The 1921 (2021) Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Act

Published on 3/12/2021 by APMEX

Morgan and Peace dollars

Silver dollars are among the most recognizable coins in U.S. numismatic history. Their size allowed artists to create large, detailed designs that became iconic. The two best-known series of dollars are the Morgan and Peace dollars, and these coins are so well-loved that lawmakers recently introduced a bill to re-issue them.

That bill is called the 1921 Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Act.

Commemorating an Original

Thomas Uram and Michael Moran of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee created the idea in 2019 for this re-issue at the 100th anniversary of the change from the Morgan to the Peace dollar. The bill proposed that the coins honor the designs created by Charles Morgan and Anthony de Francisci, responsible for the Morgan and Peace designs, respectively.

Silver dollars were collected in 1918 and melted down under the Pittman Act, but the act specified that the Morgan dollar would be re-issued in 1921 to back the Silver certificates issued. Two hundred seventy million Morgans were collected and destroyed to prop up the price of Silver.

1921 saw tens of millions of newly-struck Morgan dollars flood back onto the market as the mint began to strike them again. But they were about to be phased out. The Peace dollar was struck the same year to commemorate the armistice that ended World War I. The new design was the only coin that was issued in commemoration of peace in U.S. history.

Early Peace dollars were struck in high relief, but the coins did not strike well, and the 1922 coin went back to a lower relief.

1921 was the pivotal year for both, the only year both were struck concurrently. It marked a turning point in American history, with the Peace dollar symbolizing a newly international America, enthusiastic for the future of the “War to End All Wars.” And Uram and Moran’s work on the CCAC was designed to honor that. But it took two years for the bill to come to fruition, and it underwent some changes in the meantime.

Re-issues Starting This Year

The bill finally made its way to the House of Representatives and Senate in 2020, and mirror bills passed both houses. On January 5, 2021, the bill was signed into law by then-President Trump.

Coins are authorized to be struck starting in 2021, with no end date specified. They are 90% Silver, and the design of the Peace dollar will be similar to the original high-relief design, not the altered designs of later issues.

Collectors are excited to get their hands on a new mintage of the classic 1921 Morgan and Peace Silver dollars. For the first time, these coins will be available with modern minting technology, struck in the high relief they were meant for with the higher pressures of newer presses.

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