Why are the silver dollars from 1921 important for knowing coins value? The year 1921 is certainly one of the most relevant years in the history of American collectible coins. In fact, during this year two of the most collected silver dollars by American coin buyers coexisted in time: the Morgan Silver Dollars and the Peace Dollars.
In this article we show you why these two types of coins are so important and how their types, conservation and rarities determine selling prices.
Please Note: This article is about the two types of silver dollars that coexisted in 1921. If you want to know more specific information about the Morgan dollars you can click on the link.
- 1 How rare our 1921 silver dollars are?
- 2 Silver dollars 1921 value and their grading
- 3 Value of silver dollars 1921
- 4 1921 silver dollars value – Chart prices
- 5 Are silver dollars worth?
- 6 Silver dollars 1921 – The transition from the Morgan Dollar to the Peace Dollar
- 7 The history of the 1921 Peace silver dollars
- 8 The design of the Peace Dollar 1921
- 9 1921 dollar coins – How to identify Mint Marks
- 10 1921 Rare Silver Dollars
- 11 What are the Silver Dollars ProofLike
How rare our 1921 silver dollars are?
The silver dollars 1921 are very much loved by coin collectors in the United States. The value depends mainly on two aspects:
- the rarity of the coin and
- its condition
The state of conservation is not easy to determine for someone who has no experience in numismatic collecting. Very subtle details cause great variations in price. Therefore, 1921 silver dollars that are in a Mint State are usually certified by a Third Party Grading Service (TPG). A TPG is an independent company, which encapsulates the coins in a secure plastic container, and offers two major advantages:
- It guarantees authenticity.
- It offers an objective graduation of the state of conservation.
Silver dollars 1921 value and their grading
The largest TPGs today, in which they have the confidence of collectors for their professionalism and impartiality are NGC and PCGS. These companies, in addition to being widely used by collectors around the world, provide statistics on the number of pieces in each state of conservation.
Value of silver dollars 1921
For the 1921 Silver Dollars we have the following amounts of pieces in Mint State certified by the PCGS company:
|Peace Dollar 1921||91||325||2824||4738||4676||1513||193||6|
|Morgan Dollar 1921||79||688||10669||44854||35784||5959||728||18|
|Morgan Dollar 1921S||20||147||1865||5877||4784||1319||125||0|
|Morgan Dollar 1921D||45||248||2155||6699||6639||2109||503||11|
And these are the Mint State quantities certified by the NGC company:
|Peace Dollar 1921||54||804||2556||3412||3754||1255||143||7||0|
|Morgan Dollar 1921||244||1437||10043||55422||48860||9691||688||13||0|
|Morgan Dollar 1921S||77||580||1700||5566||5740||788||69||1||0|
|Morgan Dollar 1921D||143||890||2028||5949||7173||2189||326||15||1|
We can determine the status of our currency at this link from the American Numismatic Association.
1921 silver dollars value – Chart prices
As can be seen in the previous section, Morgan dollars are a very common coin, with many tens of thousands of units encapsulated by the most important TPGs. For our coin to be expensive, we will need to seek excellence in its state of conservation.
1921 Peace dollars
The peace dollars, although less common, are also ordinary coins, so they will follow the same principle. If our coin is not encapsulated, the price of the 1921 silver dollar is approximately
Are silver dollars worth?
Here’s the answer…
|Peace Dollar 1921||$100||$110||$120||$155||$170||$180||$195||$250|
|Morgan Dollar 1921||$22||$22.50||$24||$25||$27||$28||$30||$32|
|Morgan Dollar 1921S||$25||$29||$30||$35||$38||$40||$42||$45|
|Morgan Dollar 1921D||$27.50||$28||$28.50||$32||$36||$39||$41||$43|
We can use this other table to approximate the price of our uncirculated 1921 silver dollar. However, please note that these values are merely estimates.
Some small details such as the color that our coin has acquired over the years, or if it happens that more or less coins have come on the market than would be normal with its circulation can make this price vary greatly.
|Peace Dollar 1921||$285||$300||$375||$490||$775||$1800||$5400||$84500|
|Morgan Dollar 1921||$40||$42||$45||$58||$65||$150||$700||$13500|
|Morgan Dollar 1921-S||$47||$50||$60||$80||$145||$750||$3000||$25000|
|Morgan Dollar 1921-D||$47||$49||$55||$74||$150||$355||$1000||$16000|
Silver dollars 1921 – The transition from the Morgan Dollar to the Peace Dollar
This design was used from 1878 to 1921, just the year in question. In 1921 it was replaced by the Peace dollar. This second design has its origin in the First World War.
The history of the 1921 Peace silver dollars
The German government, as a destabilizing measure, began to spread the rumor that the British government did not have the capacity to cover the silver value of the paper money it was issuing. Therefore, the British government turned to its American allies requesting the sale of silver, and the American government authorized the smelting and sale of 270 million one-dollar coins, approximately 47% of all Morgan dollars minted up to that time.
Thus, the Treasury requested the minting of a new silver dollar coin to replace all the precious metal sold to its British allies. The new type of coin was called the Peace dollar, at the request of the American Numismatic Association which defended the creation of a new circulating coin to commemorate the Victory in the war and the longed-for Peace afterwards.
The design of the Peace Dollar 1921
The Peace dollar, designed by engraver Anthony de Francisci, shows on the obverse side the bust looking to the left of an allegory of Freedom played with a radiata crown. In legend, we can read “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the word “LIBERTY”, and under the bust the date of minting.
On the back we find the bald eagle, national symbol, this time perched on a rock and between its claws we only find the olive branch. In legend we can read “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and the word “PEACE“, as well as the issuing entity “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and its facial value “ONE DOLLAR”.
1921 dollar coins – How to identify Mint Marks
We have seen that there are two different types of dollar coins from 1921. Within each type, the sales value will depend on the mint where it was minted.
In order to know the mint, we have to look at a small lettering stamped on our coin. In the case of the Peace silver dollar this mark will be just above the eagle’s tail and below the word ONE. In the Morgan dollars we can find it on the back of the coin, just between the D and the O of the word DOLLAR.
In the year 1921 there are three possibilities of one dollar coin:
- If it doesn’t have any letters, it’s minted in Philadelphia
- If we find an S, it’s minted at the San Francisco Mint
- If we have a D, it’s minted in Denver.
There are no peace dollars minted in Denver or San Francisco.
All 1921 peace dollars were produced at the Philadelphia Mint.
1921 Rare Silver Dollars
Some collectors, especially in such common coins, collect variants. A variant is a coin, which despite being of the same type and year as others, has some special feature that makes it different. Usually it is a small error or difference in the mint with which it was struck.
There are even books that collect these variants. The most important one is The Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars, by Leroy C. Van Allen and George Mallis.
As an example, we are going to show some known stamp variant of these silver dollars, although there are many of them. Some of them affect the price enormously, but the most normal is that they do not do it too much.
The Peace dollar of 1921 has a very well known variant, which however does not affect the value too much, it is called “Ray through L“. In it, we can see how one of the rays on the back passes over the L of the word DOLLAR instead of under it.
What are the Silver Dollars ProofLike
One aspect that does have importance in the price of the pieces is the mirror shine. This shine is especially present in the first strokes of each coin, which when new are highly polished, and the field of the coin (the field is the part of the coin that serves as the background, which has nothing engraved) usually has some reflectivity.
This makes it behave like a mirror. These coins are called Prooflike (PL). This only applies to coins minted for circulation, and is simply an indication that it is one of the first pieces produced with a new set of dies. Although it is often difficult for an uninitiated person to see if a coin is PL, they are highly prized by collectors.
Here we show a Morgan PL dollar. As you can see, the field has a brightness that reminds of a mirror, while the reliefs have a more matt tone.