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These dollars are post-Civil War era coins. These predecessors of the Peace dollar are truly worth collecting.
History of Morgan Dollars
Morgan dollars were first minted in 1878 to 1904. After 1904, because of the Pittman Act of 1918, many Morgan dollars and other silver coins were melted into bullion in order to aid Great Britain at the start of World War I. The Pittman Act authorized the melting of close to 4 million Morgan dollars to sell as bullion to Great Britain. After the fulfillment of the Pittman Act, the Morgan dollar was once again minted in 1921.
The wide range of years that the Morgan dollar was minted grants a great opportunity for collectors. Because they were minted for thirty-six consecutive years, there are a variety of valuable Morgan Dollars available for collection. Of course, the fineness of Morgans also lends them to be a worthwhile investment as they are mostly made of fine silver.
Morgan Dollar Design
Named for its designer, George T. Morgan, the Morgan’s design is usually of Lady Liberty on the obverse and the American eagle on the reverse. Morgan’s Lady Liberty portrait was based on the profile of Anna Willess Williams. Williams, a school teacher, was described by Morgan as having had a near perfect profile and was considered excellent inspiration for the Lady Liberty design. It was also very serendipitous that Williams was from the epitome of American cities, Philadelphia. On the other hand, Morgan was a British-born engraver who was originally employed by the British Royal Mint. He later came to design and engrave for the u.s. mint because of a want for new and fresh designs.
Despite the want for new coin designs, the Morgan dollar has a surprisingly steady history of design. The Morgan underwent very few changes in the thirty-seven years that it was minted. The only real change was the change in master dies after the Pittman Act. The Pittman Act left the thought of any new Morgan dollars obsolete, so the original master die was destroyed. A new die had to be made for the production of the 1921 Morgans.
Peace dollars are considered the successors to Morgan dollars and the earliest mintage of the Peace dollar was in high relief.
History of Peace Dollars
Peace Dollars were minted from 1921 to 1928, after the legislation of the Pittman Act of 1918. The obsoletion of the Morgan dollar meant that new silver dollars had to be minted. although, this wasn’t the only reason for minting new silver dollars. the peace dollar was mainly minted to commemorate the end of world war i.
Peace Dollar Design
The Peace Dollar design was very important symbolism to Americans in post-World War I United States. There was even a contest held in order to designate an artist for the design. Ultimately, Anthony de Francisci, an Italian-American sculptor, was chosen as the final designer of the Peace Dollar. De Francisci’s original design pictured a broken sword and olive branch on the reverse. However, there was controversy over this design. Many saw the broken sword as symbolic of a loss, not peace. While de Francisci defended his original design, the American public demanded a change and the reverse design was changed to a perched bald eagle.