I’ve had this silver piece for a long time. What can you tell me
St. Mary’s, Ohio
The images provided by Ms. Shelby seem to show a privately struck
The obverse of the piece has a rendering of Anthony de Francisci’s
design for the Peace dollar of 1921 to 1935. The reverse is
utilitarian, merely stating that it is a “Silver Trade Unit” along
with its fineness (.999 fine silver) and weight (1 troy ounce). It is
not legal tender.
It is difficult to determine when the piece was struck, and
without seeing the piece up close, no engraver’s marks or other clues
to the identity of the maker are discernible.
The piece resembles many silver rounds produced in the 1970s and
1980s, which often borrowed their designs from classic U.S. coin
motifs, such as the Peace dollar. The rounds were marketed to silver
investors then and have regained a measure of popularity with the rise
of silver’s prices in recent years.
If the piece contains 1 troy ounce of silver, it has a value based
upon the spot price of silver.
I recently found a silver bullion piece, but can find no
information about it. The obverse says “One troy ounce, silver trade
dollar, 31.1 grams, .999 fine silver,” with an eagle and flag. The
reverse says “Minted from U.S. Strategic stockpile silver 1981,
Formerly stored at U.S. Assay Office, San Francisco.”
I would like to know what it is, the number minted and possible value.
Based on Ms. Parrott’s description, the piece in question would be
a privately minted silver round. This round was struck from silver
sold by the federal government from its strategic stockpile, which had
amassed more than 140 million ounces of silver by 1980.
According to a Coin World report from 1994: “A total of 2
million ounces of the silver was sold through public auctions in the
fall of 1981, but [the auctions were] discontinued and replaced with
the less disruptive coinage programs. Another 7.5 million ounces was
sold at public sales scheduled over a three-year period, ending in 1991.”
By law, silver from this stockpile was also used to strike
American Eagle silver bullion coins beginning in 1986 until the
stockpile was depleted in late 2000.
The round might have a very small premium above the spot price of
silver. We could not determine how many of the pieces were struck.
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