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Regarding the Peace Dollar coins struck at the Denver

Mint in

1964, Tom DeLorey writes: "Years ago, while I was

working at

the ANA, an elderly gentleman came in one day to ask

about a

coin. He noticed the old large scale that used to sit

in the rotunda,

and mentioned that he used to use one of those when he


at the Denver Mint. I asked him if he was working

there in the

mid-1960s, and he said yes. I asked him if he

remembered when

they struck the Peace dollars then, and he said yes. I

then told him

that I had heard that on the days the coins were

struck, employees

were allowed to buy one or two of them on the way out

that night.

He said that was true, and that he had not bought any

but one of

his work buddies did. The buddy then went out and

spent them at

a bar on Colfax Ave. The next day management was in an


and told everybody that if they did not return the

coins they bought

they would be fired. The buddy said he had spent the

coins, and

kept his job."

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Cool story... but where are they? I agree with TDN that if the story is true, legal ownership would be a slam-dunk.


In my one-and-only encounter with Walter Breen (late 1980's ANA) I asked him if he thought any of the 1964-D Peace dollars survived. He said "no" aloud while nodding his head yes and smiling. I took that to mean he knew at least one was out there but wouldn't admit it.


Photos of 1933 Saints and 1972 aluminum Lincolns were out there while legal ownership was still undetermined... why not one of the 1964-D Peace dollars?

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Photos of 1933 Saints and 1972 aluminum Lincolns were out there while legal ownership was still undetermined... why not one of the 1964-D Peace dollars?


Maybe that worker still owned them 893scratchchin-thumb.gif Just think what would you do if you spent these coins only to find out they were going to be destroyed 893scratchchin-thumb.gif I would do what ever it takes to get them back and that might be what he did. The man probably didn't want the government to know and he may have never let the family know. It may be in the families possesion but lost 893scratchchin-thumb.gif893scratchchin-thumb.gif893scratchchin-thumb.gif


I rest my conspiracy theory

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There seem to be several variants on the possibly apocryphal story (above) about the 1964 Peace dollars. There is also a more “officially oriented” story that says the coins were routine pre-production test strikes and they were held in the vault until the order came to destroy them. This would seem to be a great subject for meaningful investigation. There should be a few folks still living who worked at the Denver Mint in May of 1965 – possibly some who were in the coining department or other position where they had first-hand knowledge of events. Original documents might become available when the mint releases copies of the old documents they did not turn over to NARA.


In late January 1922 the Philadelphia Mint struck 3,200 test pieces of the medium relief Peace dollar as modified by George Morgan (the one certified by NGC a few years ago). All the test coins were melted except for three that were sent to the director’s office and then loaned to sculptor James Fraser. In early February 1922 the Philadelphia Mint produced several hundred thousand test strikes of the new low relief Peace dollar prior to Fraser approving the coin for mass production. Fraser also said those coins were OK to release to the public since they were virtually indistinguishable from circulation strikes.

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