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United States 1923 Peace Silver Dollar End of First World War I Commemorative $1 Bald Eagle Brilliant Uncirculated Blast White BU NGC MS64 MS-64

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97004-1923P-NGCMS64
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Product Description

The most beautiful U.S. silver dollar, with Anthony die Francisci's famous Liberty design, commemorates Peace and the End of World War I!

Sold out at the Mint!Among all the classic American coin designs, a few rise to the top - the Standing Liberty Quarter, the St-Gaudens Walking Liberty, the Buffalo / Indian Head Nickel. Adolph Weinman's Walking Liberty is close to the pinnacle, but one design consistently chosen among the most beautiful of all United States coin designs is Anthony de Francisci's timeless Peace Silver Dollar.

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Using his young and gorgeous wife Theresa as his model, de Francisci made the most of his opportunity to design a new Lady Liberty, and won a design contest for the congressionally authorized new silver dollar of 1921 that commemorated the Armistice of 1918 and the end of the First World War, indicated by the olive branch in the bald eagle's mouth, as well as the legend PEACE. Most people don't realize that the Peace Silver Dollar is, in fact, a true circulating commemorative!

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The Peace Silver Dollars we offer here display full cartwheel luster and are certified to be in mint state 64 (MS-64) by NGC (the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation), the gold standard of the rare coin certification services. Each is protected in its individually serialized, patented and hermetically sealed plastic holder or "slab". A special purchase allows us this rare opportunity to offer these gorgeous, historic gems! No coin collection can ever be truly complete without one of these beauties, so go ahead, make one (or more) yours today!

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The Story of the US Peace Dollar, a True Circulating Commemorative!
One hundred years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War I, the war to end all wars, ended. At the conclusion of the First World War, it was suggested by many in numismatic circles that a commemorative coin – a “Peace Dollar” or Victory coin – should be issued for general circulation to honor those who served. A whirlwind of positive public opinion ensued for this venture.

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Design Contest
After much politicking, a commission was formed, and on July 28, 1921, President Harding issued an executive order that designs for the proposed silver dollar coin be submitted to the Fine Arts Commission for their approval.

On Nov. 19, a field of eight sculptors, comprising many noted designers of current US coins, (Victor David Brenner, Adolph Alexander Weinman, and Hermon MacNeil, to name a trio) were invited to produce designs. The participants were instructed to portray the head of Liberty on the obverse, to be made "as beautiful and full of character as possible."

The winner of the contest would receive a $1,500 prize; all other competitors would receive $100 for their skilled efforts. Time was of the essence, and a Dec. 13 deadline was imposed in order for the coins to be produced in the calendar year 1921.

After the deadline passed, US Mint Chief Engraver George T. Morgan prepared models of all the participant’s designs, to be judged by the panel. Ultimately, the youngest designer (at age 34) Anthony de Francisci’s now-iconic creation was selected as the winner. While Anthony’s only former claim to numismatic fame was as the designer of the 1920 Maine Centennial Half Dollar, his previous tutelage as student under both MacNeil & Weinman obviously served him very well in the Peace Dollar competition!

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An American Original - By A Pair of Italian Immigrants
Now, with such short notice for the competition (less than four weeks), the talented immigrant from Italy did not have time to actually locate and hire a model for the Miss Liberty design. De Francisci instead looked to his lovely wife, Teresa, for inspiration and modeled the triumphant Miss Liberty after her. In essence, this is truly a story of the American spirit as both sculptor and model immigrated to America from Europe and became US citizens. De Francisci was born in Sicily, while his wife was born Teresa Cafarelli in Naples, Italy.

Around the time of the release of the coin, Teresa relayed in several interviews that when she was only 5 years old, her family emigrated to America, and as their steamer passed the Statue of Liberty on the way to Ellis Island, she was so fascinated by the enormous statue, she excitedly called her family over and struck a pose in imitation of the welcoming Miss Liberty.

Teresa later wrote to her brother Rocco: “You remember how I was always playing and posing as Liberty, and how brokenhearted I was when some other little girl was selected to play the role in the patriotic exercises in school? I thought of those days often while sitting as a model for Tony’s design, and now seeing myself as Miss Liberty on the new coin, it seems like the realization of my fondest childhood dream.”

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Unveiling Time
The Treasury announced the new design on Dec. 19, 1921. Photographs of Mint Director Raymond Baker and de Francisci examining the final plaster model appeared in newspapers. At the time, the actual designs were not released to the press, as it was a practice of the Mint that only written descriptions were to be used. Needless to say, the public’s anticipation accelerated as they anxiously awaited the release of this new coin.

On Dec. 28, the Philadelphia presses were at last producing the Peace Dollar. Finally, on January 3, 1922, the 1921-dated Peace Dollar was released into general circulation.

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Although the Peace Dollar design was well received by the public, the coin’s somewhat higher relief was a concern to some bankers and merchants, as it was thought stacking the coins evenly could be a minor problem. To remedy this concern, a modest retooling of the design from the “high relief” to the slightly modified one was incorporated on all 1922 issues through the series’ end in 1935.

Truly of Its Era
For many, the Peace Dollar is ripe with nostalgia. Its short lifespan (1921-1935) places it right smack in the middle of quite the change in American climate. When I look at the coin, she conjures up memories of the innocence and fun of the “Roaring ’20s,” a trip through Prohibition, the stock market crash and FDR’s New Deal.

Perhaps appropriately and in tune with the times, many critics referred to the new design as a dramatic improvement, dropping the stoic Greek-influenced interpretation of its Morgan-designed predecessor and adopted a more streamlined “Flapper” style Miss Liberty. Certainly, the coin is a triumph of Art Deco style.

    - Thanks to Jim Bisognani, NGC Analyst

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Specifications
Country United States of America
Year of Issue     1923
   
Face Value One Dollar
Weight 26.73 g
Diameter 38.1 mm
Actual Mintage 30,800,000
   
Finish Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition .900 Fine (Coin) Silver
Edge Serrated
   
Artist Anthony de Francisci
Packaging Archival Quality Grading Service Holder




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