Back in 2019, I wrote an article about a Congressional Act to produce silver dollars in 2021 to commemorate the centennials of the last year of the Morgan Dollar and the first year of the Peace Dollar. With what had gone on since then, it didn’t seem like this would happen. On January 5, 2021, it became a reality.
Early US Silver Dollars
When the United States Mint started in 1792, it would produce a number of denominations in 89.2% silver including half dimes (the original five cent coin), dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. Unlike other silver coins, the dollar would not be released as often.
Silver Dollars were minted between 1794 – 1804, though the coins minted in 1804 had the date 1803. They wouldn’t be minted again until 1834 when a collection containing each US proof coin was sent as part of a diplomatic mission to Asia. The date on the silver dollar was 1804 as that was the last year they were made. Supposedly, there were some more 1804 Dollars in the 1850s.
30 years after stopping production of the silver dollar, the mint released the Gobrecht Dollar, the first to be minted with 90% silver. This coin was released from 1836 to 1839, but not many would see this dollar since there were less than 2,000 minted.
The late 1830s would see the beginning of the Seated Liberty coins. In fact, the obverse of the Gobrecht Dollar had the seated liberty design. To most, the Seated Liberty Dollar began in 1840 and would be minted until 1873.
With the Panic of 1873, a depression would occur for the next few years. As a result, the silver dollar was once again stopped being produced, for the United States. The mint started minting dollars to improve relations with the Orient, which would become known as the Trade Dollar. The Trade Dollar lasted until 1885, but only proof coins were minted after 1878.
By 1878, the mint was able to mint US Silver Dollars again. Instead of going back to the Seated Liberty design, they went for one presented by the Assistant Engraver of the US Mint, George T. Morgan. Using him design, it became known as the Morgan Dollar. The Morgan Dollar would be produced at every existing mint branch at the time: Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carson City. It would be minted from 1878 to 1904, when the government went through a depletion of silver. A new silver dollar would be introduced in 1921, but wouldn’t be available until December. So, the mint released Morgan Dollars that year in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
Peace Dollars would become the last circulating silver dollars minted in the United States. This dollar would be minted from 1921 to 1928. Production stopped for one year, but as the Great Depression began in 1929, it was stopped altogether. Peace Dollars were minted again in 1934 and 1935. They were considered being minted in 1936, but it didn’t happen. In 1964, there was thought of minting 45,000,000 Peace Dollars. In fact, 364,000 were minted in Denver, but with silver being dropped from US coins in 1965 (except for 40% silver Kennedy Half Dollars), the Peace Dollars were melted and never made it to circulation. There was fear that since coins were going from silver to clad, people would have hoarded the Peace Dollars instead of spending them, and who would had blamed them. Rumors of a few 1964-D Peace Dollars making it out of the mint have occurred, but none have been seen as of today.
2021 Commemorative Dollars
The 1921 Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Act, H.R. 3757, was introduced to the US House of Representatives on July 15, 2019, but didn’t go any further.
On March 11, 2020, The 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary, H.R. 6192, would bring the idea back to the House. This time, the House passed it on September 22, 2020, bringing it to the Senate. The Senate passed this on December 17, 2020, and would go to the President on December 24th. On January 5, 2021, President Donald Trump signed this into law and became Public Law No: 116-286. Hooray! It passed!
The 1921 Morgan and Peace Dollars were minted with 90% silver and 10% copper. The 2021 dollars will be 99.9% silver like many commemoratives.
The 2021 Morgan Dollar will be minted at Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco, just like the ones in 1921. There will also be no mint mark on the Philadelphia Dollars. As Morgan Dollar were previously minted in New Orleans and Carson City, some of the 2021 Morgan Dollars will have “O” or “CC” privy marks.
The 2021 Peace Dollar will only be minted in Philadelphia like the 1921 Peace Dollar and will also have no mint mark.
I looked at the US Mint website on February 10, 2021, and did not see anything on when these coins will be released or how many will be minted. When I find out when they will be released, I’ll add an update.
At Least The Mint Is Doing It Right This Time
Remember back in 2016 when the US Mint minted three coins for the centennial of the coins that were released after the Barber Coins, the Mercury Dime, the Standing Liberty Quarter, and the Walking Liberty Half. I was hoping they would have released them in silver, but they ended up minting all three coins in gold. The gold Mercury Dimes were successful as they were sold quickly, but the Standing Liberty Quarter and Walking Liberty Half Dollar were not so lucky. I don’t think either one sold out. At least the 2021 Dollars will be…silver.
Are You Ready For The 2021 Dollars?
I know I’m ready for this. I don’t know how much they will cost, but I think many coin collectors will buy them. This will probably be the only year they will be released. In my mind this will take the place of the West Point Quarters that were released in 2019, and 2020, as they won’t be minted in 2021. How about you? Will you buy these commemorative coins?