1923 Silver Dollar – a new design – for a new era …

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By the early 1900s the Morgan silver dollar had been in production for over 25 years.

Although a huge success, and a very popular coin, with the turn of the new century it was time to move on.

Production of Morgan dollars ceased at all of the US Mints in 1904. The dies made to cast the coins were destroyed.

In its annual report of 1905, the Comptroller of Currency Stated that, “ the currency of the country is represented by gold, silver, gold and silver certificates, gold clearinghouse certificates, United States and national bank notes, and minor coins. It will be noted that nearly one half of the money held by the banks consists of gold and gold certificates.”

Here is a snapshot of the table accompanying this statement:

“Fractional currency” is a government rented paper or coin currency that is a fraction of the standard currency unit. In this case, the US Mint’s coins that have a fractional value of the US dollar, i.e.nickels and dimes.

Moving on

The US moved away from the silver – and its coins above $0.50 were all a 90% gold and 10% copper mix. These Coronet head $2.50, $5, $10 and $20 pieces are all now collectors coins in their own right.

This continued through the decade and the 1914-18 Great World War. This war became responsible for killing and maiming millions of people. The United States played a major role in bringing it to an end.

The government decided to release a silver coin to commemorate the new peace negotiated by the Versailles Treaty at the end of the war.

Unfortunately, because of turmoil created in the markets there was a delay in releasing the coin.

The US Mint hastily re-jigged the dies of the Morgan silver dollar – and as a temporary measure – re-released this coin in 1921 as a stop-gap solution.

The delays continued with disagreements about the ultimate design of the new coin – finally released right at the end of 1921.

Designed by an Italian American sculptor – Anthony de Francisci – the design for the coin was put up as a competition by the Federal Commission of Fine Arts and Francisci’s design chosen for its aesthetic beauty and subject matter. Sadly, this did not initially translate into metal.

When the test mint in Philadelphia tried to strike the coin, they found because of the high relief that was used in the initial design – to make the artistic details of the coin stand out – the coin did not strike well.

All the dies produced had to have the relief lowered, in 1922, so that they were easier to mint.

A popular move

Around this time (1923) there was no $5 or $10 coin or note in circulation in the United States – so this coin became extremely popular and useful for higher denomination payments.

The 1923 silver peace dollars were only struck at Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. 

1923 is not actually considered a year for rarities – more valuable coins are usually those struck in 1921, 1928, the 1934 – D doubled die coin, and the 1934 – S uncirculated coin.

The value of the 1923 dollar coin is mostly derived from its 90% silver content. The 10% copper content is hardly worth the cost of extraction.

These coins are collected for their numismatic value and whilst silver remains below $20 an ounce, it remains the case that they are worth more in their unmelted state

As is the case with all coins, everything comes down to condition and rarity. The Peace silver dollar Is no exception to this rule.

Peace dollar silver content is 90% – with the rest being made up of copper, so tarnishing, over time is a problem.

Uncirculated 1923 Peace dollars are sought after because they fetch higher prices than silver dollars which have been subjected to such tarnishing or the wear and the grind of daily usage.

Peace silver dollars are great collectors items for beginners and experienced numismatic experts alike. Together with the Morgan silver dollars, they are a remarkable legacy of the history of the United States.

They are also a fabulous investment with coin values rising all the time because the coins are becoming rarer – especially mint state coins where the dollar value is that much higher.
Coin grading has helped to bring sensible prices back into the market and gives a good guide as to the price of any kind that you may be thinking of buying and selling.

Collin Plume

Collin Plume

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The Morgan Silver Dollar is an essential part of American History. The first was released in 1878 and became an immediate success. We have sourced 3 different versions of this iconic coin. These will be an investment as well as a family heirloom for generations to come.

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