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If you own a 1934 silver dollar, you could be in for a nice surprise, especially if your coin happens to be an uncirculated specimen. Some mint state 1934 silver dollars can be worth thousands of dollars but which varieties are worth the most?
There were three different mint varieties of the silver dollar produced in 1934 and we explore their values in this article. You will also find information on how the silver dollars are graded, errors to look out for, and how to identify the different mint varieties.
1934 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good G4||Fine F12||Extremely Fine EF40||Uncirculated MS60||Uncirculated MS65|
|1934 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value||$43||$55||$65||$125||$908|
|1934 D Silver Dollar Value||$43||$55||$73||$185||$1,907|
|1934 S Silver Dollar Value||$73||$84||$146||$3,248||$12,853|
The 1934 silver dollars were part of a series known as peace silver dollars. The first time they were minted was in 1921 and production ceased in 1928. They were minted again in 1934 and 1935 after which the mint stopped producing the peace silver dollars.
There were several reasons why the US Mint released a new silver dollar in 1921. One of them was the need to replace the Morgan silver dollar, which had been in production since 1878. Although they were popular coins, they were worn and tired-looking after so many years in production. The Mint also wanted a new dollar design that would reflect the new era.
Another reason was that towards the end of the First World War, over 270 million silver dollars had been melted and sold to Great Britain. In 2021, the Mint was told to reproduce dollar coins to replace those that had been melted. These two reasons coincided with a request for a commemorative coin to celebrate the end of the war.
Why Was the Peace Dollar Only Minted for a Short Time?
The production of the peace dollars was halted in 1928 because of the economic depression that hit the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s, which led to a decrease in demand for silver dollars.
They were reintroduced briefly in 1934 and 1935 primarily to provide bullion for the US government. Under the Silver Purchase Act of 1934, the government was authorized to purchase large quantities of silver to help stabilize the price of silver and support the mining industry.
As a result, the United States Mint was tasked with producing additional silver dollars to meet the government’s demand for bullion. Since the Peace dollar design had been used before, it was chosen to be produced again in 1934 and 1935.
The production of peace silver dollars finished in 1935 for several reasons. The government’s need for bullion had been satisfied and many at the US Mint felt dollar coins were becoming obsolete with the public preferring smaller denominations. In addition, the coins were expensive to produce, and the design was seen by many as too radical and untraditional.
As a result, the production of peace dollars ceased in 1935 and the mint shifted its focus to other coins, including the Washington quarter and the Mercury dime. These were seen as more practical and were more popular among the public in their day-to-day transactions.
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
1934 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
The no mint mark silver dollars were minted in Philadelphia in 1935 and it was the lowest mintage out of the three facilities that produced silver dollars that year. 954,057 silver dollars were released into circulation from the Philadelphia Mint.
Because fewer no mint mark silver dollars were minted, it would be easy to assume they would be the most valuable variety. However, the opposite is true when we compare the value from extremely fine upwards. This is because they are easier to find in fine and uncirculated conditions than D or S minted 1934 silver dollars.
A 1934 no mint mark silver dollar in good condition can sell for $43 and the lowest graded (MS60) uncirculated specimens start from $125. An MS65-graded silver dollar is worth over $900, while MS67-graded coins sell for tens of thousands.
The record price for a 1934 no mint mark silver dollar is $108,000. A collector paid this for an MS67-graded silver dollar in August 2018 at a Stack’s Bowers sale. The guide price was $85,000 but it ended up selling way above it, most likely as a result of competing collectors betting on it.
The Observe Design
The obverse design of the 1934 silver dollar features a left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a tiara made of rays. The word “Liberty” is inscribed above her head curving along the top rim. The phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” is split onto both sides of Lady Liberty’s neck with IN GOD WE in front and TRUST behind it. The minting date 1934 is below the portrait.
The Reverse Design
On the reverse of the 1934 silver dollar is a bald eagle perched on a rock, holding an olive branch in its talons as a symbol of peace. In the background, there are rays of sunlight emanating from the horizon, which symbolize the dawn of a new era of peace.
Along the top rim are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and below them, the motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (out of many, one). The denomination “ONE DOLLAR” is split with ONE to the left of the eagle’s tail feathers and DOLLAR in front of its legs on the right.
The mint mark, a letter D for Denver or S for San Francisco, can be found near the end of the eagle’s tail feathers. Look down from the first vertical line from the letter N in ONE and you should see the mint mark just above the tail.
The 1934 silver dollar was designed by Anthony de Francisci and there were 3,534,557 coins minted in total. The diameter of the silver dollar is 38.1 millimeters and it weighs 26.73 grams. It is a round coin with a reeded edge and is composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.
1934 D Silver Dollar Value
The Denver-minted silver dollars are recognizable from the capital letter D on the reverse of the coin. In 1935, the Denver Mint released the largest number of silver dollars into circulation, minting 1,569,500 silver dollars.
Despite the larger mintage, Denver silver dollars are valued higher than the no mint mark variety because it is not as easy to find mint-state specimens. While good and fine specimens are valued the same, MS65 graded D silver dollar is worth a thousand dollars more than a Philadelphia minted coin with the same grading.
Despite the higher valuations for uncirculated coins, the auction record for a 1935 D silver dollar is lower than for the no mint mark variety. The silver dollar, graded MS67 had a guide price of $95,000 in a 2009 Heritage Auctions sale. It failed to reach the guide price and instead sold for $86,250.
1934 S Silver Dollar Value
The San Francisco Mint produced 1,011,000 silver dollars in 1934. They command the highest values among the silver dollar mint varieties from 1934. A circulated S-minted silver dollar that is in good condition is worth $73, while valuations range from $84 to $146 for fine to extremely fine specimens.
Prices for about uncirculated San Francisco varieties start from $473. For an MS60 1934 S silver dollar, the valuation is £3,248, and for an MS65 $12,853, considerably higher than for either Philadelphia or Denver minted 1935 silver dollars.
The auction record is the lowest at $79,313. However, the coin was graded MS66+, while the others were MS67 graded. The guide price was $85,000 and it was sold in 2019 at Legend Rare Coin Auctions.
Designing the Silver Dollar
The designer for the peace silver dollar was chosen through a competition, which the US Mint held in 1921. Both American and foreign artists could enter the competition and the Mint received more than 500 submissions. The winner was Anthony de Francisci, an Italian-American sculptor.
The submissions were reviewed by a panel of five judges that consisted of senior members of the US Mint and well-known sculptors. They picked De Francisci for his unique and innovative design. They also considered a fitting tribute for the hope of lasting peace and the end of World War One.
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
1934 Silver Dollar Grading
To ensure coins are graded the same by professional graders working for different grading companies, a grade from 1 to 70 is used to determine a coin’s condition. Numbers from 1 to 59 are used for coins that have been in circulation and show various levels of wear and tear.
Numbers 60 to 70 are used for uncirculated coins. These are coins that were meant for circulation but for some reason were never circulated. There are still various grades as not all uncirculated coins have been looked after equally well. The highest grade, MS70, is only used for coins seen as perfect.
To learn more about grading peace silver dollars, you can watch this short video.
Rare 1934 Silver Dollar Error Lists
1934 Silver Dollar Scratched Die Error
This error can be spotted on the obverse of some 1934 silver dollars. Look for a thin scratch, extending from the L in the word LIBERTY through G in the word GOD and ending at the tip of Lady Liberty’s neck.
This error was most likely caused by a scratched die and the imperfection was then transferred to some silver dollars as they were struck with the die. This error has been seen only on Philadelphia-minted coins and the auction record is $335 for an MS63-graded specimen.
1934 Silver Dollar Large D Mint Mark Error
Some Denver-minted silver dollars from 1934 have a mint mark error where the D is unusually large and slightly lower than it should be. The auction record for a coin with this error is $12,350 for an MS66+ graded specimen. However, the coin also had a doubled die error on the obverse discussed below.
1934 Silver Dollar Doubled Die Error
Doubled die errors are caused when some design features are doubled on a die. When coins are struck with the doubled die, the doubled image is transferred onto the coin. On the 1934 silver dollars, doubled die errors can be found on D-minted coins.
The easiest way to identify these error coins is to look at the two spikes on the crown furthest to the right. If you can see two extra spikes to the left of the primary spikes, you are looking at a doubled die error. Doubling can also be seen on Lady Liberty’s forehead, nose, and lips and the letters D and W.
1934 D silver dollars with a doubled die error on the obverse are priced higher than regular strike coins. A very good silver dollar graded as VG8 is worth around $118, while MS60 is valued at $876. Not including the coin mentioned above with the mint mark error, the auction record for doubled die 1934 silver dollar is $7,500 achieved with an MS65-graded coin.
1934 Silver Dollar Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a 1934 silver dollar worth?
How much a 1934 silver dollar is worth depends on many factors such as where it was minted, what was the strike quality when it was minted, and the coin’s overall condition.
Silver dollars from 1934 that were minted in Denver and Philadelphia are valued upwards from $43 in good condition. San Francisco silver dollars are valued from $73 upwards. While an MS65 Philadelphia minted 1934 silver dollar is worth just over $900 and Denver just over $1,900, a San Francisco dollar with the same grading is valued at almost $13,000.
Where is the mint mark on a 1934 Peace Dollar?
The mint mark is on the reverse side of the Denver and San Francisco silver dollars. Look below the word ONE and just above the tail feathers. There is no mint mark on the Philadelphia minted coins.