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13 Jun 2022

The 1964-D Peace Dollar

Coins-United States | user_95183

Hello, everybody! Today, I will be talking about the mysterious 1964-D Peace Dollar. With one of the greatest stories in numismatic history, and the chance that a new auction record holder could be hidden in someone’s closet, there is a lot to talk about, so let’s dive in!


History


In the early 1960s, few silver dollars circulated in the United States, and their only use was in the West where gambling was popular. Banks were able to accumulate bags of old silver dollars and were therefore able to keep up with the small demand from casinos and from people redeeming their silver certificates for silver. However, in the 1960s, demand for silver dollars increased, especially when word of rare dates being found in bank bags got around. All the sudden demand took the silver dollars out of the bank’s hands and in March of 1964, only 2.9 million silver dollars remained in government vaults. This meant that more silver dollars may be needed if this demand kept up.


It just so happened that at that time, efforts were being made by the Treasury to take silver out of the dime, quarter, and half dollar coins. However, the Senate was pulling to keep silver in the dimes, quarters, and half dollars and was hoping that no more silver dollars would be made. This is when a deal was made in which the senators would support the Treasury in their plans to take silver out of circulating change, but the Treasury would have to allow the Senate to issue a law to make new silver dollars. Both the Treasury and the Senate were making a sacrifice for a gain.


Because of this deal, Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon asked for the authority to mint 50 million silver dollars. President John F. Kennedy agreed to award him with the funds to make 50 million silver dollars in the 1964 fiscal year as well as give him the funds to make another 100 million silver dollars in the following fiscal year. However, while all this was happening, vending machines had become very popular and many people started getting into coin collecting to search through coins for newly found varieties. Also, silver prices were rising, which would make the minting of 1964 silver dollars hard to make a profit on. The demand for smaller denomination coins and a rise in silver prices forced the Senate to lower their request to 45 million silver dollars. To the Senate’s dismay, silver prices and demand for small denomination coins kept rising. This forced the production of silver dollars to be delayed.


Minting and Melting


After a long delay, the Denver Mint made a total of 316,076 1964-D silver dollars from May 13 to 24, 1965. However, now that silver dollars were no longer needed in circulation and due to the rising price of silver, Congress canceled the creation of 1964 silver dollars and forced the Mint to melt all of the new silver dollars.


The Mint did as they were told, however, they did not individually count and verify the coins they melted. They simply calculated how many coins they melted from weight. This means that someone could have substituted a normal date Peace Dollar in exchange for a 1964-D Peace Dollar and would not get caught. Many other rumors have gone around with stories of Mint employees stealing coins, yet no 1964-D Peace Dollars have surfaced. It is also possible that the Mint allowed employees to purchase two of these coins on their way out of work, but this story has also not been confirmed.


Now you may be wondering why someone would not try to sell one of these coins if it could be worth over $1,000,000. The answer to this is that it is illegal to own one of these coins. Because no 1964-D Peace Dollars were released into circulation, they are still government property that someone stole in the past. Due to this, if any authentic 1964-D came to surface, it would probably be taken by the Mint and melted or maybe would be taken away to be put in a museum.


Clearly, the 1964-D Peace Dollar has an amazing story and would be one of the most valuable coins ever if an authentic piece arises. Thank you so much for reading this blog and have a great day!


Sources:


https://coinweek.com/modern-coins/the-mystery-of-the-1964-d-peace-dollar/


Comments

Mike

Level 7

To make friends follow those who follow you. You can discuss anything between them!

I feel positive there's at least one out there. Its just a matter of time that it will come out, after all the legalities are over. Look how long the 1933 St. Gauden's took to be legit. Everyone who can yell "BOO" has to be good and dead first I guess.

Kepi

Level 6

Interesting story! I think there might be a few out there in some lucky collectors collection...Never to be seen... haha ; )

Doug S.

Level 4

Great blog and fascinating back story. I never thought they were ever made. If it would be taken from you they will most likely never show up if in fact they exist. What a shame. Regards Doug

Long Beard

Level 5

Very well researched. I for one am 100% convinced there are some yet to be revealed. I'll have to dig through my files but there is an official letter from the Denver Mint Director stating that employees could exchange for these prior to the letter from Ava Adams to the contrary. There was a two or three day window for these exchanges and I firmly believe not all were returned as ordered after the fact. Also, if you do some digging into Adams you'll find her personal coin collection turned up some mysterious specimens when her estate went up for sale in the 1980's. Was one or more part of this collection? None confirm, yet.

Jackson14

Level 4

Wow I never knew that happened. Very interesting. Thanks for the blog.

coinsbygary

Level 5

If there are any 1964-D Peace dollars out there, you can bet whoever has them won't step forward like the Langfords with their cache of 1933 Saint Gaudens double eagles. FYI, I think PCGS has a bounty out for any remaining 1964-D Peace dollars.

AC coin$

Level 6

Another thing, I would suggest to you that coin image as your avatar image, it is unique.

AC coin$

Level 6

What I wonder now is on how many are around....or it an error, one must research you'd never know what sort of treasure you might have at hand, good luck! Many of us collectors also regardless of experience might get surprised at something never seen.

CheerioCoins

Level 5

That is great history. It would be cool if you lived at the time because nowadays they are so expensive.

Mike

Level 7

I have to agree I read one. Who knows . I don't believe its legal tender. . And why make one?. Some changes the date on the die. Who knows . it did all blow over!

Rebelfire76

Level 4

I just read about this, and had no idea a 1964 silver Peace dollar was ever made. Crazy to think, they were made and the scrapped all together. But maybe, just maybe one still exists.

Longstrider

Level 6

AS a Peace Dollar VAAM collector, I think there are one or two out there. Nice blog to think about. I don't believe any will surface into the public. Private collectors are happy to know they have it. Thanks.

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