Novice Coin Collectors: Start with Peace Dollars

Novice collectors sometimes approach us for insights on a good series to collect when starting out, and as a Grand Rapids coin dealer, we have given that question a fair amount of consideration. There are many good choices, with U.S. pennies being a popular one. For several reasons, though, we often recommend the Peace dollar series.

Peace dollars, designed by Anthony de Francisci, are so named because they were designed to commemorate the end of World War I. Minted from 1921 to 1928, and again from 1934 to 1935, they represent the strong pacifist sentiment that followed World War I. These dollars can be recognized by the word “PEACE” on the lower reverse, and an eagle with folded wings looking towards the sunrise. One other noticeable feature is the inscription “IN GOD WE TRVST” using the Roman U on the obverse side.

Peace dollars were minted to replace the large number of Morgan dollar coins that had been converted to bullion during World War I. Although the Peace coins are not as commonly collected as the Morgan dollar series that preceded them, they are becoming more popular, and for several reasons they make an ideal collection for new collectors.

· Peace dollars are 90% silver, so they are a store of value as well as a collectible coin.

· There are only 24 coins in the whole date/mint series, and it is still fairly easy to put together a complete collection. For example, a beginning coin collector could complete the collection within two years by buying just one coin a month.

· Because Peace dollars are still relatively inexpensive, it is possible to create a great Peace dollar collection on a reasonably modest budget.

· Peace dollars are beautiful coins. They represent an important period in American history, and a fascinating piece of numismatic history as well.

Due to melting and/or low mintages, there are some scarce dates that make the collection more interesting. Most collectors consider the 1928 the only “key” date, meaning that it is somewhat pricey in all grades. Unlike certain rare pennies, however, Peace dollars are not commonly counterfeited.

Some collectors like to add in varieties of the coins after completing their basic collection, and the Peace dollar does have some interesting variety coins. Some 1934-D Peace dollars are prime examples of a type of variety coin called a “doubled die.” A doubled die coin is one where the die was produced with a double impression of the design. On the 1934-D Peace dollar, the evidence of a doubled die is the multiple rays on the obverse at the back of Liberty’s tiara.

Peace dollars make a fascinating collection that becomes even more engrossing as you learn more about the history and design. One need only decide what grade to collect and begin assembling a collection of lasting value. Contact the experts at Grand Rapids Coins for guidance on how to begin a Peace dollar collection that suits your interests.

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