1921 Morgan and Peace Silver Dollar Values (Price Charts)
1921 was The Year Of Two Silver Dollars. It was the year that saw the curtain call of a silver dollar that no one had wanted in the first place and the premiere of the silver dollar that capped the American Coin Renaissance.
What Is a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Worth?
How Much Is a 1921 (P) Morgan Dollar Worth?
A total of 44,690,000 Morgan dollars were minted in Philadelphia in 1921. They are the most common issue of that year-date you will find. We refer to them here as 1921 (P) because these coins bear no mintmark.
Most 1921 (P) Morgans in circulated condition trade for under $30. Values jump in grades of MS65 and above.
How Much Is a 1921-D Morgan Dollar Worth?
1921-D Morgan silver dollar. Image: USA CoinBook
The 1921-D Morgan saw a mintage of 20,345,000 silver dollars at the Denver Mint. They are less common than their counterparts made in Philly, and this is reflected in their prices.
Once you get into uncirculated (i.e. mint state) grades, the 1921-S Morgan sees prices rise considerably. The auction record for this coin, graded Mint State 68, garnered over $44,000.
How Much Is a 1921-S Morgan Dollar Worth?
1921-S Morgan silver dollar. Image: USA CoinBook
The San Francisco Mint struck 21,695,000 Morgan dollars in 1921. This was only slightly more than the number produced at the other branch mint in Denver.
1921-S Morgan dollars grading in the low mint state range are very desirable. Like the 1921 (P), the auction record for this issue sold for more than $19,000.
Is the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Rare?
The short answer is no. Between the three branch mints, more than 86 million Morgan dollars were issued in 1921. In fact, this is far and away the highest mintage of silver dollars for any single year in United States history.
On top of that, 1921 was the last year in which Morgan dollars were minted. Plenty of these coins have been preserved in virtually uncirculated condition, making it affordable to find one on the market.
Where Is the Mintmark on a 1921 Silver Dollar?
It's important to know whether or not your coin has a mintmark. On both the Morgan silver dollar and Peace silver dollar, the mintmark is found on the reverse.
For the Morgan dollar, this location is centered at the bottom of the design. It is placed just below the tail feathers of the eagle. If your silver dollar has no mintmark, it was minted in Philadelphia.
Mintmark location on a Morgan dollar from Carson City, which stopped production in 1893.
This also raises the question of fakes. The *Red Book* warns that collectors should be wary of altered mintmarks. How can you tell if a 1921 silver dollar is real?
Our guide to spotting counterfeit coins will give you some useful tips for identifying real silver dollars. For a modest fee, you can always submit your coin to third-party grading services such as NGC and PCGS to have the coin authenticated, as well.
Buying Morgan Silver Dollars From Gainesville Coins
We also have Morgan silver dollars for sale that are either "raw" or already certified by the leading third-party graders:
What Makes The 1921 Morgan Dollar Special?
The 1921 Morgan dollar was the last year for the design. It was also the last U.S. coin design of the 19th century to be struck. 1921 Morgan dollar mintages at all three U.S. Mint locations (Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco) were the highest of the series. Plentiful mintages and a low, flat strike means that the 1921 Morgan dollar is one of the least popular coins in the series.
By contrast, the 1895 issue is the rarest Morgan dollar. Only proofs were minted that year, and just 880 of them were produced.
Why Did the U.S. Make Silver Dollars In 1921?
The Morgan dollar was never that popular with the public. It was invented by Congress as a subsidy for the politically powerful silver mining industry in 1878. No one had ever expected to see new Morgan dollars after the last ones were struck in 1904. In fact, the master hubs were destroyed in 1910, when the U.S. Mint cleared out the hubs and dies that were no longer used.
Events in WWI in 1918 led to the resumption of Morgan dollar production in 1921. The British were suffering a silver shortage that jeopardized the entire Allied side in WWI. They had issued more silver certificates in India than they had silver to back them. If India revolted, the British would have to make peace with Germany. The British government appealed to the U.S. to sell them silver.
A pile of Morgan dollars.
Even though it risked losing the war, the “silverite” faction in Congress refused to back the melting of silver dollars. This faction had forced the creation of the Morgan dollar in the first place. They demanded that every silver dollar melted was replaced after the war in return for their support. (See “The 1918 Pittman Act: Boondoggle Or Necessary Morgan Dollar Massacre?” for the full story.)
The 1918 Pittman Act forced the U.S. Mint to buy silver at $1 per ounce after the war to replace the 270 million silver dollars that were melted down. As long as silver prices were above a dollar, the silver miners preferred to sell their ore on the open market. Once it dropped below that, they clamored for the government to buy their silver. That moment came in 1920.
The 1921 Morgan Dollar: Falling Flat
The 1918 “deal with the silver devil” had come due. The government was once again buying silver for more than the market price. (Silver prices would hit a low of 53 cents an ounce in March 1921.)
Since the master Morgan dollar coin hubs had been destroyed in 1910, Chief Engraver of the Mint George Morgan made new low relief hubs from scratch. His emphasis was on getting maximum use out of the coin dies, instead of making pretty coins.
This resulted in a coin that looked flat and lifeless, even when fully struck. This would be the last-ever year for the Morgan dollar (for real, this time, as the Peace dollar would replace it in December). The emphasis at the Mint was not to commemorate this, but to shove them out the door as quickly as possible. They would never see the light of day, anyway.
Silver dollars were stored in Treasury Department vaults to back the paper silver certificates that circulated. Theoretically, you could ask to exchange your certificate for actual silver dollars, but this was rarely done. The big silver coins just sat stacked in canvas bags inside locked vaults.
Why Bring Back The Silver Dollar In The First Place?
By 1921, it had been 17 years since any silver dollars had been made. With literally hundreds of millions of unwanted Morgan dollars clogging the coin vaults at the Treasury Department, there was no need nor desire to make more.
Congress had other ideas. In a “deal with the silver devil,” The [1918 Pittman Act](1918-pittman-act-boondoggle-or-necessary-morgan-dollar-massacre) promised the politicians from the silver mining states that all 270 million silver dollars melted to support the war effort would be replaced. That bill came due in 1921 when silver prices came down from their wartime highs.
1921 Morgan silver dollar
1921 Morgan Dollar Values and Mintages
The last Morgan dollars had been struck in 1904, or so everyone had assumed. The die hubs were canceled and thrown away in 1910 during a clean-up at the US Mint. When word suddenly came in 1921 to resume Morgan dollar production, new master hubs and dies had to be made.
Since they would only be used for one year, and the coins would never circulate, the new dies were cut in low relief. This extended die life and allowed for a high rate of production. More than 86 million 1921 Morgan dollars were struck between the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
1921 Morgan Dollar Mintages
The incredible number of 1921 Morgan dollars meant that they would never be anything more than the most common of common-date coins. Even though millions have presumably been melted for their silver value, the 1921 Morgan remains one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, Morgan dollar available.
1921 Morgan Dollar Values
What Is a 1921 Peace Dollar Worth?
The 1921 Peace Dollar was a new design, and the first coin design in the U.S. created in response to public demand.
This is the story of the 1921 Peace dollar, the dynamic new silver dollar designed for 20th Century America.
1921 Peace dollar
1921 Peace Dollar Price Chart
The information on this page does not constitute an offer to buy or sell the coin(s) referred to. Proof and prooflike examples of this issue may have greater or lesser "finest known" and different record auction prices.
What Makes the 1921 Peace Dollar Special?
The 1921 Peace dollar was the first U.S. coin design produced due to popular demand. It was also the last high relief coin intended for circulation.
The Peace dollar was the last coin design of the 1907-1921 “American Renaissance of Coinage.” Like its predecessors, its relief had to be lowered to extend the life of the coin dies.
1921 high relief Peace silver dollar. Image: USA CoinBook
The Peace dollar was also the last real silver dollar struck by the United States (in 1935). The circulating Eisenhower dollar that was introduced in 1971 had a clad construction devoid of silver, similar to today’s quarters and dimes. (There were proof collectible Eisenhower dollars struck with a “silver sandwich” clad construction, but they did not circulate.)
The 1921 Peace Dollar Design
The Peace dollar could have hardly been more different than the Morgan dollar. Lady Liberty gave off a youthful, energetic appearance on the coin’s obverse, rather than the staid, matronly guise of her counterpart on the Morgan dollar. An American bald eagle stood perched on a mountaintop on the reverse, watching the first rays of a rising sun break above the horizon.
All 1921 Peace dollars were minted in Philadelphia, so they don't have any mintmark. The mintmark location is important to take note of for subsequent years. Like the Morgan dollar, the mintmarks are either "D" or "S" and are found on the reverse beneath the eagle's tail. On the Peace dollar, however, the mintmark is in the bottom-left rather than centered at the bottom rim.
The Peace dollar was designed by Anthony de Francisci, who won an eight-way design contest in November 1921 to design the coin. Due to the time constraints of the contest, de Francisci used his wife as the basis for his Liberty. The artists only had ten days to submit their designs. Germany and the US had signed a peace treaty that November. Mint officials wanted to release the coin by the end of the year to mark the event.
Peace Dollar reverse design
The Eagle And The Sword
The original design for the reverse of the Peace dollar had the eagle standing on the broken sword of War, while grasping an olive branch. Before the design was even seen by the public, news leaked about the sword. Complaints flooded into the U.S. Mint, Treasury Department, and Congress. The nation’s newspapers carried countless outraged editorials.
The broken sword was not seen as a symbol of “no more war,” but rather as the “broken sword of a defeated soldier.” Chief Engraver Morgan sat down with de Francisci and altered the only master hub to turn the sword into part of the olive branch, and part of the mountain. No Peace dollars with the original reverse were struck: not even trial pieces.
Any coins showing the sword are fakes, or real Peace dollars that have been overstamped and the date changed. In any case, they have no value except their silver content. Moreover, contrary to rumors on the internet, all 1921 Peace dollars are high relief. The relief was lowered partway through production of 1922-dated coins.
The 1921 Peace Dollar: A Fresh New Face
The Peace dollar would be the first new silver dollar design since 1878. It would be the capstone of the “American Coin Renaissance” that began in 1907 with the Saint-Gaudens eagle and double eagle gold coins. With the introduction of the Peace dollar, every US circulation coin bore designs from professional sculptors instead of staid designs developed by engravers at the US Mint.
1921 Peace silver dollar (high relief)
Peace Dollar Design Timeline
- May 9, 1921: Morgan dollar production resumes.
- November 11, 1921: US peace treaty with Germany ratified.
- November 19, 1921: Eight artists invited to make new “Peace” dollar design.
- December 12, 1921: Contest deadline.
- December 13, 1921: de Francisci declared winner.
- December 20, 1921: de Francisci high relief design approved.
- December 23, 1921: Emergency change to remove broken sword.
- December 28, 1921: First Peace dollars struck.
- December 31, 1921:1921-date Peace dollar production ends with 1,006,473 coins minted.
- January 3, 1922: 1921 Peace dollars released into circulation.
Anthony de Francisci’s Peace dollar gave America a youthful, dynamic Liberty rather than the plump matronly models that had come before. It was also the last circulating coin to be approved in high relief. Unfortunately, the US Mint did not have the expertise required to produce coin dies that would not break prematurely, and the Peace dollar soon suffered the same fate as previous high relief designs. The features were flattened to the point that many of the small details were eliminated.
This makes the 1921 Peace dollar not only the first year of issue for the design, but also a one-year type that was the last circulating high relief US coin. These unique qualities are reflected in the prices that the coin still commands.
1921 Peace Dollar Values
100 Years Later…
The US Mint made new .999 pure silver Morgan dollar and Peace dollar designs in 2021 to mark the 100th anniversary of the last Morgan dollar and the first Peace dollar. Reception was overwhelming, leading the Mint to make both designs an annual limited edition series.
No 2022 Morgan or Peace silver dollars were struck in 2022, due to the global silver shortage. That has sent demand for the 2021 coins soaring, as they can now be considered a one-year subtype.
The information on this page does not constitute an offer to buy or sell the coin(s) referred to. Statistics are for Mint State coins only. Proof and prooflike examples of this issue may have greater or lesser "finest known" and different record auction prices.
Read more about coin values from the numismatic experts at Gainesville Coins:
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