US Coins

1926 Peace dollar with rainbow toning sells at Baltimore Expo

Bringing $188,000, an 1879 Flowing Hair gold $4 Stella pattern piece in its original box, a coin that had been off the market since the 1950s and was subsequently graded Proof 65+ by Professional Coin Grading Service, was a top lot at the auctions held before and immediately after the Nov. 5 to 8 Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

As in all large auctions, while six-figure rarities may dominate headlines, sales like the one just concluded offer many fascinating pieces that sell at much lower price points.

Here is one of three that caught my eye. 

The Coin

1926 Peace dollar, MS-65

The Price


The Story

While rainbow toning is often seen on Morgan dollars, it is less frequently seen on Peace dollars. The typical toning on a Peace dollar is often a bit mottled, with dull gold or gray. Thus, any Peace dollar with naturally occurring rainbow toning is unusual and highly desired by collectors. 

A gorgeous PCGS MS-65 1926 Peace dollar from the Thomas P. Warfield Collection sold for $1,292.50 at the Nov. 6 Stack’s Bowers auction. The lot description stated, "Outstanding rainbow peripheral toning on the obverse makes this one of the most vivid Peace dollars that we have ever handled."

This issue is not rare in grades through MS-65, and it had a large mintage of nearly 2 million coins. In MS-66 the population thins, with PCGS grading just 206 submissions in this grade and few higher. While a typical MS-65 example sells at the $300 to $400 level, an MS-66 1926 Peace dollar can sell for $2,000 to $3,000, placing this handsome and unusual Gem MS-65 coin within the price range for those two grades. 

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