Technically speaking, you can still use $1 coins in America. They’re still legal tender, but good luck getting anyone to accept them as payment! How come? Well, these days, most people use $1 notes and the coins are mostly collectibles. They can range in price from their $1 face value to hundreds of thousands! So let’s establish the true 1923 Silver Dollar value.
1923 Silver Dollar Value Chart
Good (G 4)
Fine (F 12)
Extremely Fine (EF 40)
Uncirculated (MS 60)
Mint State (MS 65)
|1923 ‘P’ No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value||$23||$31||$38||$48||$173|
|1923 S Silver Dollar Value||$23||$31||$41||$58||$6,690|
|1923 D Silver Dollar Value||$23||$31||$41||$81||$1,462|
History of the 1923 Silver Dollar
Dollar coins have been around since 1794, and they come in gold, silver, or base metal. For reference, gold and silver are known as specie metals while copper, tin, zinc, bronze, etc. are defined as base metals. And since the public has never truly taken to dollar coins, the mint stopped making them for circulation in 2011. The government still makes collectibles though.
In the early years, gold dollars were more popular, but after the Gold Rush in California, gold prices came down and the value of silver shot up. Also, those initial gold dollars were on the smaller side – 13 to 15mm, so they were easy to lose. Back then, a dollar was an entire day’s pay! Silver dollars were minted in various designs from 1792 to 1803 and from 1836 to 1855.
Most of these coins were exported since people preferred to use the 8-Reale Spanish Dollar within the US. When the Nevada Comstock Lode mine opened in 1874, surplus production dropped the price of silver. This is partially why the Silver Morgan Dollar appeared in 1878. But it was a bulky coin, so most people traded it for equivalent Silver Certificates at the bank.
The Numismatic Peace Dollar Lobby
People who study and collect coins professionally are called numismatists. And usually, Congress passes a law before coins are redesigned. But Frank Duffield wrote an article in November 1918 for The Numismatist pushing a low mintage victory coin. In 1920, Farran Zerbe wrote a paper for the ANA – American Numismatic Association – echoing this idea.
He suggested the coin should be a silver dollar because America melted close to 300,000 Morgan Dollars and sold them to aid the British war effort at $1 per ounce. So it seemed suitably symbolic. It would also replace the coins melted down during the war. Numismatists joined the conversation and eventually lobbied the government into accepting this new coin.
That first 1921 coin celebrated the end of World War I. It commemorated the peace treaties between Germany, Austria, and the Allied Forces. To choose the best design, the US Mint held a national coin contest, pre-selecting a team of vetted sculptors. The winner, Anthony de Francisci – who mostly went by Antonio – got $1,500. The other sculptors got $100 each.
This silver dollar is more commonly called the Peace Dollar. And since its 100th anniversary in 2021, it’s attracting a lot of interest. Peace Dollars were introduced in 1921 and are still minted to date, though there were decades in between when the mint didn’t make any. The active years for this coin were 1921 to 1928, 1934 to 1935, and a commemorative run in 2021.
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Features of the 1923 Silver Dollar
In technical circles, the heads side of a coin is called the obverse while the tails side is called the reverse. The image on a coin is known as its device while the background is called the field. Words on the coin are defined as legends or mottos. Lady Liberty’s image was based on Antonio’s wife, Teresa de Francisci née Carafelli. Now for some Silver Dollar specs and stats.
The Obverse of the 1923 Silver Dollar
The heads side of the 1923 Silver Dollar has a portrait of Lady Liberty showing her head and neck, with a crown of sunlight. The top has the motto Liberty while the bottom bears the minting year. The legend In God We Trust lies at the sides of her neck with Trust on the right. The letters AF sit just under her neckline to represent Antonio, the coin designer.
Years later, Teresa reminded her brother how fascinated she was with the statue when they first came to the US. She loved to strike that famous pose when she was little. Antonio allows that while he sculpted Teresa, wind came through the window, inspiring the coin’s hairstyle. But he insists the coin’s face is visibly elongated and doesn’t recognizably resemble his wife.
The Reverse of the 1923 Silver Dollar
The tails side of the 1923 Silver Dollar has a bald eagle resting with an olive branch in its claws. The top of the coin says United States of America and just below that, it says E Pluribus Unum. The denomination is spelled out on the sides of the eagle, and the bottom bears the legend Peace. Rays of light appear below the eagle as it perches on a mountaintop.
Initially, the 1923 Silver Dollar was intended to have a broken sword in its design to represent the victory of the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Canada, Japan, and the United States) over the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire). Accordingly, Antonio submitted two reverse designs.
One had the eagle holding a branch, the other had the eagle with a broken sword. Mint Director Raymond T. Baker asked to have the designs merged. But the public disagreed, so after the furor in the media, the Mint’s Chief Engraver George Morgan took the sword out. His edits were so carefully done that nobody knew about them until 85 years after the fact!
Other Features of the 1923 Silver Dollar
1923 Silver Dollars contain 0.77344 troy ounces of silver. Because this is only 90% of the coin, it doesn’t count as sterling silver, which must have at least 92.5% silver. This silver dollar weighs 26.73g, is 2.4mm thick, and has a diameter of 38.1mm (1.5”). The edge has distinctive reeding and the coin has a raised collar as well. It was minted in all three mints:
- Denver – D Mint Mark – 6, 811,000
- San Francisco – S Mint Mark – 19 020,000
- Philadelphia – No Mint Mark – 30 800,000
The first Peace Dollar had high-relief designs, but they damaged the dies too quickly so Antonio and George worked to slim down the devices. Also, ‘In God We Trust’ is stylized using Roman lettering, where U and V are both represented by V. V is also the symbol for ‘five’. The font was intentional, and lots of people interpreted it as a representation of victory.
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1923 Silver Dollar Value Guide
The 1923 Silver Dollar comes in three varieties based on where it was minted. And they’re easily available in high grades. Let’s glance at each coin category to see what they’re worth.
1923 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
Before 1980, coins from the Philadelphia Mint didn’t have any mint marks. It was the only US Mint at the time, so they only needed to add the D, S, CC, or O after other branches of the Mint had been established. But war coins from 1942 to 1945 did have the P mint mark. So any 1923 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar is among the 30,800,000 coins made in Philadelphia.
On average, a 1923 ‘P’ (No Mint Mark) Silver Dollar is worth $15 based on its melt value. Silver costs $0.62 per gram, or $19.18 per ounce (October 2022). Since the coin is 90% silver and weighs 26.73g, that’s just under 0.8 troy ounces. For collectible value, a 1923 S Silver Dollar in VF is $35 and $160 in MS 65. A 1923 ‘P’ Silver Dollar in MS 67 went for $15,000+.
1923 S Silver Dollar Value
Denver coins are often said to have lower quality than other mints. And because San Francisco is a hub for proof coins and special sets, collectors psychologically assume their value is higher. It’s why 1923 S Silver Dollars are sometimes more expensive even though their mintage is higher than 1923 Denver Dollars. The San Francisco mint made 19,020,000.
As with other 1923 Silver Dollar values, a typical coin goes for $15 based on its melted price. You’d pay $35 for a coin graded VF, while MS 60 will get you around $50. But if you find a premium specimen in MS 65 or higher, you can resell it for about $2,000 give or take $200. Some collectors specifically seek them, and a 1923 S Silver Dollar in MS 66 sold for $30,000.
1923 D Silver Dollar Value
When the Peace Dollar reappeared in 2021, the listed price was $85 and the first 75,000 coins were sold within 24 hours! Today, most people use them for silver stacking, and even in the 20s, few of the dollars made it into circulation except for the casinos and slot machines out west. They were largely minted in Denver to keep them close to their biggest customers.
That said, 1923 D Silver Dollars had the lowest mintage of the three mints that year. They only made 6,811,000 so D Peace Dollars typically fetch a higher price in the resale space. It’s easy to find one in MS 60, and that nets you about $95. For MS 65 and above, you can expect to get at least $1,000 or even $1,200. One 1923 D Silver Dollar in MS 67 sold for $76,000+.
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1923 Silver Dollar Errors
Errors can raise the value of a coin from a few cents to thousands of dollars, and some of these minting mistakes are more profitable than others, the grade matters too. Common categories include die errors – when the die is in the wrong position – and striking errors, where something gets stamped onto the coin by mistake. It could be a piece of fabric or tape.
Coins are minted on blank metal discs called planchets. The design is stamped onto the coin by pressing it on the die. Two dies are used – one for the obverse and one for the reverse. The dies themselves are steel plates, and you use a hub to strike the die steel several times. If the die moves between strikes, that creates errors like a double-die, triple-die, or quadruple-die.
1923 Silver Dollar DDR Error
DDR means Double Die Reverse. This could mean the die shifted during hubbing, or maybe the planchet itself moved while it was being minted. The doubling is clearest on the leaves of the olive branch, the eagle’s head, and the eagle’s feathers, particularly at the legs and tail. Check the obverse with a loupe too. This coin in MS 62 with no mint mark was sold for $75.
1923 Silver Dollar DDO Error
In case you’re unfamiliar, a loupe is that little microscope that jewelers, antique dealers, and numismatists use. And it can help you spot the DDO on this coin – Double Doe Obverse. You may see doubling on the radiate crown (that’s the rays of sunlight forming a tiara on her head), and the B in the word Liberty. In MS 63, this DDO coin once sold for about $125.
1923 Silver Dollar Planchet Lamination Obverse Error
Lamination errors happen when the planchet cracks or breaks its surface during minting. It creates a sort of flaking effect, like part of the coin wants to peel off, and it’s quite common. A coin with an obverse lamination error can get a decent price even in low grades with poor visual condition. One example of a 1923 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar in AU50 sold for $100.
1923 Silver Dollar Whisker Cheek or Whisker Jaw Error
As dies get older, they develop knicks and cracks that they might transfer onto the coin. And the Whisker Cheek error is instantly recognizable, but not all that valuable. It appears as a gash down Lady Liberty’s face, usually at her cheek or closer to her jawline, depending on where the die crack is. A sample with a distinct cheek whisker in AU 50 was sold for $90.
1923 Silver Dollar Extra Hair Error
As we said before, to get that windswept look in Lady Liberty’s hairdo, Antonio opened the window so Teresa’s hair would flutter in the breeze. It draws attention to her wispy locks, so always check the hair on 1923 coins. If you find an extra hair error with a few additional strands, you could resell that silver dollar for $100 to $400 depending on the coin’s grade.
1923 Silver Dollar Tail on ‘O’ in ‘DOLLAR’ Error
With die errors, hundreds or even thousands of flawed coins could be released before anyone noticed. And vast batches of coins with the same error are called varieties. VAM (Leroy C. Van Allen + A. George Mallis) studied Morgan and Peace dollar dies to collate every variety, date, and mint mark. A VAM tail error sells for anywhere from $150 to $1,500 in mint state.
1923 Silver Dollar Broken Wing Error
Look at the feathers on the reverse of your 1923 Silver Dollar. It’s a good spot to identify doubling. The wings may have issues as well. The broken wing error shows cracks and notches at various spots on the wings, probably from deteriorating dies. Coins with a broken wing error can sell from $300 in AU 55. That price triples to $1,000 for a coin graded MS 63.
1923 Silver Dollar 75° Rotated Reverse Error
American coins are minted in a head-to-tail orientation. This ensures the device stays upright if you flip the coin sideways (as opposed to being upside down). But if the planchet shifts, the sides won’t match. These kinds of rotation errors are marked by the degree of the shift, and the more drastic, the better the price. In 2013, a 75° distortion in MS 61 got $765.
FAQs About the 1923 Silver Dollar
What makes the 1923 Silver Dollar Valuable?
All Peace Dollar years are valuable due to their low mintage and the controversy at launch. They’re fairly common now, but before 1947, most of these 1923 coins were hoarded for bullion. So whenever one of the then-rare coins became available for sale, they were pricy! The valuation stuck so even today, people pay more for 1923 Silver Dollars than other years.
Is a 1923 Silver Dollar Rare?
Not really. Over 56.6M were minted so they’re fairly easy to find. The lowest mintage was the 1923 S Silver Dollar since only about 6.8M came from the San Francisco Mint. But all that pre-1947 silver stacking made people believe these coins were scarce. In 1945, the 1923 Silver Dollar was touted as the rarest collectible coin in the market. And some people still think so!
Where is the Mint Mark on a 1923 Silver Dollar?
It appears on the lower left reverse, between the ‘ONE’ and the eagle’s tail. But that’s only for San Francisco and Denver. 1923 Silver Dollars from the Philadelphia Mint don’t have any.
Why did Antonio de Francisci put his wife on the Peace Dollar?
Antonio had a certain profile in mind for Lady Liberty, but the contest was on such short notice that he didn’t have time to hire the model he wanted. Teresa jumped at the chance!