1921 Silver Dollar

The silver dollar is a coin with an unusual and interesting history. The coin was first minted in 1794, after the Coinage Act of 1792 authorized the manufacture of dollar coins. The coins were made until 1803, then again in 1834 (when the 1804 dollar was struck!), then from 1836-1904. The next silver dollars to appear after this date were those of 1921-1935. [1]

In 1921, two types of silver dollar coin were produced - the "Morgan Dollar" and the "Peace Dollar".

1921 Morgan Dollar

The Morgan Dollar (as seen in the photo below) was named after its designer, George T. Morgan and features Lady Liberty on the obverse and an American Eagle on the reverse. The 1921 Morgan silver dollar is now the most common of the Morgan dollars still in existence: The Morgan dollar had not previously been minted since 1904 and in 1918 the Pittman Act ordered the melting down of 270 million silver dollars! (Some of the older Morgan dollars are now very rare and can command very high prices in top condition.)

1921 silver dollar
Above: 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar

1921 Peace Dollar

In December 1921, the Peace dollar (below) was introduced. It was designed by Anthony de Francisci and commemorated the end of hostilities of World War I. Conversely to the Morgan dollar, the 1921 peace dollar was only minted for five days - from Dec 26th to Dec 31st - making it the rarest date in the entire peace dollar series. The obverse features the head of Lady Liberty, and the reverse features the American Eagle, the motto "E Pluribus Unum" ("From many, one") and the word "Peace". [2]

The 1921 Peace dollar was made in 90% silver and weighed 26.73 grams. It thus contained 0.77345 Troy Ounces of silver. The remaining 10% of the coin was copper, but the copper value of the coin is small, and the copper content of the coin would only be worth around 2 cents in Nov. 2011. [3]

1921 peace dollar
Above: 1921 Peace Dollar

Peace dollars were made from 1921-1935 and were the last silver dollars minted for circulation in the USA. The silver dollar was minted briefly again in 1964 (dated 1965) but these were never released and were melted down.

Silver dollars feature "Mint Marks" showing where they were made: 1921 silver dollars can be seen with the mint marks: "D" (Denver, Colorado); "P" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); or "S" (San Francisco, California).

Info Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_coin_(United_States)
[2] http://americanhistoricsociety.com/products/1921-Peace-Silver-Dollar.html
[3] http://www.coinflation.com/coins/1921-1935-Silver-Peace-Dollar-Value.html

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