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Buying Guide to Peace Silver Dollars

Peace Silver Dollar History

Peace Silver Dollars are very widely collected, especially in the United States. Unlike Morgan Dollars, this set can be completed without breaking the bank, depending upon the condition of the coins that you are collecting. They were designed by an Italian immigrant, Anthony de Francisci. These coins were minted because there was legislation passed (the Pittman Act) that mandated that the US Treasury must mint Silver Dollars to replace the ounces of silver sold to Great Britain after World War I had ended. The 1921 issue was really a commemorative Peace Silver Dollar.  

(Peace Silver Dollar obverse [left] and a Peace Silver Dollar reverse [right])

Peace Silver Dollar Facts:

These large, heavy silver coins were minted between 1921 and 1935. They are made of 90% Silver and 10% copper. Each coin contains .77344 of an ounce of Pure Silver in it. They were very popular in the South and the Western United States but not quite so popular in the urban East.

Valuing Peace Dollars

The difference in the value of Peace Silver Dollars is usually determined by the RARITY of the date and mintmark together and/or the condition (state of preservation) of the coins. Some dates and mintmarks are valuable even in low grade (well-worn condition). Some common coins (coins with high numbers actually minted) are valuable due to their state of preservation being much higher than normal.  Coins are graded on a scale from 1 to 70, with 1 being barely Identifiable and 70 being perfect. A small number of Peace Dollars are graded at 1 and only THREE coins are graded at 68. No Peace Silver Dollars are graded as MS69 or MS70, being perfect.

(A Peace Dollar graded Poor-1 [left] and a Peace Dollar graded MS-68 [right])

Even common date Peace Silver Dollars are scarce in 67 grade, extremely rare in 68 and unknown in 69 and 70. In 67 grade, even common coins are around $5,000, while 68 grade coins, the very few times any of them came to auction sold for more than $54,000 – back in 2005! Remember, these coins received no special handling at the mint and were usually stored in large, heavy canvas bags holding 1,000 coins all banging together.  To survive in such a high grade after nearly 100 years is truly remarkable.

Peace Dollar Mints & Mintages

In order to make millions of coins each year the Philadelphia Mint had to also employ the services of the various other mints to help with production. Each of these branch mints would place a small letter on the reverse of the coin to indicate at which mint it was struck.

(This small “S” indicates that this coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint)

At various times Peace Silver Dollars were minted at:

  • Philadelphia Mint                           (no Mintmark)
  • San Francisco Mint                         (“S” Mintmark)
  • Denver Mint                                      (“D” Mintmark)

These are the dates and mintmarks of Peace Silver Dollars and their original mintages. Remember original mintages are affected by mass meltings of these coins which occurred in 1979-80 and 2008-11 when the price of Silver rose dramatically to or close to $50 per ounce. Those meltings affect the number of surviving specimens which is unknown.


There are a quantity of small and great rarities in the Peace Dollar Series. A number of these coins are prohibitively priced in even MS-65 grade. This is a list of coins that are much more expensive in MS65 grade and higher while the price for a relatively common MS65 is under $150. These coins are “date and mintmark” rarities.

There are also “condition rarities” such as an MS-67 common date Peace Dollar for $5,000 and an MS-68 Peace Dollar for $50,000 and more. These coins are valuable only in the respect that the average coin of that date and mintmark are common and low priced and these high grades of common coins are worth a very significant premium over those prices.

The basic rule in the coin hobby is that prices are dictated by supply and demand,

DateValue in MS65

Collecting Peace Dollars

There are almost as many collecting strategies as there are collectors. The simplest and most common method is to collect one of each date and mintmark. But some dates, as you can see in the Rarities list, are very expensive even in low grade.  So collectors have developed strategies for how to collect their coins. They are collected in all grades from well-circulated VG to Gem BU sets. Some collector subsets include collecting only:

include collecting only:

  • Complete Set of all Dates and Mintmarks in MS-63
  • Complete Set of all Dates and Mintmarks in MS-64
  • Four common dates in MS-64
  • Four common dates in MS-65
  • “Low Ball” sets – collecting as many dates and mintmarks as possible graded by PCGS and/or NGC graded “Poor-1”

You should try to collect sets that have coins in similar condition such as a Very Fine or MS63 set. But, most importantly, you should collect what YOU enjoy. Do not let anyone tell you what you can/cannot collect. These are your coins and the best way to enjoy them is to collect what you like.

Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of Peace Silver Dollars.

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