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The Road Less Traveled

NSDR Journal

VOL. XXIII, NO. 3

Winter 2005

 

 

The Road Less Traveled

By Jeff Oxman and Dr. David Close

 

What a fabulous idea – a standard issue U.S. silver dollar dedicated to the prospect of “peace in our time!”  It seemed like a radical proposition in 1921, and it seems like an impossible dream even today.  But the fact is, following the successful conclusion of the First World War, the first silver dollar commemorating “peace” was finally issued.  True, it had taken the United States – a nation born in war – almost a hundred and fifty years from its inception to act on the notion of “peace.”  But to those of us in the hobby, the U.S. “Peace dollar” was worth the wait!

Unfortunately, the U.S. Peace dollar series, like peace itself, was all too short lived.  After a tidal wave of 87.2 million Morgan dollars had been struck in 1921, the first Peace dollars dated “1921” were released in January of 1922.  Talk about “short and sweet!”  The series continued for only fourteen years, but in the process, one of America’s most beautiful, yet most overlooked, coins was created.

For collectors willing to push the envelope and focus on this untapped area of numismatics, the U.S. Peace dollar series represents an exciting new frontier.  Why?  Untold numbers of Peace dollars remain unsearched, so that it’s still quite possible to cherry-pick a top-of-the-line variety collection.  If the thrill-of-the-hunt is your “thing,” then the search for Peace dollar varieties may be just the avenue you’ve been looking for in numismatics!

Indeed, Peace dollars represent a great opportunity.  Robert Frost, the great American poet, closed one of his most famous poems with these words:

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence.  Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

And so it is with silver dollar collectors.  At some point, every specialist comes to a fork in the road.  In one direction is a sign inscribed “Morgan Dollars.”  In the other is a marker pointing down a path called “Peace Dollars.”  Well, it should come as no surprise that over the years the vast majority of collectors have come to the fork and chosen the road to “Morgan Dollars.”  This book is dedicated to providing the hobbyist all the information he needs to enjoy Peace dollars – the road less traveled.

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