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Silver Peace Dollars are less popular, smaller, and have a lower silver content than their larger predecessors the Morgan Dollars. Despite this, huge numbers of them were struck and placed into circulation during the years 1921 to 1935. The Peace Dollars were produced in the three mints of Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. All of these coins feature a little more than three fourths of an ounce of silver at .773 pure ounces. Because of the limited number of years the Mint produced them and the large quantities they struck, it is fairly easy to amass the entire Peace Dollar collection.
Silver Peace Dollar History and Background
In 1918, Congress passed the Pittman Act which ordered the U.S. Treasury and Mint to create millions of silver dollars. In 1921, the Mint did not yet have a new design for the dollars, so it revived the Morgan Dollar one last time. It minted these until it could finalize the different design.
Anthony de Francisci the designer of the silver Peace Dollar was not an employee of the U.S. Mint. He entered a competition that the Federal Commission of Fine Arts held for a new silver dollar. In his obverse design, he modeled the traditional Lady Liberty using Teresa Cafarelli his 23 years old wife. Francisci's obverse and reverse designs for the new Peace Dollar won.
In 1921, the U.S. Mint struck its first of the new silver Peace Dollars in high relief. The problem was that the higher relief led to a poorly defined detail in the middle of the coins where the relief proved to be the highest. The Mint had to use greater pressure so that the dies would strike the coins correctly. Die production life decreased as a result, causing production costs to rise. The Mint solved the problem in 1922 by reducing the relief. This produced coins with a better, more even strike and also improved the life of the dies. The U.S. Mint then continued using this lower relief for all subsequent silver Peace Dollars it produced uninterrupted through 1928. It struck and issued the Peace Dollar coins a final two years in 1934 and 1935.
Silver Peace Dollar Physical Characteristics
The United States Mint guarantees all silver Peace Dollars for purity, weight, and content. The 1921 issues are of higher relief than later years.
The coins were designed to commemorate peace in Europe after World War I ended. The obverse front of the coin includes an art deco version of Lady Liberty based on designer Anthony de Francisci's wife Teresa Cafarelli. Lady Liberty faces in the direction left on the coin. She wears a diadem made to resemble spikes. Above the statue the word Liberty is inscribed. Beneath her is the motto “In God We Trust” and the date of issue.
The revere back of the coins have an Eagle which is perched upon a rock. In its claws it holds a laurel branch representing peace. Below the eagle the single word “Peace” is inscribed. Above the eagle two phrases are featured, “United States of America” as well as motto “E Pluribus Unum.” In the middle of the coin, the face value “One Dollar” appears. The lower right of the coin features a horizon with rays of sun emanating from it. Underneath the word “One” and atop the tail of the eagle is the location for the mint mark.
American Silver Peace Dollar bullion is only struck in one weight denomination: one ounce. The specifications for Peace Dollars include:
- Mass: 26.730 grams
- Diameter: 38.10 mm
- Thickness: 2.40 mm
- Silver Content: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Silver Peace Dollar Pricing
All silver Peace Dollars have a face value of one dollar, exactly as expressed on the coins themselves. While law dictates that anyone can spend them for a dollar, in practice this is a symbolic value. The true value of Peace Dollars is generally significantly higher than the stated face value. The reason for this is that the coin's intrinsic value which the market determines is entirely separate from the face value stated by the Mint. With silver Peace Dollars, the fair market value of the coins is based mainly on the spot price of silver.
Silver prices go up and down every trading day. This means that the silver Peace Dollar prices also fluctuate each market day. You can see real time metals pricing on our home page.
Investing in Silver Peace Dollar Coins Through an IRA
Silver peace dollars are IRS approved to add to your self directed precious metals IRA. When you include actual physical silver bullion coins in the IRA, you gain a particular diversification in your portfolio that does not rise and fall with the stock and bond markets. Silver makes an attractive hedge alternative to gold because its prices are substantially lower.
The Internal Revenue Service permits certain kinds of IRAs to contain real precious metals including silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. This is why these accounts are often called precious metals IRAs. These types of IRA accounts are only allowed to hold bullion that the IRS approves like Peace Dollars. Whatever types of silver investors buy, the minimum first purchase amount is $5,000 to fund such a precious metals IRA. Additional purchases may be done in only $1,000 minimum amounts.
The IRS has particular requirements for precious metal holdings. A minimum level of purity must be demonstrated in the coins for them to be IRA eligible. The U.S. Mint guarantees that all of its Silver Peace Dollars match the IRS requirements. The IRS also insists that these coins and bullion be kept in depositories which it approves. Precious metal depositories take responsibility for maintaining and keeping safe all bullion they guard. The IRS also permits individuals who have pre-existing IRAs to move them over to a new self directed IRA. This is called a roll over.
Silver Peace Dollars are not sold by the U.S. Mint any longer. They must be purchased from coin dealers or individual collectors. The administrator of your precious metals IRA will handle these arrangements on your behalf once you issue the orders.
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