• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Stumbled across a nice article on Peace dollars via google. Enjoy!

5 posts in this topic

Much better article than most on the Peace dollar! The following errors should be noted and are followed by corrections. You can find the complete story in “Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921”


On May 9, 1921… Rep. Albert H. Vestal (R- Ind.)….. proposed a joint resolution for a Peace Dollar. On that same day, the U.S. Mint started producing the Morgan Dollar once again.


1921 Morgan dollars had been in production since February.


Fearing a stall tactic; that the proposed coin would not be issued for

general circulation; and, that the design of the coin would fall on the

shoulders of the U.S. Mint's chief engraver, George T. Morgan, rather then

through open competition, the ANA turned to its members for help. They

urged their members to write, or better still, personally visit their

Congressmen and insist they support the original proposal for a dollar coin as

laid out by the ANA. The lobbying effort worked, and the ANA pretty much

receive everything for which they asked.


The ANA had absolutely no influence after Vestal introduced the joint resolution in May. Judson Brenner screwed up the first bill Vestal wanted by including $10,000 for expenses, an amount Sec. Mellon and Director Baker would not support. All the work was done by the Commission of Fine Arts and Jim Fraser.


By December 19th, the choice was made and reported to Congress. Anthony De Francisci (Dee Fran-chee-shee) was the winner.


The Congress was not involved in any manner after August when a second attempt to pass Vestal’s resolution failed.


Prior to the Peace Dollar, De Francisci designed the 1920 Maine Centennial

Commemorative half dollar.


In 1920 de Francisci was required to work from drawings prepared by artist Harry Cochrane from Monmouth, Maine and provided by the Maine Centennial Commission..


De Francisci's design for the Peace Dollar featured a portrait of his then 23

year old wife as Miss Liberty for the main device on the obverse. It has

been said; he had her pose facing an open window of their New York apartment so

that he could capture the essence of her hair being lightly wind swept.


De Francisci used his wife as a model, but the design was not her portrait. It was a composite and the final version was heavily dependent on Saint-Gaudens’ “Nike Erini.”


The original reverse of the coin design featured an eagle breaking a sword. This was to represent disarmament however, there were those, in Congress, who felt the design could be interpreted as defeat rather then victory, and the reverse design was rejected. George T. Morgan was enlisted to quickly design a new reverse, and that is the one featured on the coin today. Morgan's design, of a lone eagle perched on a desolate mountain peak inscribed with the word PEACE, was quickly approved.


As earlier, Congress was not involved. The original broken sword reverse had been accepted by everyone who saw it. A newspaper editorial based on a Treasury press release description, condemned the broken sword as s symbol of defeat, not peace. Public outcry forced the mint to change the reverse design before the hub was hardened. Engraver Morgan, working in the presence of deFrancisci, removed the sword from the steel hub and converted it into a second olive sprig and parts of the eagle’s talon and the mountain top. The originally accepted design by deFrancisci remained the same except for this alteration.


…it required at least two strikes to bring out the details.


This is completely false. Circulation coins and proofs made for approval by treasury officials received one blow from the press – either production press, or high-pressure medal press as appropriate.


High-relief equates to high die breakage and low production in the manufacturing

process. De Francisci shuttled back and forth between New York and the

Mint in Philadelphia to supervise what seemed to be endless modifications to his

design. In the end, all he could do was stand by helplessly and watch

George Morgan destroy his creation in a lower relief version more suitable to

high speed manufacture, much in the same way George Morgan did as Charles Barber modified his dollar design.


Morgan made two 1922-dated versions in an attempt to produce better struck coins while maintaining higher than normal relief: the high relief 1922 and medium relief 1922 designs. Both were failures. De Francisci then created a new set of models in lower relief and these were used to make the final version approved for production on Feb 14. Barber did not modify Morgan’s original dollar design, and the 1921 version was made by Morgan (Barber was dead).


The last Peace dollars were struck in May 1965 (dated 1964) as trial prices in anticipation of full production. The President rescinded his order to produce the coins after members of Congress became very upset at the potential waste of silver during a coin shortage.


Note: The site containing the original article has some very well written articles on a wide range of subjects. The coin-related articles, however, should be viewed just as any other copy-cat work with limited accuracy. This is also the site that has been promoting the "GSA Gold hoard" nonsense. Most of their Peace dollar article comes from an obsolete article in The Numismatist (November 1975) by Ted Schwarz titled “The Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites