US Coins

Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief dollar in sale

A Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief silver dollar, a coin struck during the transition to a lower relief for the series, is a highlight of the April 27 Heritage auction at the Central States Numismatic Society convention in suburban Chicago.

Another hectic release for the U.S. MintAnother botched release from the United States Mint: Inside Coin World: The release of the Congratulations set adds to the narrative that the U.S. Mint needs to overhaul its approach to limited-edition releases.

The 2017 CSNS auctions will include selections from the Siegel Collection, which was put together over three decades by the chairman of a manufacturing company who had a long-held interest in numismatics that began in his childhood. Always on the lookout for coins that combined quality, rarity, eye appeal, and low population, he focused much of his attention on silver dollars, including an 1895 Morgan dollar graded Proof 64 Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service, a large grouping of Mint State 68 Morgan dollars, and a 1921 Peace dollar graded Mint State 67 by NGC. 

Of particular interest is a Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief dollar graded Proof 64 by PCGS with a green CAC sticker.

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All 1921 Peace dollars representing Anthony de Francisci’s high relief design were struck in the final week of 1921 at the Philadelphia Mint. As the Mint worked to lower the relief so that the new dollars could be better produced for circulation, the Mint experimented with a variety of Proof Peace dollars. Heritage’s research shows that three different obverse and four reverse subtypes are identified for Proof 1922 Peace dollars, and research continues on these interesting transitional issues. Circulation strike 1922 Peace dollars were produced in a low relief.

Matte Proof 1922 Peace, High Relief dollars are noteworthy for their rarity (PCGS estimates that five to eight are known) but Heritage suggests “they also represent a different design subtype, and may merit classification as a pattern, along with the high relief satin proofs.” 

On the offered dollar, Heritage observes, “The obverse of the present specimen displays distributed minute tan freckles, and a tiny tick on the base of Liberty’s neck provides another identifier. The surfaces are otherwise stone-gray and virtually free from contact, and under strong magnification exhibit the finely-grained texture characteristic of matte proof production of the era. The finish is consistent throughout with the exception of the reverse field near 3 o’clock, which shows slightly greater granularity.” Indeed, the overall look is very different from what collectors are used to seeing with circulation strike 1921 or 1922 Peace dollars. 

It was previously offered at Bowers and Merena’s March 2000 offering of the Lindensmith Collection, where it realized $36,800. Research has enhanced the hobby’s understanding and awareness of these Proof 1921 and 1922 Peace dollars and has brought increased attention to the issues, which are now considered key 20th century rarities.

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