US Coins

PCGS certifies special Peace $1s from former Mint director estate

Professional Coin Grading Service has certified and graded from the estate of former U.S. Mint Director Raymond T. Baker five rare Proof and circulation strike 1921 and 1922 Peace dollars that illustrate historic transitional changes in the original High-Relief design.

Baker, who died in 1935, was serving as Mint director at the time the five Peace dollars were struck. Baker served as Mint director from March 1917 to March 1922.

The five coins exhibit different finishes and reliefs, including a previously unreported 1921 High Relief sandblasted and antiqued finish presentation specimen, according to PCGS.

“With submission of these historic Baker Estate coins, PCGS now as identified and certified over the years a total of 19 different Proof 1922 Peace dollars,” PCGS President Don Willis said.

The coins were submitted to the grading service by numismatist Ronald J. Gillio on behalf of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Stack’s Bowers Galleries will offer the coins in its upcoming public auction in August in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.

According to PCGS, the five Peace dollars to be offered at auction are:

??1921, PCGS Specimen 64. “A discovery coin that has a normal High Relief design, but with a sandblasted and antiqued finish.”

??1922. PCGS Proof 67. “Modified High Relief (Judd-2020) [as cataloged in United States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers]. Satin (or ‘Bright’) finish. A total of 3,200 production trial examples were struck, but only a few were not subsequently destroyed. This surviving example is believed to be one of the first made and produced on a Mint press used to strike medals to bring up the Peace dollar design details.”

??1922, PCGS MS-65. “Modified High Relief (J-2020, same die pair as the preceding coin). It has the number “3200” inked in the left obverse field indicating it was the last coin struck from the production run of 3,200 before the obverse die failed. It was struck on a normal production press.” PCGS CoinFacts President Ron Guth said this piece can be tied directly to a Jan. 8, 1922, letter from Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Freas Styer when he sent three 1922 experimental coins to Baker. Styer wrote, according to Guth, “... the coin marked ‘3200’ was the thirty-second hundredth piece struck — the last before the die sunk.”

??1922, PCGS MS-67. “Low Relief (Early hub dies, as adopted, but with the B1 reverse). It was pulled from production when the press indicator reached 140,000 coins struck.”

??1922, $1 PCGS MS67. “A second Low Relief, early hub dies example, pulled from production at the same time as the preceding coin.”

“This remarkable assemblage traces the transition from the High Relief design of 1921 to the Low Relief design of 1922, and all of the intermediate steps,” Guth said.

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