US Coins

1921 Peace dollar lives up to the hype

Looking at the high points of a major, multi-consignor auction often reveals many of the same types of rare and expensive coins: 1879 and 1880 Stella gold $4 patterns, rare Carson City and New Orleans Mint Coronet $20 double eagles, flashy $50 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition commemorative coins. But looking within the sale often reveals more about the market, and its depth.

Here is one of my favorite coins that was offered at Heritage’s U.S. coin auctions held Jan. 3 to 8 at the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa:

The Lot:


The Price:

1921 Peace dollar, Mint State 67

The Story:

A 1921 Peace dollar graded Mint State 67 by PCGS sold for a very strong $111,000 at Heritage’s January 4 Platinum Night auction. It is tied with six other MS-67 coins as the finest graded at PCGS and had an unusually strong strike for this often weakly-struck issue. The entire mintage of 1,006,473 1921 Peace dollars started at the Philadelphia Mint on Dec. 28 and ended on Dec. 31, 1921.

Ever heard of ‘skidding error’?”Collectors’ Clearinghouse author Mike Diamond identifies a new kind of error. Also inside this issue, protecting your paper money collection from mold and advice for participating in online auctions.

Anthony de Francisci’s high relief design was ill-suited for mass production. Most 1921 Peace dollars are weakly struck, with ill-defined hair at Liberty’s ear. The relief was lowered in 1922 and the 1921 Peace dollar, with its distinctive high relief, is often collected as a one-year type coin.

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To put its hefty price in perspective, a different PCGS MS-67 1921 Peace dollar sold for $70,500 at Heritage’s 2015 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money auction, though that example had more toning and a slightly weaker strike than seen on the subject coin.

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