How Much Is a 1922 Peace Dollar Worth?
Many factors affect the value of the 1922 Peace dollar. Two of the most important are the large number made, and the move to a lower relief design. Read more below.
What Is a 1922 Peace Dollar Worth?
The Philadelphia Mint struck more than 51 million Peace dollars in 1922. This is the largest silver dollar mintage at a single U.S. Mint in history. Accordingly, prices are low on this most common of "common date" Peace dollars. Good Mint State coins are easy to find and affordable.
What Is a 1922-D Peace Dollar Worth?
The mintage of the 1922-D Peace dollar is more than twice that of the 1923-D mintage. Peace dollar production in Denver dropped sharply in later years. Mint State 1922-D Peace dollars are scarcer than the 1922 ones from Philadelphia. Many suffered wear from being used in Nevada casinos.
What Is a 1922-S Peace Dollar Worth?
Large numbers of 1922-S Peace dollars went to the casinos in Nevada. San Francisco was the closest Mint to both Reno and Las Vegas. Poor strike quality makes attractive Mint State 1922-S Peace dollars difficult to find.
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.
High Relief 1922 Peace Dollars
The 1921 Peace dollar was the only high relief version of the coin released into circulation. The Mint suspended Peace dollar production at the end of the year. The pressure needed to get a full high relief strike was great enough to shatter the coin dies with alarming frequency.
Example of a high relief 1921 Peace dollar. Image: USA CoinBook
Work started immediately on correcting this defect. This involved several experiments with the relief on both sides of the coin. 35,401 of a new version of high relief Peace dollars were minted in January. The team at the Philadelphia Mint went through four obverse and nine reverse dies in making those 35,000 coins. This was unacceptable for general production. The entire mintage was melted down for recoining. Or so they said. There are three known survivors of this modified high relief mintage. These were coins sent to different officials as evidence of the test results.
The next attempt was a medium relief design referred to in Mint records as "modified high relief." 3,200 of these coins were minted before the only set of dies broke. These were also melted down, but Director of the Mint Raymond Baker kept two that were sent to him for review.
After this disappointment, The Peace dollar model underwent major modification. The result was the low relief design that was used throughout the coin's production.
1922 Proof Peace Dollars
At the same time, others at the Philadelphia Mint experimented with proof Peace dollars. This was the last year that proof Peace dollars were struck.
There were four types of proof Peace dollars made in 1922. A matte, or sandblasted finish in both high and low relief, and a satin finish, also in high and low relief. There were a dozen or less struck of each kind. The extreme rarity of these coins is reflected in the prices they get at auction.
- Satin: 3 survivors known
- Matte: 5 to 8 survivors known
- Satin: 3 survivors known
- Matte: 2 survivors known
1922 Peace Dollar: Mintages, Low Relief Design
The 1922 Peace dollar was by far the largest Peace dollar mintage. The low relief Peace dollars had a softer appearance than the 1921 high relief version. That difference is amplified by the weak strikes seen on some Peace dollar mintages.
How does the 1922 Peace dollar stack up to other mintages?
The 1922 Peace dollar from the Philadelphia Mint usually has a full strike. Uncirculated examples can be found with an attractive mint luster. With 51.7 million coins struck, the 1922 Peace dollar is the largest silver dollar mintage struck at a single U.S. Mint. This huge number meant that many thousands of uncirculated 1922 Peace dollars were buried in Treasury vaults until the 1960s.
Mint State (Uncirculated) 1922 Peace dollars struck at Philadelphia are fairly common in grades up to MS64 (on the 1-70 Sheldon scale). There are around 10 million surviving 1922 Peace dollars, according to coin grading service PCGS . 2.5 million of these have graded MS60 to MS64, and 75,000 that grade MS65 or better.
The 1922-D Peace dollar from the Denver Mint often has a softer strike, especially on the reverse. However, fully-struck ones can be found with some effort. The Denver Mint tried to correct for the soft strike by increasing the pressure on the coining press. While this improved the average strike, it increased the rate of failure of the coin dies.
New dies had to be made in Philadelphia and shipped to Colorado. This forced the Denver Mint to sometimes continue production with cracked dies. Many surviving 1922-D Peace dollars will have die cracks of varying lengths.
A large number of 1922-D Peace dollars were released into circulation. Many of these went to the casinos in Nevada. Sealed 1000-coin bags were moved from the Denver Mint, to banks, then casinos. All this travel gave many 1922-D Peace dollars heavy "bag marks". Bag marks occur when the coins clashed together as the bags were slung around.
PCGS estimates that there are 3 million surviving 1922-D Peace dollars. Of those, it estimates 100,000 grade Mint State 60-64, and 7,500 have graded MS65 or better. It will take some hunting to find a fully struck coin with few or no bag marks.
The 1922-S Peace dollar shows a weak strike that was unfortunately common on San Francisco issues. Even the rims are incomplete on some of the San Francisco Peace dollars produced that year.
Silver coins were still popular on the West Coast, so bag marks and wear from circulation are common. Many were sent to the Nevada casinos, as San Francisco is far closer than Denver to both Reno and Las Vegas.
Finding a fully-struck 1922-S Peace dollar with good eye appeal is a major challenge. PCGS estimates that 2 million coins out of more than 17 million 1922-S Peace dollars have survived. Far fewer Mint State coins survive, compared to the Philadelphia and Denver issues. PCGS shows a mere 45,000 coins existing in Mint State 60-64, and only 1,000 or so that would grade MS65 or better. The lack of Mint State coins is partially due to many of them being used in casino slot machines.
Peace Dollar reverse designed by Anthony de Francisci
1922 Peace Dollar Rarity
The biggest reason for the low value of 1922 Peace dollars is rarity -- they aren't. The 84,275,000 coins produced in 1922 was the highest Peace dollar mintage ever. It dwarfed the second-highest mintage of 56 million coins seen in 1923, and crushed any mintage afterward.
On the positive side, those numbers mean that a Mint State coin is relatively affordable, even up to MS64. Check our price guides for 1922 Peace dollars, below.
How Many 1922 Peace Dollars Are Left?
It is estimated that more than 15 million 1922 Peace dollars still exist across all grades. (10 million 1922, 3 million 1922-D, and 2 million 1922-S.) This is even after the mass silver coin melts of the 1960s. The 1922 is the most common of the "common date" Peace dollars.
Why Were So Many 1922 Peace Dollars Struck in 1922?
The large mintage of Peace dollars in 1922 was due to a World War One silver law. The 1918 Pittman Act allowed the government to melt 270 million silver dollars. To get the law passed, it had to agree to replace the melted dollars after the war.
Minting of new silver dollars began in 1921, when 86 million Morgan dollars were made. The large-scale production of silver dollars continued through 1923. the 84 million 1922 Peace dollars were followed by 56 million Peace dollars in 1923. By the end of 1923, more than 228 million silver dollars had been produced.
This allowed the Mint to slow down Peace dollar production in favor of minting smaller coins. America was in the middle of the economic expansion known as the Roaring Twenties. The expanding economy needed more coins.
Production of smaller coins was suspended in 1922. All three U.S. Mints only made Peace dollars that year. However, a need for one cent coins saw the Denver Mint strike 7 million 1922-D Lincoln cents in January and February. These were the only cents struck in 1922.
Denver could not get new 1922-D Lincoln cent dies when the original ones wore out. The engraving department in Philadelphia was devoted to making Peace dollar dies. The Denver Mint had to repeatedly polish the original dies to continue production. Eventually, the D mintmark on the dies was completely polished away. The Denver Mint had no choice but to keep striking Lincoln cents with the worn dies.
This gave birth to the famous "No D" 1922-D Lincoln cent. The only reason we know these "no D cents" were made in Denver is that no other Mint made one cent coins in 1922.
A published writer, Steven's coverage of precious metals goes beyond the daily news to explain how ancillary factors affect the market.
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