Silver Dollar Blog - Who designed the Peace Dollar?

Jun 21, 2012

Who designed the Peace Dollar? Anthony de Francisci

Image: Wikimedia

Anthony de Francisci was Italian-American sculptor who designed many United States coins and medals. But the one i want to talk about today and the one he is most famous for is the Peace Dollar which was minted in 1921.

On November 23rd, 1921 the Fine Arts Commission had a contest where they invited eight leading sculptors to submit their design for the Peace Dollar. Anthony de Francisci the youngest and a novice to boot won the competition along with $1500.00 cash. Do you think that was a boast for his career? Um yeah!

Francisci used his wife as a model for the liberty head. When asked he said it wasn't a photograph of his wife Mrs. de Francisci but a composite face that typified something of America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One interesting thing to note about the reverse side of the Peace Dollar. At first Francisci had the Eagle holding a broken sword that was suppose to represent disarmament. But folks believed it might appear to represent disgrace and dishonor for the United States rather than symbolizing peace. So the mint artists traded in the broken sword for the conventional olive branch. This was the first of a lot of small changes that were made to his original design. 

Now the contest was on November 23rd, 1921 the winner announced on December 19th, 1921 hmmm are you noticing the dates here. The winner was announced on December 19th that doesn't leave much time to have a minted 1921 Peace Dollar, but they do it! 

George T. Morgan was Engraver at the mint and once again is  faced with the same circumstances as in 1878.  Under pressure to perfect and produce the silver dollar. Of course with only two weeks to prepare the dies and get everything ready for striking perfection might not have happened on the first strikings. A total of 1,006,473 were struck before the end of the year. 

Anthony de Francisci July 13, 1887 i– August 20, 1964



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