1921 Peace dollars

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RogerB
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

1921 Peace dollars

Post by RogerB » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:58 am

Many collectors want to have a 1921 Peace dollar as an example of the only high relief circulation coin that is reasonably affordable. Finding a really nice example is a challenge, but not impossible, especially if some idiosyncrasies of this one-year issue are understood.

First, fully 90+% of the issue were struck with insufficient pressure to adequately bring up the design. Thus most coins lack detail at the center, top surfaces of inscriptions and other details. Second, the best detailed coins were struck from new dies and will not have significant luster - coin surfaces will appear more satin-like. (Luster develops during die use and is not present on new dies.) Third, authentication and grading companies seldom consider detail when "grading" 1921's - this means that a coin receiving a high numerical grade might have lousy detail, but a high asking price. Fourth, wear can be hard to separate from the normal satin-like surface, especially on legitimate AU-58 coins.

Suggestion for a "happy" purchase: Best detail, minimal marks, limited wear. Ignore the numerical grade unless you get the first three.

The attached photo will give collectors a goal to look for.
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1921-pair sm.jpg
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Kissov
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by Kissov » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:58 am

Is it just me, or does Lady Liberty look like she has the mumps?

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jrfaust
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Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by jrfaust » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:00 pm

GREAT INFO! Thanks Roger! :D
Who is John Galt?

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vampicker
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Location: Ohio

Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by vampicker » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:06 pm

Yeah, a well struck 21 Peace Dollar is a real find
often the crusher of hopes and dreams

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messydesk
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Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by messydesk » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:01 pm

RogerB wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:58 am
... Third, authentication and grading companies seldom consider detail when "grading" 1921's - this means that a coin receiving a high numerical grade might have lousy detail, but a high asking price. ...
The flip side of this is that if you are persistent, you can find well-struck Peace dollars that are not in super-high grade holders and get a little extra bang for your buck. While this one is by no stretch of the imagination hammered like the one Roger posted -- there is still a little weakness in the center -- it is better than most.

The moral of the story is that if you know what is typical, you will be able to cherrypick quality at any grade level.
21pcv1k2.jpg
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DHalladay
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Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by DHalladay » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:18 pm

The coin posted by Roger is easily the best-struck 1921 Peace I have ever seen.
When in doubt... don't.

RogerB
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

Re: 1921 Peace dollars

Post by RogerB » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:10 pm

Messydesk's comment is on the nose. My opinion is that in this instance detail overrides a bit of wear or a few marks. But -- be very critical and look for detail throughout the coin, not just on the central hair.

The mumps observation is consistent with President Harding's complaint about Liberty's "apple cheek," but there was no time to make additional changes and still produce a coin in 1921. The effect is not noticeable on most coins due to insufficient metal flow.

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