ZanzibarCoins's Blog

28 Dec 2020

Large Dollar Coins, Peace Dollars, Part One

Young Numismatists Exchange | ZanzibarCoins

Hey y'all! I hope y'all's Christmases were great! Mine was. :) I figured I'd keep with a theme, so here is a mini-series on Peace Dollars! :) So here we go!

In 1904, the Morgan Dollar was discontinued. The Morgans that had been minted sat in the storerooms of banks, in casinos out West, and in Federal Reserves storehouses. Most of them were not circulating, because many of the public did not exactly like them. And then World War I hit. The German government wanted to destabilize Britain's rule over India. They did this by spreading rumors that the British were unable to redeem for silver all of the paper currency that they had printed. This was, honestly, a genius move on the Germans part. Because what it did was cause the public to hoard silver, which in turn caused the price of silver to rise, and this in its turn came close to damaging the British war effort. So the British turned to their war ally across the seas: the United Staes. They asked the United States if they could purchase silver in order to increase their supply and lower their silver's price. In response to their request, Congress passed the Pittman Act on April 23, 1918.

This Act allowed the United States the authority to sell their silver (Guess what silver? The Morgan Dollars!) to the British government -- silver dollars at the price of 1$ per ounce of silver, plus the value of the copper in the coins, and plus the handling and transporting fees -- up to 350,000,000 silver dollars. Only 270,232,722 of the 350 million were melted for sale to the British, but that is a big number. So big, that it represented 47% of all of the Morgan Dollars struck to that point. So 47% of the Morgan Dollars were minted down.

And that is where the Peace Dollar sprung from. You see, the Pittman Act had included a term that said that the Treasury must strike new silver dollars to replace the coins that were melted, and they must strike them from silver that was purchased from American mining companies.

So a new coin was commissioned. A theme for the coin, and after that, a design, had yet to be chosen. It is not quite certain, but, interestingly enough, the theme for the coin seems to have come from the ANA itself. The idea of a US coin to commemorate the peace following the first World War is generally traced to an article written by Frank Duffield, and published in the November of 1918 issue of none other than The Numismatist. He suggested that a victory coin should be"issued in such quantities it will never become rare." And then, in August of 1920, numismatist Farran Zerbe's numismatic paper on the subject was read at the ANA's annualconvention in Chicago. In his paper, which was titled "Commemorate the Peace with a Coin for Circulation,"Zerbe also called for the issuance of a coin celebrating peace. He said:

"I do not want to be misunderstood as favoring the silver dollar for the Peace Coin, but if coinage of silver dollars is to be resumed in the immediate future, a new design is probable and desirable, bullion for the purpose is being provided, law for the coinage exists and limitation of the quantity is fixed—all factors that help pave the way for Peace Coin advocates. And then—we gave our silver dollars to help win the war, we restore them in commemoration of victory and peace."

I hope y'all learned something fromthis first part! I know I did lol: I had no idea that the ANA was the inspiration for the Peace Dollar!! :)

Until Later!

~ZC :)



Level 5

Peace dollars just have to much of a "weak strike" look. The details are so flat.

I find it interesting that peace dollars have an incredible design, but I don't know of many collectors who collect them, atleast not specifically.


Level 6

Well done blog! Peace Dollars are a favorite of mine ; )


Level 6

Nice over view. thanks


Level 6

Excellent job ZC. You broke a very complicate piece of legislature, which one isn't, into a simple idea. I'm a HUGE Peace Dollar VAM guy myself. I love it. Not as big a fan of the Morgan. I'm looking forward to your next piece.


Level 7

Nice blog I like the Pea e dollar allot. For along time it was underrated. Now it's very popular. I have an original 1921 Peace dollar in high relief. I don't know if I will buy the one that coming out. Thanks!


Level 5

Fascinating information about a turbulent time. I am looking forward to the 2021 release, and will absolutely have to have one. Good blog, well written and researched, thanks.

It's Mokie

Level 6

The Peace Dollar is one of my two favorite U.S. regular circulating coin designs. I cannot wait to see the 2021 high relief Peace Dollar sometime next year.


Level 5

I have to agree with Bama on this. I do live the peace dollar because of the high relief in 1921. Cheers, NM

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I always liked the Morgans better than the Peace Dollars, not that I dislike the Peace Dollar design.


Level 5

Thanks for the information! You answered a lot of questions that have been looming inside the back of my brain for far too long. Stay safe!


Level 5

Nice blog! I didn't know most of that information, thanks!


Level 5

That is very interesting information. It is amazing how many silver dollars were minted and than later melted. The Peace Silver Dollar I feel is a very beautiful coin. The ANA had some pull back in the day ! Thanks for a great blog. Looking forward to the next part.

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