The idea of issuing a modern coin with the design of the 2021 Peace Dollar (Buy on eBay) to mark the centennial of the issuance of the first coin of this type was first proposed by numismatic author Michael Moran while he was serving on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Mr. Moran later worked with Thomas J. Uram, who proposed the 2021 Morgan Dollars, to secure congressional support for legislation to authorize this coin program. The 2021 Peace dollar was also authorized under the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, as were the 2021 Morgan Dollars. It was issued to mark the centennial of the issuance of the first Peace Dollars in 1921 and the coming of age of the United States as a global power after World War I ended. But the law is written in a way that gives the United States Mint authority to keep striking the coin in the future. It specified a maximum authorized mintage of 200,000 coins for the 2021 Peace dollar but does not specify mintages or finishes for future coins.
The law also specifies that the coins be made on silver planchets that “contain not less than 90% silver,” but since the Mint only uses .999 fine silver planchets now, they are struck in that fineness and with the same weight and diameter of the 1921 coins. But they are slightly thinner and have a total silver weight of .858 ounces compared to .7734 ounces for the 1921 coins because of their higher silver purity.
Among the Most Widely-Collected Classic U.S. Coins
Peace Dollars – the only American coins ever issued that carry the inscription “peace” on them – are one of the most widely collected classic U.S. coin series that are admired for their beautiful design, especially with the stunning high-relief of the 1921 coins. And the design of the coin when it was first issued represented a major departure from the way that Lady Liberty had appeared on prior coins. Inspired by Italian-American artist Anthony de Francisci’s wife Theresa who modeled for her husband when he was preparing the design, the Liberty on the Peace Dollar is more modern than earlier versions of Lady Liberty – shown with free-flowing hair and wearing a crown with rays that traditionally symbolizes the sun and first appeared on ancient Roman coins.
When collectors heard about the 2021 Peace Dollars, they were especially excited about the possibility that it would be struck in full high-relief using modern minting technology. However, the Mint explained that the “1921 high relief design rose higher than the border which makes the design elements susceptible to damage,” as current Chief Engraver Joseph Menna said in 2021. In addition, the fact that the 2021 coins are slightly thinner than the originals mean that there is less metal in the center of the coin where the central design motifs appear, making it impossible to strike them in high relief. The coin was still eagerly embraced by collectors.
Struck at the Philadelphia Mint with an uncirculated finish but with no mint mark as the 1921 Peace Dollars were, the 2021 Peace Dollar went on sale on August 10, 2021 during the final round of pre-sales of 2021 silver dollars and was offered at $85 per coin with a household limit of one coin. It became “currently unavailable” within about half an hour. Initial sales were 199,989 coins, and final sales were slightly lower at 199,553 after accounting for returns and order reconciliations.
This coin remains one of the most popular and widely sought of the six silver dollars issued in 2021 (including the 5 Morgan Dollars) and has been a strong seller that has maintained its secondary market premium over time. Also, the 2021 Peace dollar tends to be very well struck with minimal defects.
2021 Peace Dollar Mintage and Specifications
- Mint Mark: none
- Mintage: 199,553
- Composition: .999 fine silver
- Weight: 26.73 grams
- Diameter: 38.1 millimeters