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The 100th Anniversary of 1921 Coins: Morgan & Peace Dollars

Morgan and Peace Silver DollarThe 100th Anniversary of 1921 Coins: Morgan & Peace Dollars

Mention that you have a 100-year-old coin, and most coin collectors will sit up and listen. While not all century-old coins are valuable, many can be worth a substantial sum.

Below, you’ll find a bit of history about 1921 silver, nickel, and copper coins, along with a few words about their value. When assessing the value of 1921 coins, as with any U.S. coin, it’s important to consider both the mintmark (or lack of mintmark) and the condition of the coin.

Here’s a look at the coins that turned 100 in 2021:

Morgan Silver Dollar1921 Morgan Dollar

The first Morgan Dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904, then again only in 1921. The designer, George T. Morgan, wanted to make a coin depicting an American woman rather than the usual Greek figures. With Anna Willess Williams as his model, he created a stunning image. For the reverse, he studied nature to create an image of a realistic American eagle.

One hint when looking through any Morgan dollars that you may have already, keep an eye out for a “CC” mint mark. The Carson City mint produced many coins, but for the most part, produced the least amount of Morgan Dollars when compared to other mints in the United States of America.

As a collector coin, the Morgan Dollar is worth at least slightly more than its melt value if it is in Good condition or better. However, if it is in Mint condition, it may be worth at least twice that. In 1921, the Morgan silver dollar was only minted at the Denver mint, and that was the only year Denver minted them.

This makes the 1921 Morgan-D Dollar an interesting find for coin collectors. However, a large supply of these coins still exists, so it is still an affordable coin to add to your collection.

The U.S. Mint honored the 100th Anniversary of the Morgan Dollar’s last year of minting with a brand-new 2021 Morgan Dollar. This new dollar was modeled after the original Morgan Dollar, using a combination of historical mint assets and new technology.

Peace Silver Dollar

 

The United States Mint began production of the Peace Silver Dollar in December 1921 after the approval of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. The new Peace dollar design was meant to commemorate the declaration of peace between the U.S. and Germany and to replace the Morgan Dollar. In this single month, just over 1 million Peace Dollars were minted.

1921 is actually a low mintage year, especially compared to the Morgan Dollar. Both the low mintage and the fact it was the first year for this coin contribute to this coin’s higher value. Furthermore, all 1921 Peace silver dollars were produced as high relief coins, providing nice contrast and a bold appearance.

While definitely worth over melt value even in average condition, the Peace Dollar could be worth 10x that or more if it is in uncirculated condition. A high-relief 1921 Peace Dollar can go for hundreds of dollars or even more if in certified uncirculated condition.

Just as it did with the Morgan Dollar, the U.S. Mint produced an anniversary edition of the Peace Dollar. It is a beautiful coin and would be a great extra addition to a grouping of 1921 coins. Both coins feature “In God We Trust” and other iconic features of the Peace Silver Dollar.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the spelling of the word “Trust” is used with the letter “v.” This isn’t an error, but rather was used to commemorate the United States’ victory in World War I.

1921 Walking Liberty Half DollarWalking Liberty Half Dollar

If you have a 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, you are in luck! It is a highly collectible coin. This coin was minted only in Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (D mintmark), and San Francisco (S mintmark).

The mintmark matters a lot with this coin. Mintages were lowest at the Denver Mint, making coins with the D mintmark more valuable.

The melt value for these 1921 coins is currently under ten dollars each. However, for a collector, the value can be significantly higher. For example, a 1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar in Very Good condition is worth over $40, while the same coin but with the D mintmark is worth almost four times that.

Go up to Extremely Fine condition, and the 1921-D is worth over $1,000. Uncirculated 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollars are so rare that it’s very hard to put a price on them. One such coin went for over $9,000 at auction.

Standing Liberty Quarter

1921 Standing Liberty QuarterThe Standing Liberty Quarter was a bit controversial when it first came out. The reason..? The image of Lady Liberty appeared with one breast bared. So, after the first two years – 1916 and 1917, the coin was redesigned to show the beloved icon wearing chainmail, which is how she appears on the 1921 coins.

The 1921 Standing Liberty Quarter is still one of the more valuable 1921 coins, however. Its melt value is currently a little less than $5, but its collector value is worth much more. This 1921 quarter is a very rare find for collectors. Less than 2 million of these coins were produced, making them one of the lowest minted Standing Liberty quarters.

Even in Very Good condition, it is worth about $150. It was only minted in Philadelphia, so there is no mintmark on any of these coins. In uncirculated condition, it could go for over $1000 at auction.

Mercury Dime1921-mercury-dime

The Mercury Dime has always been a collectors’ favorite among 1921 coins. Adolph Weinman created the design of Winged Liberty, but it soon became known as the Mercury Dime because of the image’s similarity to the Roman god Mercury.

This silver dime is very small, so its worth is less than $2 if you melt it. However, as a collector item, it is worth far more. In Very Good condition, it is valued at over $70. In Uncirculated condition, it can be worth from $1,200 to $3,500 or more.

So, how does mintmark affect this coin’s value? The Mercury Dime without a mintmark, produced at the Philadelphia Mint, has significant collector value. However, those minted in Denver, the only other mint to produce them, are worth even more. Finding a decent quality 1921 Mercury Dime can be a challenge, but the reward makes it all worthwhile.

Buffalo Nickel

1921-s-buffalo-nickel

The Buffalo Nickel is another popular item among the 1921 coins for coin enthusiasts. Also called the Indian Head Nickel, this 5-cent coin was created by James Earle Fraser as a part of the Mint’s push to make American coins more beautiful.

The Buffalo Nickel was only ever minted in Philadelphia and San Francisco. The San Francisco mintmark is very rare for this coin, as only about 1.5 million 1921-S coins were ever minted. As an example, the 1921 Buffalo Nickel with no mintmark in Good condition is worth about $2.50, but with the S mintmark, it is worth over $25. In Fine condition, the price of the Philadelphia nickel only goes up to $5, while the San Francisco coin reaches over $100.

Go to the Uncirculated condition, and the difference is even more astounding. These nickels from the Philadelphia Mint are $95, while those bearing the S mintmark are worth over $1,500.

Lincoln Wheat Penny

1921 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Many adults these days have fond childhood memories of sorting through their grandparents’ jar of pennies looking for wheat pennies. The Lincoln Wheat Penny is not only fun to collect, but in special cases, it can also be worth much more than you might think.

The 1921-S Wheat Pennies are rarer and so more valuable 1921 coins than those with no mintmark. Condition, of course, plays a part, with a higher-end condition coin valued at more than $100 and uncirculated coins going for hundreds of dollars or more.

One more thing to think about when evaluating copper coins is the color. Poor condition pennies can look brown, and better ones look orange. However, the best color is red. In fact, one penny, graded MS-68 Red by PCGS, sold for $36,000 in 2019.

There are also several error coins to consider among the 1921 pennies.

Here is a list to get you started:

·        1921 Doubled Die Penny – both the inscription of E PLURIBUS UNUM and the wheat stalks appear doubled.

·        1921 Wheat Penny with Die Breaks or Cracks – worth anywhere from a dollar to hundreds.

·        1921 BIE Penny – a popular error in which a die crack between the B and E in Liberty gives the appearance of an I between them.

·        Off-Center 1921 Penny – the higher the percentage it’s off-center, the more valuable it is.

·        1921 Penny with Missing Letters – usually due to a weak die or soft strike, and can be worth over $100.

Ask the Coin Experts at Atlanta Gold & Coin

Old coins can be both interesting and valuable. Discovering that you have a rare and valuable 1921 coin could brighten your day and enhance your collection. However, it’s not always easy to determine what your coins are worth. In addition, if you are looking for specific 1921 coins, you may need help finding them.

Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers can help! Our team of precious metals and coin experts is here to help you get the results you want. We provide accurate, fair, transparent pricing to ensure you know exactly why we priced your coin the way we did. We buy old and rare coins and pay among the highest rates in the industry.

In addition, we have many old American coins in our coin inventory and can help you find that special 1921 Peace or Morgan dollar. Contact us today to ask any questions you have about 1921 coins or request an estimate for a coin you have. We look forward to serving you!

Tony Davis
Tony Davis