing its 2021 Peace Dollar in conjunction with the fifth and final installment of its 2021 Morgan Dollar suite of coins, which, similar to the modern-day Peace Dollar strike, was developed as a way to honor another significant 100th anniversary – the centennial anniversary of the final strike year for the Morgan Dollar. Due to controversy, confusion, and a slew of customer complaints that stemmed from the first round of 2021 Morgan Dollar releases, the Mint delayed the launch of the Peace Dollar (and the second and final rounds of the 2021 Morgan Dollar issues) by several weeks. In an email sent toward the end of June 2021, the Mint informed customers that their website had “experienced an extraordinarily high volume of BOT traffic” during the pre-sale window of its first round of 2021 Morgan Dollar releases and noted that the BOTs were “programmed to conduct technology-driven transactions which caused significant interference with many transactions by Mint customers.” This interference inhibited numerous would-be coin purchasers from having what was perceived to be a fair chance at snagging the high-demand Morgan Dollars. In an effort to stave off similar situations from arising during the rest of the 2021 Morgan Dollar and the 2021 Peace Dollar releases coming up, not to mention the debuts of the newly designed Gold and Silver American Eagle Proof coins, the Mint postponed all relevant release events by several weeks. Finally, the launches appear to be back on track!
Clients of the United States Gold Bureau will have the opportunity to add the historical 2021 Peace Dollar to their asset portfolios. 2021 Peace Dollars purchased directly from the U.S. Mint will not be delivered with a grade – an added feature that indicates a coin’s quality after production that can often bolster a piece’s value over the long term. When purchasing coins from the Mint, an investor would need to embark upon the grading process on their own time (and at their own expense) if such a feature is desired. As a service to our clients, the U.S. Gold Bureau takes on the burden of having coins graded before they are offered to our customers for investment. Our team is proud to provide an investment coin inventory made up almost exclusively of pieces graded at the highest quality level, as deemed by third-party grading authority, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)
Features and Specifications of the 2021 Peace Dollar Coins
The 2021 Peace Dollar is a striking modern-day rendition of the Peace silver dollars of the 20th century that features the same obverse and reverse designs created by Anthony (Antonio) de Francisci a century ago. De Francisci was an Italian-American sculptor who would lead a notable career designing artwork for numerous U.S. coins and medals.
The obverse of the Peace Dollar – both 21st and 20th-century renditions – features a stunning profile portrait of Lady Liberty. In de Francisci’s iteration, Liberty dons a “radiant” crown, as the Mint describes it, that “reflected the country’s new attitude” of pride and triumph after the Allied victory in World War I. The Mint further elaborates that the Peace Dollar “symbolized the country’s coming of age as an international power, while recognizing the sacrifices made by its citizens in World War I and celebrating victory and peace,” a sentiment captured quite elegantly by de Franisci’s designs. The word “LIBERTY” lines the obverse’s top rim, while the nation’s motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” flanks either side of Lady Liberty’s portrait. The coin’s strike year appears along the bottom edge of the obverse.
The Peace Dollar’s reverse depicts a reflective American eagle resting atop what looks to be a mountain peak. The bird seems to exude a sense of peace, contentment, and pride as he gazes out over the horizon – presumably the artist’s way of representing the sentiment felt by the United States and all Allied nations after the end of the war. An olive branch, befittingly symbolizing peace, appears under the bird’s talons, while rays of sunshine beam brilliantly in the background, nicely complimenting the ray-like crown worn by Liberty on the coin’s obverse. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” line the top edge of the reverse design, while the phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM" – meaning, "Out of many, one" – appears just beneath. The coin's "ONE DOLLAR" face value flanks the mighty bird, with the word "PEACE" appearing as the sole inscription along the coin's bottom rim.
While the visual aspects of de Franisci’s original 20th-century designs remain unchanged on the 2021 issue, the Mint notes in a press release regarding the 21st-century Peace Dollar that it “used historic assets such as coins, dies, and high resolution images to capture the artists’ original intent” and “re-create these designs for the 2021 coins.”
Some specifications of the 2021 Peace Dollar do diverge from those of the original strike. For example, the 2021 Peace Dollar is not struck in high relief like its 20th-century counterpart was. In these early issues, the Peace Dollar was susceptible to damage since being struck in high relief caused parts of the obverse and reverse designs to be raised higher than the coin’s border, allowing wear and tear upon the elements to become evident.
Additionally, the metal composition of the 2021 coin is also different than the make-up of the 20th-century issues. Today, the Peace Dollar adheres to modern-day commemorative coin standards and, as a result, contains .858 troy ounces of 99.9% fine silver, as compared to the earlier strikes, which were made up of 90% silver and 10% copper and contained .773 troy ounces of silver.
The original 20th-century Peace Dollar was struck at three U.S. Mint locations – Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. The San Francisco and Denver coins featured a mint mark indicating production at one of these two western facilities – mint marks on these coins were struck on the coin’s reverse, just above the tip of the eagle’s wings. Early Peace Dollars that were struck at the Philadelphia Mint did not carry a mint mark.
Today’s Peace Dollar is produced at only one U.S. Mint location – the Philadelphia Mint – another difference between the early and present-day strikes. Like its 20th-century predecessors that were also struck in Philadelphia, the 2021 Peace Dollar will not feature a mint mark.
The 2021 Peace Dollar will be subject to a product limit of 200,000 (although the Mint will apparently not impose a mintage limit) and an order limit of three coins per household.
Along with its modern-day Morgan Dollar counterparts, the 2021 Peace Dollar adds another chapter to the already storied legacy of one of the most widely recognized coins in United States history. This coin will surely be an attractive and sought-after investment piece for years to come.