Good afternoon folks !
Recently I was adding some Peace dollars to my collection when I had to refer back to the book for some statistics. I ran across chapter 4 again and decided to re-read it. I like a good mystery anyway. The title of chapter 4 is "The Lost 1964-D Peace Dollars". The story starts in 1963 when mint director Eva B. Adams, along with a couple of Senators from western states, decided more silver dollars were needed out west and made a deal to make more of these coins. This coin was popular out west because gamblers in Nevada used them. The 2 Senators from Montana, Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf brokered a deal with the Treasury to continue to make silver dollars even though Adams and the Congress insisted it would cost too much and that they weren't needed "nationwide". President Kennedy requested $675,000 to make 50 million more silver dollars, but production was halted upon his assassination. There are a couple of things that stand out to me in this story. Number one is, if you remember, Eva Adams implied there was a coin shortage caused by collectors during this time frame when actually it was a shortage of silver. It's the reason we have the "SMS sets" of 1965-1967. Number two is, why didn't Mansfield and Metcalf push the envelope when Treasury didn't keep up their end of the bargain? I found it interesting that they shipped 2 ammunition presses (named Bliss Ammunition Presses) to Denver to make these coins and they applied accountability by using the weight of the planchets instead of counting individual pieces (see pictures). Mint attorney Carl A. Landis writes in the Numismatic News Weekly publication "It is personal property of the United States, which the United States is entitled to recover, where all such strikes were carefully weighed before and after they were melted into bullion and the weight remained the same, thus indicating that the strike involved was stolen from the Mint by substitution of a planchet or a dollar coin of an earlier date." The problem with this is that the folks at the Denver Mint say nothing about the weight of metal after melting! According to the book, "A low-resolution photo of the obverse die was recently discovered, but it lacks sufficient detail for more than general confirmation of the 1964 design (see photos).
I finally received my 1922 "Gettysburg Hoard" Peace dollar and added it to my collection along with a 1924-S, 1925-S, and a 1926. The 1922 had a mintage of 51,737,000 and was the second most common issue in uncirculated condition. The 1924-S had a mintage of 1,728,000 and is a very rare find in uncirculated condition. The 1925-S had a mintage of 1,610,000 and is one of the key dates for this series. It is also rare at the MS-65 level. The 1926 had a mintage of 1,939,000 and is known for being well struck. According to the book, "All 1926 Peace dollars were produced from a master dies that had the word GOD manually retouched. The workmanship is completely different than on the balance of the coin." So as you can see, I'm making progress with my Peace dollar collection although I'm still missing the elusive "1964-D" as is the Smithsonian! The flow chart picture I've attached is from the book and illustrates the process of the Denver Mint in making the 1964-D Peace dollar. As always, stay safe, HEALTHY, and coronavirus free and enjoy the pictures!
Charlie aka slybluenote