Sell Peace Silver Dollars for More by Following These Guidelines
The Peace Dollar, introduced in 1921, was created to commemorate the restoration of peace following the conclusion of World War I. The beautiful silver dollar pieces often play second fiddle to Morgan silver dollars, but they are still quite stunning and valuable in their own right. If you have these coins in your collection and are looking to sell, continue reading and discover how to potentially sell your Peace silver dollars for more by following some easy-to-implement guidelines.
Peace silver dollars were struck by the U.S. Mint from 1921 – 1935. These impressive coins display an image of Lady Liberty on the obverse (front) and a perched eagle on the reverse. Their first year of production resulted in a low mintage with only 1,000,000 of these coins being produced, but also the only year the coins were struck in high relief.
The high relief strike created some challenges for the U.S. Mint, causing them to reduce the relief of the coin in subsequent years. In fact, due to such a relatively low mintage of coins produced in 1921, as well as this being the last year of production for Morgan silver dollars, many collectors and investors are under the mistaken assumption that these coins were first produced in 1922.
Unlike Morgan silver dollars, there are only a few Peace silver dollars that are considered key date coins in circulated condition and unfortunately, many of these coins were poorly or weakly struck. However, this also means those key date coins found in uncirculated condition tend to sell at substantially higher numbers.
Know Which Coins Have Greater Potential Value
There are three examples of Peace silver dollars in circulated condition that are considered to be key date or semi key date coins including the 1921, 1928 and 1934-S coins. There are also several versions in uncirculated condition that can also sell for a premium, namely the 1924-S, 1925-S, and 1927 – 1934 coins, which sell for upwards of $100 or more.
The mintage of a coin, or the number produced, is only one factor in determining a coin’s value. In this piece, we’ll highlight some other factors that affect the marketability of your Peace silver dollars to provide you with a thorough understanding of how the value is derived.
Evaluate the Condition of the Coins
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge the cover of a coin when it comes to assessing the value of your silver Peace dollars. This means you will want to pay particular attention to the condition of the coins as that greatly impacts overall value.
Factors that impact coin condition are the amount of wear from circulation each coin has experienced. As they are handled and/or used, the coin’s design will begin to show wear and will not be as detailed as it once was. For example, some of the primary high point design areas of the coin are Lady Liberty’s hairlines on the obverse (front of the coin) and the eagle’s feathers on the reverse (back of the coin). Look to see how clearly you can see the hairlines on Lady Liberty. On the eagle, how clearly can you define the feathers?
Another factor that impacts the condition is whether the coin still has original mint luster, and if it has mint luster, if it’s full and complete across the entire obverse and reverse of the coin. Mint luster is the natural frosty or snowy-like appearance that a coin displays from the production process.
How can you determine if a coin has original luster?
While holding the coin between your pointer finger and thumb, tilt it back and forth. Do you notice a slight cartwheel effect on the coins? In case you are unsure, a cartwheel effect is an industry term used to describe the windmill-like effect when light hits the surface of the coin as you tilt it back and forth.
Remember, original luster is a good thing and something you really want to see with these coins.
Mint luster differs from a cleaned coin in that cleaned coins have a shiny appearance and don’t exhibit the windmill effect that we described above. An unaltered (cleaned, dipped, polished, etc) Peace dollar should never be shiny. If you notice a shiny appearance across the entire surface of the coin or if it stands out much more than others, it has most likely been altered.
As an uncirculated coin makes its way through circulation, the mint luster wears off creating more of a matte-like finish, instead of a cleaned coin that shines and/or dramatically reflects light back at you. Remember, the cartwheel effect is a great indicator of a coin that has not been cleaned or altered, however, that is not the case 100% of the time.
In addition to the luster and amount of wear, you also want to look for any contact or bag marks on the high points and/or field (the background) of the coins, which may take away from the visual appeal of the coins.
A graded coin that receives a grade within a range of MS60 – MS70 has been designated as an uncirculated coin. The fewer bag marks, scratches, abrasions, and the more even and complete the original mint luster, the higher the grade for the coin.
How Grading Affects the Value of Peace Dollars
We briefly touched on the topic of grading above, but how does this affect the value of your Peace dollars?
From a coin dealer’s perspective, we use four grading categories for raw or uncertified Peace dollars, which are as follows:
- Off-Quality/Worn (Cull)
- Fine to Extremely Fine (F – XF)
- Almost Uncirculated Condition (AU)
- Brilliant Uncirculated Condition (BU)
Fine: Coin showing some nice detail, but whole coin is moderately but evenly worn, up to Extremely Fine: Details are sharp, and coins are clear with slight but obvious wear on high points.
AU graded coins have a small trace of wear visible on the highest points.
Virtually uncirculated, except for minor wear marks on high points. Nearly all mint luster must be present and must have outstanding eye appeal
Notes on Pricing
We’re hesitant to provide specific values on the various grade coins, as the demand and market for these items are subject to change, but in most markets, you can expect to receive at a minimum the underlying silver value for these coins.
Keep in mind that Peace silver dollars are approximately a quarter of an ounce, .774 ounces to be exact, so you shouldn’t necessarily expect to receive the prevailing spot price of silver per ounce for these coins.
Certified Peace Dollars
We touched on raw coins and how the condition affects the coin’s value. Another factor that comes into play is certification. Some coins have been authenticated, certified and professionally graded by a third-party grading service (TPGS). Many TPGS exist, but the two leading companies in the industry are NGC and PCGS. ANACS and ICG are recognized but are considered second-tier companies and tend to have less stringent grading standards than NGC or PCGS.
As you would expect, the higher the grade, the better the condition, and the more valuable the coin is. An MS60 grade is the minimum grade for an uncirculated coin. An MS70 grade is the highest grade given and is essentially a perfect coin. Coins with a grade of MS60 – MS61 tend to have a good bit of contact marks and aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing coins.
If you are looking to purchase Peace Silver Dollars, look for ones with grades in MS63 condition or better, as they’ll show limited surface marks on the high points of the coin. Peace dollars with a grade of MS67 or higher is a premium coin, which will sell for over $1,000, even if it’s a common date coin.
In summary, while Peace silver dollars aren’t typically in as high of demand as Morgan silver dollars, they’re stunning and valuable coins in their own right. When it comes to selling Peace silver dollars, be sure to check the date, the mint mark, and condition of the coins to determine if you have a low mintage or rare coin for which you should be paid a premium.
Also remember that better condition coins will trade at a higher value than standard or lower condition coins.
In some cases, certified coins, especially if graded and slabbed by NGC or PCGS, will trade at a higher grade, and can have a dramatic effect on the value of the coin.
We hope that you found this article to be helpful and welcome you to contact us if we can be of any assistance with buying or selling Peace dollars or a silver dollar collection.
We look forward to hearing from you and earning your business.