1921 Peace Silver Dollar Value (VAM Errors, Proofs, & More)

Did you know that a mint state high-relief 1921 Peace Dollar was sold at a startling price of $150,000 in January 2023? Well, this itself proves this coin’s demand!

The iconic 1921 Peace Silver Dollar coin emerged as a sign of hope and peace after the wake of World War I. Designed by the famous engraver Anthony de Francisci, this historic coin features exquisite design and composition that allure collectors even today!

But what makes the 1921 dollar so expensive? And how exactly can you price it correctly? Scroll on and find all your answers below!

Key Takeaways

  • The 1921 Peace Silver Dollar is one of the most valuable American coins due to its low mintage, single mint production, silver composition, and detailed & sharp high-relief carving. 
  • The 1921 peace dollars can cost up to $400 – $500 in a high-grade “Almost Uncirculated” state. 
  • In 2018, a high-relief 1921 Silver Dollar MS67 was sold at a record price of $132,000! 
  • The image of Lady Liberty on the 1921 Peace Dollar is inspired by Anthony de Francisci’s wife. 

The Historical Timeline of the Peace Silver Dollar

Since its initiation in 1921, the Peace Dollar has been on a rollercoaster in American Coinage history. Let’s take a look at its journey to date:

  • 1921: The US Mint held a competition for the best design to portray peace after World War II. Anthony de Francisci’s design of Lady Liberty on the obverse & bald eagle on the reverse was finalized, and over one million peace dollars were struck in Philadelphia with the same design. 
  • 1922: The Denver and San Francisco mints began striking peace dollars. This year marked the highest mintage of peace dollars. The low-relief type also started. 
  • 1923-1928: The Peace Silver Dollar continued in circulation without any major changes in design or composition.
  • 1929: The US Mint stopped striking Peace dollars because of less demand during 1927-28. 
  • 1934-1935: The Mint resumed the production of peace dollars after a congressional act for another year. 
  • 1936 – 1963:  Due to no commercial demand in the USA, the peace dollars were finally discontinued in 1936 for the next 27 years.
  • 1964: Congress passed legislation for striking 45,000,000 silver dollars. But, due to controversies and objections, no peace dollars were struck in 1964. 
  • 2021 – Present: President Donald Trump ordered the modern Peace Dollars, as well as Morgan Dollars, released to celebrate their centenary. In July 2023, the Uncirculated 2023 Peace Dollar coins were released, and, in fact, all sold out. 
1921 Peace Silver Dollar Key Facts
Material (Composition)Silver (90%), Copper (10%)
Minting Location Philadelphia
Year of Minting 1921
Weight26.73 g
Diameter38.1 mm
Thickness2.4 mm
DesignerAnthony de Francisci
Face Value$1
Mint MarksNo Mint Mark
Total Mintage 1,006,473

Design Features on the 1921 Peace Dollar Coin

The key feature that makes the 1921 Peace dollar coin way more precious than the rest of the coins in the series is its sharp and detailed high-relief carving.

Apart from that, you’ll see the following features on the 1921 Peace Silver Dollar designed by the US engraver and sculptor Anthony de Francisci:

1. 1921 Peace Silver Dollar Obverse:

Here is the entire obverse design on the 1921 Peace Dollar obverse:

  • The bust-size left profile of the Goddess of Liberty wearing a spiked tiara
  • The words “IN GOD WE” inscribed on the left side (lower) of the obverse and “TRVST” inscribed on the lower right
  • The mint date 1921 relief carved right below the profile 
  • Anthony de Francisci’s monogram mark below the truncation line
  • The word “LIBERTY” written along the upper half edge, partially covered behind Liberty’s tiara spikes
1921 Peace Dollar Obverse Design

2. 1921 Peace Silver Dollar Reverse:

The reverse (tails) of a 1921 Peace dollar will showcase the following design features:

  • A big bald eagle sitting on a stone in the center with an olive branch in its talons
  • The word “PEACE” carved on the stone near the coin’s rim
  • Rays emerging from the bottom-right of the reverse in the background (behind the eagle)
  • The words “ONE” and “DOLLAR” of denomination carved on the left and right side of the eagle, respectively
  • The nation’s name, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” etched along the upper half edge (right below the rim)
  • The US motto, “E. PLURIBUS UNUM,” chased below the nation’s name, with the letters “S” and “U” partially covered by the eagle’s head

3. 1921 Silver Dollar Composition & Dimensions:

The 1921 Peace Dollar coins followed the customary composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. This composition was changed to 99% entire silver after the coins were continued back in 2021.

The 1921 Peace silver dollar weighs 26.73 grams, with silver weighing about 22 grams. Besides, the peace coin measures 38.1 mm in diameter and 2.4 mm in thickness, with a beautiful reeded edge.

4. 1921 Peace Dollar Special Mint Marks:

The first 1921 Peace Dollars, struck at the Philadelphia mint, don’t bear any special mint marks.

Nonetheless, these coins are quite an attraction among collectors. Keep reading to know why!

5 Factors That Impact the 1921 Peace Silver Dollar Value

Now let’s learn about the major aspects determining the final resale value of an old 1921 peace silver dollar coin:

1. 1921 Dollar Mintage & Rarity

After its initiation and authorization in 1921, the US Mint decided to strike the first 1921 peace dollars only at the Philadelphia Mint in a small number.

The total mintage of 1921 peace silver dollars is 1,006,473, which itself makes it a rare and sought-after American coin. Due to less mintage, the 1921 peace dollar can cost up to $200 or more in high-grade Very Fine and Extremely Fine states. 

2. Condition & Grading of 1921 Peace Dollar

Apart from its distinct high-relief carving and low mintage, another factor that will determine your 1921 Peace Dollar’s value is its condition and grades.

When you get your old coin analyzed by coin grading services, like NGC, PCGS, AGC, etc., they grade the coin’s condition. Based on that grade, you can find the best value for your peace dollar using this price chart, curated with research of live auctions and sales:

Coin’s Condition Grades1921 Peace Silver Dollar Estimated Value
Good to Very Fine (VF20+) $50 – $300
Extremely Fine (XF40) – Almost Uncirculated (AU50+)$160 – $400 or more
Mint State (MS60 – 65)$300 – $3,600
MS 65+ $1,300 – $97,000 or more
1921 Peace Dollar Value

3. 1921 Peace Dollar VAM & Minting Errors

1. Reverse Field Break: This VAM error can be identified by the breaks in the reverse field on the 1921 Peace Dollar, like around the rays. This VAM 1921 Peace Dollar can cost around $150 – $1,500 or more as per the coin grades. 

2. Extreme Polishing or Matte Proof Surface: If you see sharp polishing lines or a granular surface on your 1921 silver dollar, it’s likely a VAM Matte Proof coin. The high-grade mint state dollars with this VAM error can be priced up to $4,000 or more. 

The 1921 Peace Dollar Unique Feature

3. Line Through “L” Error: If the rays on a 1921 Peace Dollar go over the letters of the word “DOLLAR,” especially the letter “L,” this becomes a line through error. Such VAM error coins can range from $420 in a high-grade Almost Uncirculated state to $4,000 or more for a high mint state grade. 

4. Broadstruck Minting Error: When the coin planchet slips out of the die collar during striking, the result is a broadstruck error. You can spot this coin with its uneven off-center obverse or reverse design. 

4. 1921 Proof Peace Dollar Coins

High-Relief 1921 Peace Dollar Satin Finish Proof Coin Price

In early 1921, some peace dollar proof coins were struck in satin finish. With a total mintage of around eight (as discovered as of now), the satin finish-proof coins with a grade of 62 or more can cost from $20,000 to a whopping $150,000.

Similarly, around eight special 1921 sandblasted antique finish proof dollars were also struck early in the year. One such piece was sold at a whopping $129,250 in 2014.

5. Degree & Strike Quality of High Relief

Though all 1921 peace dollars feature a high relief design, making it an iconic coin, there’s a difference in the striking sharpness on the first 1921 dollars and the later ones.

The initial peace silver dollars can be seen with extremely sharp, well-raised, and detailed designs in Lady Liberty’s hair, tiara spikes, eagle feathers, sun rays, etc. On the other hand, the later ones often display comparatively softer, less prominent, and muted details.

Though not significantly, the sharpness of striking can hike or sink your 1921 Peace Dollar’s price.

How to Know If a 1921 Peace Dollar Is Counterfeit?

Since the iconic 1921 dollar holds a lot of significance and value for collectors, the sellers often try to pass on a fake 1921 peace dollar for a lot of money.

So, make sure to check the following features to spot a fake high-relief 1921 peace silver dollar coin:

  • Odd, proof-like background spots on obverse & reverse
  • Tiny chunks of raised metal on the surface
  • Thinner tiara spikes on Lady Liberty’s head
  • Unnatural scribbling die lines all over the coin’s field and relief
  • Varied composition than 90% silver & 10% copper
  • Varied weight of the coin than 26.73 grams

Where is the mint mark on a 1921 Peace Silver Dollar?

The 1921 Peace Silver Dollars were all struck at the Philadelphia Mint and bear no special mintmark. But in later coins minted at Denver and San Francisco, the mint marks “D” and “S” are etched at the end of the eagle’s tail (below the word “ONE”) on the reverse.

How to tell if a 1921 peace dollar is a high relief?

If the obverse and reverse design of your 1921 Peace Dollar is raised above the coin’s reeded edge, it’s a high-relief 1921 silver dollar. Another visible clue is the field; the high-relief coin will have a slightly concave field than the low-relief coin.

1921 marked the cessation of Morgan Dollars and the start of Peace Dollars. The 1921 Peace Dollar, thanks to its scarcity, intense historical journey, & exquisite high-relief design, is easily one of the most sought-after American silver coins. So, if you plan to buy or sell this iconic coin, this value guide will be handy.

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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