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Do you own a 1921 silver dollar and are curious whether it is worth anything?
Are you considering buying one of these silver coins to add to your collection?
Understanding the 1921 silver dollar value is the first step toward making a smart decision, whether you want to buy or sell.
The 1921 silver dollar is relatively popular among coin dealers and collectors. This was a single-year production coin. The United States Mint used special new dies to mint these coins after resuming production of Morgan dollars following a 13-year hiatus.
The 1921 silver dollar was also the last coin in the Morgan dollar series and was subsequently replaced by the Peace Silver dollar.
All in all, the 1921 dollar is worth more than face value. The coin can earn you good money, especially if it has a significant error and is in good condition.
So, let’s jump in and explore everything you need to know about the popular 1921 silver dollar.
1921 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Mint mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1921 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value||$30.50||$31.50||$33.50||$11,500|
|1921 S Silver Dollar Value||$30.50||$31.50||$34.50||$25,000|
|1921 D Silver Dollar Value||$30.50||$31.50||$33||$50,000|
History of the 1921 Silver Dollar
The Coinage Act of 1873 authorized the minting of the first silver dollar in the United States of America. The Morgan Dollar led the way as the first silver currency in the country, and it was struck continuously from 1878 to 1904 when production ceased.
The country underwent a Great Panic between 1893 and 1895, resulting in money hoarding. Then, it was believed that silver currency was a major cause of the widespread economic inflation that affected many households.
Between 1878 and 1903, the Mint struck large numbers of silver coins for circulation until the silver reserves were depleted eventually. This silver shortage led to the end of the production of Morgan dollars in 1904.
Shortly after, the U.S. would melt a large number of its own silver coins to save the British economy. In the mid-1900s, at the peak of World War I, the Germans propagated a brutal smear campaign against the Brits. Germany claimed that British banknotes were valueless, which saw rushed demand and subsequent depletion of Britain’s silver reserves.
The U.S. government approved the Pittman Act of 1918 to stop the onslaught. The Act approved the melting of 270,232,722 silver dollars, and the silver was sold to Great Britain for one dollar per troy ounce.
By this time, the Mint had discarded the dies used to strike the old Morgan dollars. So, new dies had to be made to strike the new Morgan coins.
The Mint struck a new Peace dollar that same year to celebrate the end of the First World War. There were also hopes that the Peace dollar would replace the Morgan silver dollar.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
Features of the 1921 Silver Dollar
There are two types of the 1921 silver dollar: The Morgan Silver Dollar and the Peace Silver Dollar. We’ll mostly focus on the Morgan silver dollar, but telling the two apart is a good idea.
So let’s look at the features of both 1921 silver dollars:
The Obverse of the 1921 Silver Dollar
On the obverse of the Morgan silver dollar, we find the left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty with her flowy hair.
She wears a Phrygian cap adorned with a flowery hair wreath with the words LIBERTY boldly embossed on it. Her head accessories symbolize freedom and peace.
The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM appears around the rim at the top, with each word separated by a single dot or period. The year of release, 1921, is imprinted at the bottom.
On the lower half of the coin, you will notice seven stars on the left around the rim and six on the right around the rim. The line of stars is separated by the year of release at the bottom.
The obverse of the Peace silver dollar features Lady Liberty with a pointy crown nestled in her flowy hair. Teresa de Francisci, the coin designer’s wife, served as the model for Lady Liberty.
The words LIBERTY appear around the rim at the top, while the date of release (1921) is at the bottom.
The motto IN GOD WE appears to the left, in front of Lady Liberty’s neck, while the remaining word TRVST is imprinted horizontally behind her neck.
Anthony de Francisci designed the Peace Dollar; his initials, AF, appear right below Lady Liberty’s truncated neck.
The Reverse of the 1921 Silver Dollar
The reverse features a majestic portrait of the American Bald Eagle with a left-facing head and wings spread out wide.
The bird clutches an olive branch in one talon and a bunch of arrows in the other. These two items represent peace and readiness to defend the country’s sovereignty.
The eagle’s image is nestled in two olive branches, curved upwards and neatly tied together at the bottom.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA occupy the upper half of the rim. The coin’s denomination, ONE DOLLAR, appears around the rim at the bottom. A single star on each side separates these two sets of words.
Our country’s motto: IN GOD WE TRUST, is imprinted at the top just above the eagle’s head. You will also notice the mint mark right above the words ONE DOLLAR.
Other Features of the 1921 Silver Dollar
The Morgan silver dollar comprises 90% silver and 10% copper.
The coin weighs 26.73 grams and has a diameter of 38.10 millimeters. The fineness grade is 0.9.
It has a reeded as opposed to a plain edge. The Morgan silver dollar was minted in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco and will have a noticeable mint mark on the reverse for those minted in Denver (D) and San Francisco (S).
On the Peace dollar, the reverse features an American eagle perched on a hill and holding onto an olive branch.
The bird seems to be calmly looking into the horizon, where there are bright rays of sunshine peering over the hills. This image oozes hope, optimism and peace, sentiments that symbolize the end of World War I.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appear at the top around the rim, closely followed by the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The coin’s denomination, ONE DOLLAR, appears horizontally across the coin’s center, with the eagle’s tail separating the two words ONE and DOLLAR. Lastly, you will notice the phrase PEACE imprinted on the hill upon which the eagle is perched.
Check out this video to learn more about spotting a real 1921 Morgan silver dollar.
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
1921 Silver Dollar Value Guides
The 1921 silver dollar is the most common of the Morgan dollars. In total, the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver facilities minted nearly 87 million 1921 Morgan silver dollars.
The three main varieties are:
- 1921 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar
- 1921 S Silver Dollar
- 1921 D Silver Dollar
Let’s explore the value of each variety.
1921 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
The mint in Philadelphia struck approximately 44, 690,000 Morgan silver dollars in 1921 as part of the government’s efforts to resurrect the Morgan dollar after a long hiatus.
The silver content definitely contributes to the coin’s intrinsic value, allowing the 1921 silver dollar to be worth more than its face value of $1. Otherwise, these coins were minted in large quantities, and the striking hubs were not of the best quality, resulting in generally low-quality coins compared to the Morgan dollars struck before 1921.
In circulated condition, a 1921 silver Morgan dollar graded G35 is worth about $30, while one graded AU50 can bring in about $36. Mint state dollars graded MS65 will fetch $215; at the furthest end of the grade at MS67, your coin can net in as much as $11,500.
According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the most expensive 1921 no-mint mark silver dollar was graded MS67 and sold for $19,975 in 2015.
1921 S Silver Dollar Value
The San Francisco mint had the second-highest mintage for the 1921 silver dollar, with 21,695,000 struck that year.
In lower grades, the 1921 S silver dollar will still be worth more than its face value. You can expect between $29.50 and $75 for coins in circulated condition, which are the majority.
Silver dollars in mint state are a bit more profitable, with one graded MS66 fetching up to $3,500 while one graded $67 brings in about $25,000.
It comes as no surprise that most numismatics are only interested in 1921 silver dollars in higher grades. These coins are scarce and therefore pull in a higher value.
1921 D Silver Dollar Value
The Denver mint struck approximately 20,345,000 silver Morgan coins in 1921. This was the first time the Denver facility minted Morgan coins.
The 1921 D silver dollar is worth between $29.50 and $50 in circulated condition. This coin is worth more than its face value, even in lower grades, partly due to its silver content.
That said, the 1921 D silver dollar doesn’t bring in a fortune even in higher grades. This can be attributed to the coin’s poor strike compared to other Morgan dollars that came before it.
In mint state, a coin graded MS62 is worth about $100, but one graded MS67 can fetch as much as $50,000.
1921 Silver Dollar Grading
The 1921 silver dollar is relatively heavy and large, features that made it difficult to strike fully. Keep a keen eye on strike quality when grading your silver dollar, especially when assessing uncirculated coins.
Circulated coins will typically have a lot of wear and tear, with many of the design elements missing. Not only has it been many years since these coins were first struck; remember, they were also struck in large quantities using low-quality hubs.
Pay attention to Lady Liberty’s side hair covering her ear when grading uncirculated coins. This part of the coin wasn’t well-struck, so it might look like the uncirculated coin is worn, but that’s just part of the original design element.
It is always best to look at other features before concluding whether or not a coin qualifies to be graded as uncirculated or in mint state.
A lot of the wear and tear on high points, such as the cap, Liberty’s forehead and cheekbone, and the eagle’s eye and chest, may indicate that a coin is not a mint state dollar.
Check out this video for more details on how to grade your 1921 silver dollar.
Rare 1921 Silver Dollar Error List
Minting errors can increase the value of a coin. Several coin errors have appeared in the 1921 silver dollar series, some of which are quite valuable.
Here are some you should pay attention to:
1921 Thornhead Silver Dollar Error
Some 1921 S silver dollar coins feature a thorn head or an arrowhead close to the word AMERICA. This anomaly is specifically noticeable between the letters A and M. According to the PCGS, one such example graded AU55 sold for $576.
1921 Off-Center Strike Silver Dollar Error
An off-center strike happens when the punching hub does not fit all the details squarely onto the blank planchet. This results in some parts missing the design details and appearing blank.
An off-center strike in the 1921 silver dollar series is rare, so this error can be considered profitable. One such specimen sold for $800 at an online auction.
1921 Missing S in Trust Silver Dollar Error
Some 1921 D silver Morgan dollars have an interesting irregularity where the S in the word TRUST (IN GOD WE TRUST) is missing!
This is an extremely rare coin; depending on its condition, it can bring in as much as $1,500 in mint state. A lower-graded coin with this error can still fetch up to $150.
How much is a 1921 silver dollar coin worth?
A 1921 silver dollar is worth about $29 to $75 in circulated condition. This coin can be quite profitable in higher grades or mint state/uncirculated condition, bringing in as much as $25,000. But keep in mind that mint state silver dollars are extremely rare.
Where is the mint mark located on a 1921 silver dollar?
Morgan 1921 silver dollars from the Denver and San Francisco facilities are the only ones with a mint mark; the ones from Philadelphia do not have a mint mark. You can find the mint mark D or S on the coin’s reverse, sandwiched between the olive branches and the words ONE DOLLAR at the bottom.
How do I know if my 1921 silver dollar is rare?
The truth is 1921 silver dollars are not rare. The Mint in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco struck these coins in relatively large quantities and released them into circulation.
Some coins may have been pulled out of circulation and hoarded, but these are in the minority. There are very few examples of uncirculated coins in mint state.
So you can know if your 1921 silver dollar is rare by checking for qualities such as a mirror-like finish and polished, high-quality design elements with no sign of wear and tear.