US Coins

Market Analysis: High Relief 1921 Peace dollar, MS-67, none finer, in Heritage sale

This MS-67 1921 Peace dollar has an uncommonly bold strike, seen in the details of Liberty’s hair on the obverse, and it brought $38,400 on April 23.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Though Heritage’s April 23 to 26 auctions originally scheduled for the Central States Numismatic Society convention near Chicago were moved to its Dallas headquarters, 6,800 online bidders participated in force as more than $33 million in coins and paper money traded hands in the various sessions.

Among the coins was a 1921 Peace dollar, from the first year of sculptor Anthony de Francisci’s new design, an issue notorious for weak strikes, resulting in generally mushy details in Liberty’s hair.

The cataloger observes on the offered Mint State 67 Numismatic Guaranty Corp. example, “Strong striking details for the issue with rich, frosted mint luster liberally coating the surfaces,” adding, “Each side presents a fully brilliant, snow-white appearance as if the coin was recently struck.”

Heritage compares it to another one-year-only high relief issue, the 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle, writing, “For some reason unknown to us, the High Relief double eagle has always received accolades from collectors, even in the year of issue, but the High Relief Peace dollar is greeted with less enthusiasm by most numismatists.”

NGC has graded just seven in this grade with none finer. The show-stopping dollar realized $38,400.

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