More Peace dollars from the holdings of Raymond T. Baker, U.S. Mint director 1917-1922, will go on the market during the Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction at the American Numismatic Association convention in August.
The auction firm says a group of five unusual Peace dollars will be up for bids. There are patterns, a unique Specimen, and a pair of coins from the early hub style trials for the regular issue 1922 Low Relief.
The five coins include a High Relief 1921, which has been graded Specimen-64 by the Professional Coin Grading Service. It is a unique Specimen that was sandblasted and antiqued specifically to submit to Baker for comparison to a similarly treated 1922 High Relief, according to Stack’s Bowers.
The 1922 was sold in June in a Goldberg sale.
The second and third coins of the five are extremely rare pattern coins for a proposed Modified High Relief design, identified as Judd-2020. One is a Satin Proof, graded PCGS Proof-67, which is unique, while the other is the final coin struck from the trial dies. It was saved, numbered by hand on the coin “3200” as the 3200th coin struck before the dies failed, and presented to the Mint director. It is graded MS-65 by PCGS. It is also a unique piece as a specifically documented trial, though at least two other coins are known from this die pair. One is a matte proof last sold in 1985 by Bowers and Merena in the Four Memorable Collections Sale. The other is a worn example plated in the Judd reference. Both of these important patterns are also mentioned in Mint documents.
The final two coins, both graded PCGS MS-67, are from the initial large-scale trial run from dies prepared with the new low relief hubs for 1922. At least hundreds of thousands of these coins were struck before these samples were sent to the Mint director for his examination and approval.
Approval was given. On Feb. 14, 1922, direction was given for the trial coins to be circulated. The hubs in use at Philadelphia were changed, however, and early hub style coins are much rarer than those of the second hub style. This gives collectors a new piece to search for, and will likely result in a change to the Red Book listings for the 1922 Peace dollar to reflect the difference between these dies.
The easiest way to determine the difference is in the connection of the olive branch on the reverse to the eagle’s talon. The early hub style coins have the branch disconnected, while on the later style it is connected.
As far as Stack’s Bowers is aware, this is the first public offering of such pieces with proper identification and description.
Stack’s Bowers notes that two additional pieces made news when they were sold in the Goldberg’s sale of June 2014. These also came from the Baker Estate, and were important for sorting out the mysteries of the entire group. Having the opportunity to consider all seven coins and their annotated original envelopes was very interesting. Study and consideration of the detailed story of the Peace dollar’s development in 1921 and 1922, as presented in Roger Burdette’s Renaissance of American Coinage, 1916-1921, completed the picture and brought new understanding to the process and to these rarities that have now come to light.
Stack’s Bowers will also be selling paper money in its auction. One highlight will be the inaugural set of 1896 $1, $2 and $5 Educational Series Sheets, each with serial numbers 1 through 4, will be offered to the collecting public. Each sheet is graded and encapsulated About Uncirculated 55 by PMG.
For more information, visit www.stacksbowers.com.