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Differences Between Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars

The Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars both played an important role in American coinage. Morgan Silver Dollars are the most collected U.S. coin. Its popularity is popular because of its design, place in history and culture when the mint released the coins. The Peace Dollars also had a significant run in coinage history. Its beauty and symbolism made it a popular coin because the United States was becoming a dominating force on the world's scene. This mint struck the coins on the heels of the United States victory in World War I. The designs between the two are widely different. Revered as two of the most beautiful and culturally significant coins, despite their differences, these coins complement any coin collection.

Main Differences Between Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars

While the differences are vast, there is no mistaking the fact these coins played an important role in American coinage by setting the standard for coin design moving forward.Collectors from all over the world collect these coins. The differences between the Morgan and Peace Dollars are more than just the design. 

  • The Morgan Dollar circulated from 1878 to 1904. It came back into circulation for one year only, in 1921. This marked the only year the coins were minted in Denver. Peace Dollars circulated from 1921 to 1928, following the discontinuation of the Morgan Dollars. The Peace Dollars were then minted again in 1934 and 1935.  
  • Mintages of these coins were drastically different. The Morgan Dollars had more in circulation than the Peace Dollars because of the Silver available at the time. After the war, residents and businesses stockpiled Silver. Other denominations were increasingly on the rise as well because technological advances made it possible.
  • The Silver Peace Dollars were first minted in high relief. Due to the relief and the difficulties of striking some of the coins, the mint decided to lower the relief in order to mint more coins. Morgan Dollars never got a high relief treatment for any year. 
  • The designs are vastly different. The obverse on Morgan Dollars depicts Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap with "Liberty" on the hair band. The reverse features a bald eagle clutching a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. For the Peace Dollar, the obverse and reverse differ. On the obverse, Liberty is depicted wearing a radiating crown and the reverse shows a bald eagle resting on an olive branch. The difference in design is enough to set the two rare Silver coins apart.  

    Obverse and reverse off Morgan Silver Dollar
    Obverse and reverse of Silver Peace Dollar


Perhaps the confusion they are the same is a result of collectors referring to them as Morgan-Peace Dollars. The similarities of the coin rest on the laurels of history. These coins did share the same ideology of spreading pride and advancement in the country during their respective time periods in circulation. Collectors and investors can get value out of a Morgan Silver Dollar or a Silver Peace Dollar.

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