Peace Dollar Overview
Silver Dollars were iconic coins that were used almost as frequently as cash during their time in circulation. The Peace Dollar was no different and enjoyed wide use during its years of mintage.
Anthony de Francisci, a sculptor and artist, was commissioned by the United States mint in 1920 to create the United States’ next silver dollar. Francisci created a design that would appeal to consumers and their need for a new and modern look. He focused on a design that was traditional, but also paid tribute to America and the end of the first world war.
The obverse design is a bust of Lady Liberty facing left with flowing hair and a radiant crown. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is split between each side of Liberty’s neck with the date of mintage centered below. The legend “LIBERTY” can be found centered above the bust along the rim.
On the reverse, a perched Bald Eagle facing right with olive branches in its talons can be found centered. The mottos “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” can be found centered above. “ONE DOLLAR” is also split between the main reverse design, similar to the legends on the obverse.
History of the 1927 Peace Dollar
Mintage figures for Peace Dollars were very different depending on the year and corresponding economic conditions. Compared to other years, 1927 saw a lower mintage figure of less than 1 million coins.
The Philadelphia mint reports minting 848,000 examples in 1927. It was not until 1935 that the Philadelphia mint would create more than 1 million Peace Dollars
Having a lower mintage results in fewer examples surviving till today in a premium grade. Any uncirculated 1927 Peace Dollar is normally worth more than other years with higher mintages.
The composition of the 1927 Peace Dollar is 90% silver and 10% copper. With a diameter of 31.8 mm, the weight comes in at 26.73 grams. Reeding can also be found on the edges of the 1927 Peace Dollar.
Exceptional Strike Peace Dollars
As with almost every series of coins minted, there are some coins that are struck much better than others. This leads to a deeper and sharper look to all devices on the coins and generally raises overall appeal.
Because of this increased appeal, many serious collectors are searching and paying up for examples that show above-average strike qualities.
These above-average coins are extremely rare, which is why they command such a large premium. Peace Dollars with above-average strike tend to have a few characteristics that are the same.
Here’s what to look for to determine whether your 1927 Peace Dollar has an above-average strike:
Strong Detail in Liberty’s Hair - Certain areas of Lady Liberty’s hair are the first parts of the Peace Dollar to show wear. These areas are also where above-average strike quality can be seen.Look to see if the hair has more detail and sharpness. Separation between strands of hair is what collectors are really looking for.
Eagle’s Feathers Are More Defined - Individual feathers on the Eagle should be clean and crisp on above average struck Peace Dollars. Even the small feathers on the eagles back and neck should be sharp.Any weakness in these feathers may indicated an average or below average strike. Collectors really like coins that have a strong struck reverse and obverse.
No specific designation has been made to signify a Peace Dollar with an above average strike. Generally, these coins can be easily told apart from other average examples.
Valuing the 1927 Peace Dollar
The 1927 Peace Dollar survives to this day in many different grade values. Most can be found below uncirculated condition.
Good 4 examples see a retail price of around $23, whereas Fine 12 pieces go for $34. A small jump to $43 can be seen when a grade of Extremely Fine 40 is achieved.
Uncirculated examples command the highest premiums because of their relative scarcity.
Uncirculated 60 currently has a value of $85, while MS-63 is valued at $175. Premium grade examples see the highest price increase with MS-65 seeing a huge price jump to $2,100!
Recently, a MS-66–graded 1927 Peace Dollar sold at auction for $28,200! This has been the highest price paid for a 1927 Peace Dollar.
Premium grade prices may continue to rise in the future as PCGS estimates that only 20,000 examples still exist in uncirculated condition. Another estimate is that only 550 examples are still in MS-65 or better condition.