The following is the final segment from Paul Gilkes' cover feature
in the November Monthly issue of Coin World, dealing with
World War I and the many numismatic collectibles that are related to
From victory, comes, hopefully, peace.
In the years following the close of World War I, everlasting peace
seemed a desirable and, to some, a possibly attainable ideal.
President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points became the basis for the
terms of Germany’s surrender, and soon after, Wilson fought for and
secured a League of Nations.
Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech delivered Jan. 18, 1918, proclaimed
that World War I was being fought for moral causes and called for
steps to establish postwar peace in Europe.
In 1919, months after the Armistice was signed, the American
Federation of Arts called for a coin to commemorate the World War I victory.
Farran Zerbe addressed the subject during the American Numismatic
Association convention in Chicago in 1920. Legislation was
introduced May 9, 1921, in Congress providing for a silver dollar “of
an appropriate design commemorative of the termination of the war
between the Imperial German Government and the government and people
of the United States.” The legislation did not advance, and was
unnecessary in any case, since Treasury officials already had
authority to redesign the silver dollar. By the end of December 1921,
a design for the Peace dollar had been prepared by sculptor Anthony De
Francisci and a small number of coins struck.
A collection representative of World War I could be considered
incomplete without an example of the 1921 Peace dollar. Price vary
considerably based on grade and grading service, if certified.
Heritage Auctions sold
an ANACS About Uncirculated 53 example April 22, 2014, for $101.05. A
Grading Service MS-64, High Relief example sold Jan. 8, 2012,
for $690. A PCGS MS-65 example stickered by Certified Acceptance
Corp. sold by Heritage in its Aug. 9, 2013, sale for $3,055.
But the everlasting peace that Wilson sought and for which the Peace
dollar was a symbol would last no more than two decades before a
second world war would break out.
And the entire world would be in thick of it, again.