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    1921 Peace Dollar, Satin PR64, Few Known
    Original de Francisci High-Relief Format

    1921 $1 High Relief Satin PR64 NGC. The original Anthony de Francisci design for the 1921 Peace dollar as approved by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and President Warren G. Harding featured an eagle on the reverse grasping a broken sword and olive branch in its claws. The broken sword symbol was problematic -- it can be ambiguously interpreted as either representing peace, heroic defeat, or surrender -- and it was removed on the final design as issued, while the olive branch was retained.
    The competition that ended in the selection of the de Francisci designs, to commemorate the end of the Great War, specified that "on one side a Liberty head is to be used similar to that on the present coin, but made as beautiful and full of character as possible."
    As did Augustus Saint-Gaudens a decade and a half earlier with the double eagle, de Francisci not only modeled an aesthetic show-stopper in the Peace dollar obverse, but he chose a high-relief design that was, unfortunately, anything but practical for high-speed production. The last-minute modifications to the reverse die, undertaken by Mint engraver George T. Morgan on December 23, 1921, meant there was no time for production trials of the high-relief design. Roger Burdette writes in A Guide Book of Peace Dollars that "using a new high-relief design without proper testing was very risky, and it is a credit to the Mint staff that the first production coins turned out as well as they did."
    Concerning proof coinage, Burdette writes:

    "Simultaneous with production of the 1921 circulation coins, engraver Morgan had Sandblast and Satin Proofs made. The Proof dies were from the same hubs as production dies but were made with greater care in impressing the design, and the coins were struck on a medal press. Also, while the coining department was busy, Morgan created new 1922-dated high-relief hubs similar to 1921's in anticipation of continuing the high-relief design into 1922."

    Of course, the high-relief design was quite soon afterward abandoned, as striking difficulties with the production coins and drastically shortened die life became apparent.
    Although the Matte Finish proofs were recognized early on, the Satin Finish proof 1921 Peace dollars were unknown until the 1975 ANA Convention, when the first examples were authenticated. The present Satin PR64 is one of six so certified at NGC, with three examples finer (6/12). The surfaces show golden-rose and light blue toning somewhat irregularly dispersed on each side with vivid, bright underlying luster. As expected from the production on a medal press, the piece is fully struck in the centers. A faint, shallow vertical mark in the left obverse field out from the L in LIBERTY may provide a pedigree marker, and the grade derives from several small but individually insignificant contact marks. This is an important and quite rare coin for Peace dollar collectors.(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2UAU, PCGS# 7382)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2012
    2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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