2021 Smithsonian Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proofs Now Available
In 1919, the world finally came to peace with the end of World War I. In celebration, the U.S. Mint struck a new Silver Dollar in 1921—the Peace Silver Dollar, designed by Italian-born American artist Anthony de Francisci. But the coin collectors know today was not what the artist originally envisioned!
Now, for the Peace Dollar’s 100th anniversary, the Smithsonian® has authorized a limited release of officially licensed Gold and Silver Peace Dollar Reverse Proofs featuring de Francisci’s original obverse and alternate reverse design!
Who Was Anthony de Francisci?
Born July 13, 1887 in Palmero, the capital of Sicily, Anthony de Francisci moved with his family to the United States when he was eight years old. A sculptor and engraver, he spent time studying under other numismatic legends like James Earle Fraser (designer of the Buffalo Nickel), Hermon MacNeil (Standing Liberty Quarter) and Adolph Weinman (Mercury Dime, Walking Liberty Half Dollar).
In addition to his work on the 1921 Peace Dollar, de Francisci designed the World War II Honorable Service Lapel Button, the Inaugural Medal for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair and the Lincoln medal in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.
His time at the U.S. Mint began in 1920, converting existing drawings into models. With little creative input, de Francisci felt stifled… but he was soon given the opportunity to add his name into the history books alongside those of his mentors.
The Competition for the New Peace Dollar
In 1921, the United States Commission of Fine Arts staged a competition. The winning design would officially replace George T. Morgan’s design as the new face of the U.S. Silver Dollar. Eight sculptors were invited to participate, including de Francisci. At 34 years of age, he was the youngest participant—and he was up against two of his former teachers, MacNeil and Weinman. But he was hungry, and went above and beyond in creating not just one, but a pair of reverse designs, as well as a single stunning Liberty obverse. Perhaps in part due to this show of initiative, de Francisci was chosen unanimously as the designer for the Peace Silver Dollar.
De Francisci’s Original Designs
De Francisci’s obverse submission is very similar to what we know today—a bold profile of Lady Liberty, modeled after the artist’s wife. But if you look closely, you’ll notice some significant differences. To start, de Francisci originally used Roman rather than Arabic numerals for the date. More subtle differences on the original design include a closed mouth and a slightly larger chin and nose.
For the reverse, de Francisci offered up two choices. One features an early version of the reverse we’ve come to know and love—a proud eagle perched on a rock, and olive branch clutched in its talons. The second reverse design presents a far bolder image—a fierce bald eagle grasping a sword (representing Germany and its allies), bending and breaking its tip with its beak.
Interestingly, the judges originally had de Francisci combine his designs, adding in a broken sword to the perched eagle reverse. The eagle’s head and shoulders were also modified to be more erect, and the word “PEACE” was added to the rock. But when an image of this combined design was released, the result was public outcry! The broken sword was harshly panned, as it is often seen as a sign of defeat and disgrace rather than victory.
Perhaps the public would have responded differently had de Francisci’s original vision been shown, with the bald eagle forcibly breaking the sword—a clear show of strength rather than defeat. In the end, though, the sword element was removed, and the world received its Peace Silver Dollar.
But what of the other original reverse? What of Anthony de Francisci’s original vision?
2021 Smithsonian Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proofs
Officially authorized and licensed by the Smithsonian, you can now own de Francisci’s original bold vision for the Peace Silver Dollar, featuring his original obverse and the fierce reverse displaying an eagle breaking the sword of war. Additions include the Smithsonian sunburst and 2021 date and a change in denomination from “ONE DOLLAR” to “PEACE DOLLAR.”
Meticulously recreated from sketches and newspaper clippings among the papers of Anthony de Francisci at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, these commemoratives take de Francisci’s design further than even he could have imagined, striking them in double-sided Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof Condition! Struck under incredible pressure using a double-thick Piedfort planchet, the shimmering designs rise high over concave, frosty fields for an outstanding level of dramatic contrast.
These historic limited-edition reverse proofs have struck in three different weights: two ounces of 99.9% fine silver, 10 ounces of 99.9% fine silver or one ounce of 99.9% pure gold.
Graded Flawless and First Day of Issue with Exclusive Label
For a release of this magnitude, only the best will do! You can secure each of these commemoratives certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), one of the world’s leading third-party grading services, as perfect Proof-70 (PF70) condition—flawless even under magnification.
In addition, your proofs will arrive certified by NGC as First Day of Issue (FDI), meaning they were received by NGC for grading and certification within 24 hours of the mintages’ initial release.
Upon grading and certification, each proof is sealed in a protective display holder to preserve its flawless condition, with their grade and designation displayed on the all-new, exclusive Anthony de Francisci NGC certified label.
World Exclusive Limited Release
We are honored to be the exclusive distributor selected by the Smithsonian to bring you this stunning Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof production of Anthony de Francisci’s incredible, unrealized Peace Dollar design. However, mintages for this release are extremely limited. Just 1,921 two-ounce silver proofs, 499 10-ounce silver proofs and just 299 one-ounce gold proofs have been authorized. Even fewer are available certified by NGC as flawless Proof-70 as well as FDI, sealed with the exclusive de Francisci NGC certified label.
There’s no telling when or if this historic design will be available again. Don’t miss out—secure your 2021 Smithsonian Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proofs now!
2021 Smithsonian One-Ounce Gold Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proof
2021 Smithsonian 10-Ounce Silver Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proof
2021 Smithsonian Two-Ounce Silver Peace Dollar 100th Anniversary Reverse Proof
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