1921 High Relief Peace Dollar Value
Finest Known: MS69 (NGC) MS67 (PCGS)
Auction Record: $132,000 (MS67)
Image: USA CoinBook
The Peace dollar marked the final change in coin designs at the turn of the 20th century that had begun in 1907 with the Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle design. The decision to change the design of the silver dollar in 1921 was made at practically last-minute.
In 1921, the government began replacing the Morgan silver dollars that were melted in 1918 under the Pittman Act (see “The Pittman Act: Boondoggle or Necessary Morgan Dollar Massacre?” for the details.) The original plan had been to simply strike new Morgan dollars, since they were likely to spend their existence in Treasury vaults as backing for paper silver certificates.
This discounted the efforts of prominent numismatists to have a coin minted to commemorate the end of the “war to end all wars,” which we now know as only the First World War. The leaders of the effort had enough political clout to convince the Secretary of the Treasury to authorize a new silver dollar design. A hastily-convened artists competition in December resulted in the design of Anthony de Francisci being chosen.
DID YOU KNOW?
The story of the 1921 high relief Peace dollars not stacking correctly is an urban myth. The New York Times ran a story in 1921 where bank cashiers showed that the new Peace dollar stacked as well as the low relief Morgan dollars.
It wasn’t until Christmas Eve 1921 that most of the problems with the new Peace dollar design were ironed out and production could begin. From December 26 through the 31st, the Philadelphia Mint managed to strike an astounding 1,006,473 Peace dollars. This feat is all the more impressive when the frequent die breaks due to the high relief of the design are taken into account.
The Value of a 1921 Peace Dollar
As not only the first year of issue, but the only year a high relief version was released into circulation, 1921 Peace dollars have always commanded a premium. It is one of the most expensive Peace dollars in circulated grades, and among the top five most expensive Peace dollars in uncirculated grades.
1921 High Relief Peace Dollar Price Guide
|Mint State 61
|Mint State 63
|Mint State 65
|Auction Record (MS67)
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.