Table of Contents
Are you interested in collecting peace dollars and are curious what is the most valuable peace dollar?
Peace dollars are the most popular and collectable coins in U.S. history after the Morgan dollar. These coins are old and considered antiques that hold significant and sentimental value in our country and the world’s history.
The United States Mint produced Peace dollars to commemorate the end of World I, a fierce battle that was, at the time, the ‘war to end all wars.’
Given their age, popularity, and scarcity, Peace dollars are generally a worthwhile investment for any collector. But, some peace dollars are advertently more valuable than others.
In this article, you will discover the most valuable peace dollars in the U.S. As you will see, slight variations in the mint mark, dates, and population can drastically affect the value of these sought-after coins.
So, let’s jump in and find out which peace dollars are the most valuable.
History of the Peace Dollar
It is uncertain who came up with the idea of a coin to commemorate the peaceful period following the First World War.
But, the numismatic community certainly played a big role in lobbying government officials to approve the production of such a coin.
After a fierce design competition, in which medallist Anthony de Francisci emerged victorious, the United States Mint struck the first Peace Dollars in 1921 to 1928 and then again from 1934 to 1935. Most recently, the Mint resumed production in 2021 for collectors.
About 190 million Peace dollars have been struck between 1921 and 2021, which, when you think about it, is a pretty low population compared to other coins. Due to this small population, Peace dollars are relatively rare, which also explains their premium prices.
Peace dollars were the final general circulating coins to be struck in 90 per cent silver.
Features of the Peace Dollar
Anthony de Francisci designed the obverse and reverse of the original Peace dollar.
The obverse side features the left-facing portrait of the Goddess of Liberty adorned in a majestic radiate crown with her hair blowing in the wind. Francisci’s wife, Teresa de Francisci, acted as the model for the coin’s design.
The country’s motto, IN GOD WE TRVST appears across the coin while the word LIBERTY is engraved at the top, along the coin’s edge. The year date is found at the base on the obverse.
When you flip the coin, you are met with an illustrious design featuring a balding American eagle. The bird is perched on a hill while overlooking the sunset on the horizon and holding an olive branch in its talons, representing peace.
The Most Valuable Peace Dollar
Several factors affect the value of Peace dollars. These include:
- The coin’s condition
- Scarcity or rarity of the coin
- Mint mark
- Key dates
Peace dollars are ancient, and the majority were released into circulation. Today, finding a Peace dollar in mint state is very difficult, yet such a coin can be worth thousands.
Some key dates are scarce and fetch a fortune. Low-mintage dates are considered key dates and are extremely popular in collector circles.
The Peace dollars were struck at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver facilities. The coins struck in Philadelphia do not have a mint mark, but those from San Francisco and Denver spot a mint mark S and D, respectively.
The mint mark appears on the obverse just underneath Liberty’s truncated neck.
Let’s now look at the most valuable peace dollars.
In 1928, the yearly quota for the Peace silver dollar was reached, causing a sudden halt in production at the San Francisco and Philadelphia facilities.
By the time production stopped, the mint at Philadelphia had struck only 360,649 Peace dollars, making it the lowest mintage in the entire series.
The following year, 1929, marked the official start of the Great Depression. Due to low demand for coinage, the Mint stopped producing Peace dollars from 1929 to 1933.
According to the Professional Coin Grading Company, a 1928 Peace dollar in mint state can bring in as much as $129,250.
The San Francisco mint also struck peace dollars in limited quantities in 1928 before production stopped suddenly. The facility struck on 1.6 million Peace dollars, the second lowest mintage in the entire series.
Most of these coins were released into circulation, making 1928-S peace dollars in mint state extremely rare. Notably, Peace dollars struck at the San Francisco facility were generally of a poor strike, making gem examples all the more rare.
The value of a 1928-S Peace dollar ranges from $300 to $23,300 depending on the coin’s condition.
By 1921, designing the new Peace Dollar was still underway. That year, the United States Mint struck an estimated 68 million Morgan silver dollars while awaiting finalising the Peace silver dollar design.
When the design process was complete in the latter part of 1921, the Mint struck slightly more than a million Peace dollars. However, these new coins were designed in high relief, making them very difficult to strike; the resulting coins lacked detail and had a weak strike on the high points.
The following year, in 1922, Francisci issued a new design for the Peace dollar with a lower relief, effectively making the 1921 Peace dollar a one-year coin design and one of the rarest in the series.
In circulated condition, a 1921 high-relief peace silver dollar can fetch about $125, but that figure can increase to as much as $132,000 for a rare 1921 high-relief silver dollar in a certified mint state.
The Mint halted the production of Peace dollars in 1928 and only resumed striking these coins in 1934. The prolonged hiatus led to a build-up in demand for Peace dollars.
Perhaps to meet the looming demand for coinage, mint workers at the Denver facility did notice the misalignment of dies that led to a doubled die error on the obverse of the 1934-D dollars.
Millions of 1934-D peace silver dollars spot doubling on the letter D in the word GOD and in the letter W in the word WE. You will also notice a doubling of the sun’s rays next to Liberty’s portrait.
The 1934-D doubled die Peace dollar error is one of the most sought after in the entire series. Collectors have paid as much as $2,000 for this coin, but the prices can go higher for uncirculated coins.
The 1934-S Peace dollar has the fourth lowest mintage in the Peace Silver dollar series, with slightly more than 1 million coins minted that year at the facility.
Although circulated examples are easily accessible, the low mintage makes uncirculated specimens extremely scarce.
This coin’s outstanding rarity makes it attractive to collectors but also prone to forgery. Look out for inauthentic 1934-S Peace dollars with a fabricated S mint mark.
The 1934 Peace Dollar struck at the San Francisco facility is worth about $75 in circulated condition. But, uncirculated, gem-quality specimens will fetch as much as $8,000 in the auction market.
The San Francisco Mint struck only 1.7 million 1924 Peace Dollars, a drastic reduction in mintage from the previous year when 18 million coins were produced and most released into circulation.
Uncirculated examples of the 1924-S peace dollars are common. The poor quality of coins struck at the facility also makes it harder to find certified mint state examples of the 1924-S peace silver dollars.
The few existing specimens cannot meet the demand for the 1924-S Peace dollar, making these coins extremely valuable.
In circulated condition, a 1924-S Peace dollar is affordable at about $28, but uncirculated examples can fetch as much as $54,625, according to the PCGS.
The first run of 1922 Peace dollars was struck using the same high relief design of the 1921 silver dollars.
By the time the Mint had struck 35,400 high relief Peace silver dollars in the first run, several obverse and reverse dies had already broken, causing a halt in production.
With so many obverse and reverse dies breaking due to the high relief design, it would be impossible for the Mint to meet production quarters for that year.
Among the 35,400 peace dollars, some were struck as proofs. About ten of the high relief 1922 peace dollars have a matte finish, while eight have a sandblasted finish.
The finest known example is graded PF67, sold at auction for a whopping $458,250. The most expensive specimen of a 1922 Peace dollar with a sandblasted finish is graded PF64 with an auction record of $192,000.
The Denver Mint struck only five dates in the entire Peace Silver Dollar series, with 1927 being one of those dates. That year, the Denver mint struck 1.3 million coins, the lowest mintage by the facility in the entire series.
It is estimated that only about 9,000 (or less) 1927-D peace dollars exist today in mint state, which is essentially less than 1% of the original mintage.
The most valuable example of a 1927-D Peace Dollar is graded MS66, which was sold at auction in 2019 for a staggering $176,250.
The Peace dollars struck in San Francisco in 1927 recorded the third lowest mintage at the facility, with only 866,000 coins produced that year.
With such a low mintage, finding uncirculated examples in certified mint state can be pointedly challenging.
A weak strike adds to the difficulty in getting uncirculated, gem-quality specimens. As noted earlier, a weak strike and poor detailing are common trends among San Francisco Peace dollars.
The upside is that since the 1927-S peace, silver dollars have been so rare in the uncirculated condition that these coins are extremely valuable.
According to the PCGS, the most valuable 1927-S Peace dollar is graded MS66, worth an impressive $78,000.
The 1923-S Peace dollar is somewhat of an enigma—it has the largest mintage from the San Francisco facility, but it is also the rarest in gem quality from the same facility.
As with most Peace dollars from San Francisco, the 1923 coin is marred with bag marks, dings, dents and other notable errors. It is not an attractive coin!
Given how unappealing they are, finding a 1923 S Peace dollar in mint state (even in lower mint state grades) can be extremely difficult.
Gem quality examples of 1923-S peace dollars are rare, with the finest example graded MS66 valued at $49,200
The 1925 S peace dollar didn’t do much to improve San Francisco’s reputation for poor quality coins with weak strikes.
Peace Dollars stuck in San Francisco in 1925 are common in circulated states and are accessible in uncirculated grades, but gem quality examples are extremely hard to come by.
The 1925-S Peace dollar is the rarest in the series with MS65 examples. It is the only date in the entire series without examples certified MS65 and above.
The finest known example is graded MS65, sold at auction for $132,000 in 2022.
How much are peace dollars worth today?
Peace dollars are still very popular, and collectors seek out these coins aggressively. How much your Peace dollar is worth largely depends on factors such as its condition, date and mint mark. You can expect about $35 for one in circulated condition, but this price can shoot up to thousands of dollars for uncirculated and certified pieces.
How do I know if my Peace silver dollar is worth money?
When grading your Peace silver dollar, you should pay attention to the coin’s condition and the mint mark. An uncirculated Peace dollar is a rare find and can be worth hundreds or thousands more than face value. Key dates, mint marks, and the right conditions can significantly increase the value of your Peace dollar. If you think you have a valuable Peace silver dollar, it is a good idea to have a professional coin grading service look at it.
Is there a 2023 Peace Dollar?
Yes, there exists a 2023 peace dollar. In 2021, the U.S. Mint reintroduced the Morgan and Peace Dollars, and 2023 marked the first time both coins were struck with a reverse-proof finish composed of a bright surface and frosted background. Only 250,000 coins were produced in 2023
The U.S. Mint offered the 2023 Peace and Morgan dollars at $185 apiece, but these coins sold out within 24 hours, leaving no specimen in the market.