Silver Dollar Blog Posts - June 2012
Who designed the Peace Dollar? Anthony de Francisci
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
I was taking the other day about purchasing a Harris 2.x3 Morgan holder. Sometimes you want to keep your Morgan on display, but don't just want them sitting in the change bowl on the kitchen counter! There are a lot better ways to store your Morgan's then in a bowl with a bunch of other coins, but maybe you don't want to tuck them away in a safe you want to actually enjoy them and see them. Share them with friends and family who come over or just for your own pure enjoyment.
Whitman Harris is a a good name and they put out a good album to store your Morgan dollars in. They have 2 albums for the entire series. The first album cover the years 1878-1891Morgan dollar and the second album is for the 1892-1921 Morgan dollar.
Taking the time to collect silver dollars can be a lifetime of enjoyment. Taking the time to search for different years as well as different mints. They were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carson City as well. Carson City has a lot of gaps through out the years where they didn't mint the Morgan, but that is what makes collecting so much fun. It's not just about collecting the coin it's about learning the history behind it as well!
This is a short video, but kind of a fun video to watch. Quality Silver Bullion does a great job explaining in one minutes thirty seconds how silver coins and rounds are created.!
I am not sure what year this video was taken, but really not much has changed since they first started minted coins. Of course the machine and tools might have changed, but the process not so much. You still start with silver and melt it down until you have ingots. Those ingots are then rolled to the perfect thickness and punched out to make blanks. These blanks can also be referred to as planchets. The planchets look exactly like a silver coin, but with no markings or raised edges yet.
Next they are heated and allowed to cool slowly this will toughen and remove and internal stresses within the planchet. This process is called annealed, once they are annealed, cleaned and polished they're considered money. Yet a few more steps are needed until you have a completed U.S. minted coin. First you have to raise the edges around the coin then comes the die once the coin is struck you have your self a brand new coin.
This is an exact science... There are many steps along the way when the coin is weighed to make sure they all come out exactly the same weight and size.
Hope you enjoyed the video!