Why U.S. Peace Silver Dollars are a Smart Buy in Today’s Market

Peace Dollars

The Peace silver dollar was minted from 1921-1928 and again in 1934 and 1935. The coin was designed by renowned medalist Anthony de Francisci to commemorate a time of peace following the end of World War I in 1918. The coin features a crowned Lady Liberty on the obverse and a prominent portrait of a perched American eagle overlooking a sunrise on the reverse. Peace silver dollars hold a special place in the hearts of collectors, having graced the pockets of wealthy Americans during the infamous Roaring Twenties, and carried us through the blight of the Great Depression. The U.S. Peace silver dollar circulated through the best and worst of times and is the last dollar coin minted for general circulation that contains silver.

True Scarcity

Peace silver dollars were minted following World War I, at a time when the United States was in dire need of additional currency. As a result, most Peace silver dollars were placed directly into circulation. Most of today’s Peace silver dollars are therefore heavily worn, and have nominal value outside of their silver content highlighting the importance of separating rare dates, mints, and quality coins. Furthermore, when silver hit $50 an ounce in 1980, hundreds of thousands of classic silver coins were sold to refiners and melted down for their silver content. The “Great Melting Pot” of 1980 dramatically decreased the known number of surviving Peace silver dollars and other classic coins. Existing market supplies of Peace silver dollars are now lower than ever before, and their value is only going to increase over time.

Relative Bargain Buy

As scarce as they are, the Peace silver dollar is still a relative bargain when compared to other classic or numismatic silver coins, and in fact, their premium is at the lowest levels seen in months. Despite a recent increase in the price of silver from $18.00 an ounce to $22 an ounce, the minimum value of these coins rests only a couple dollars higher than the price of bullion. For comparison, the next closest series, the Morgan silver dollar (1878-1921) is selling at $2 – $3 higher than Peace silver dollars, on average, in the same condition. Keep in mind, the Peace silver dollar holds hidden value in the brevity of its series and its historical significance, making its current price a great bargain.

Evaluate your Coins

Before we get into detail on expanding your coin collection through rare dates and mints, it’s important to understand the basics behind grading and evaluating old coins. When evaluating Peace silver dollars, be aware that there are four general grades that coin dealers and collectors use to determine the worth of an individual coin: Good, Fine, Extremely Fine and Uncirculated.  When coins are certified or professionally graded, a 70 point scale is used to further identify the condition within various grades of coins  For the Peace silver dollar, pay extra attention to the hair detail of Lady Liberty and feather detail of the eagle. The more fine and detailed the image, the higher the price of the silver dollar. The highest quality available is an uncirculated version of the coin. Having never been put through the wear and tear of circulation, these coins retain their original mint luster and look like they’re fresh off the minting press. Besides uncirculated coins, the process of grading is naturally subjective, with the exception of coins that have been certified by a third party grading service.  The price will vary depending on the collector or coin dealer.

Rare Peace silver dollars

As always, there are a few key rare dates and mint marks to be aware of when collecting Peace dollars.  A first year issue high relief 1921 Peace silver dollar, with a mintage of approximately 1,000,000 in good condition is worth at least $50 in today’s market. Keep an eye out for the extremely rare 1928-P (mintage of 360,000), as prices can vary anywhere from $150 – $350, depending on the coin’s condition.  Another coin to pay particular attention to is the 1934-S Peace dollar; its value varies substantially based on the condition of the coin, with a starting price of approximately $25 in “Good” condition to over $1200 uncirculated. Be prepared to pay a hefty premium for key date coins or coins that are difficult to find in high end condition.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we’ve provided a brief history of the Peace silver dollar; have addressed the difference between the mintage and survivorship of Peace dollars, given some compelling reasons for why now is the time to purchase Peace silver dollars and shared some general information on coin grading and key date or low mintage coins.  Hopefully this information will help you to maximize your experiencing when buying, selling or collecting Peace silver dollars.

Tony Davis
Tony Davis