Skip to main content

America's 'flapper' dollar

Do you know which U.S. coin was called the "flapper" dollar? It was the coin now known as the Peace dollar for its "PEACE" declaration at the bottom of its reverse—in reference to the end of World War I.


In early 1922, when the Peace dollar (first minted with a 1921 date) was introduced into circulation, not everyone was impressed the Anthony de Francisci's design. It wasn't because he used his wife, Theresa, as a general model for Liberty on the coin's obverse. Few would know this until much later. In fact, she's not a bad looking Liberty.

No, it was the Wall Street Journal that took exception to the design, terming it a "flapper" dollar.

"If words were issued from her lips they would hardly take the more elegant languor of 'Line's bizzay!" the Journal wrote. "They would more probably be, 'Say, lissen!'"


The paper called for the coin's redesign, suggesting that it be withdrawn from circulation and a new design commissioned through a nationwide competition. It lamented that the design was no better than a magazine cover.

Despite this criticism, the Peace dollar continued to be coined until 1935, long after the last flapper donned her "glad rags" for a night out.

Today common dates of the "flapper" dollar can easily be found less than $20 in circulated grades.