The silver dollar formed one of the cornerstones of the American monetary system as the highest silver denomination. As such it has been viewed with great importance by the United States Mint as well as collectors. Perhaps the most popular series in all of coin collecting is the Morgan Dollar issued from 1878 to 1921. While many issues can be acquired without much difficulty, there are some key dates that make completion of a set an impossible task for collectors of limited means.
An alternative series to collect is the Peace Dollar issued from 1921 to 1935. The more limited run of the series means that a full set can be completed with 35 different coins. A year set with one example from each date is even more limited. Although the series does contain some significant key dates, in lower uncirculated grades, these coins still remain accessible.
The series was created as a way to commemorate the Peace following the conclusion of the Great War. The design is a dramatic display of the talents of sculptor Anthony De Francisci. The obverse is said to have been based on his wife’s visage, while the reverse presents an eagle in an uncharacteristic pose. Rather than heraldic form or flight, it is at rest on a rock, as if at peace.
Challenges are available for the advanced collectors. Besides the few key dates, there are many issues which are significant conditional rarities. This means they are relatively available in lower grades, but extremely rare in higher uncirculated grades. This is due to the production quality of some issues and the tendency for the coins to garner heavy marks while in transportation. A full set of gem Peace Dollars is a wonder to behold for those up to the task.