DE Ward

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1922 High Relief Matte Proof Peace Dollars

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DEWard

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1922 High Relief Matte Proof Peace Dollars

Known Examples (DW2020)

1) Matte PR66, type 2, NGC, 912198-009. Heritage Numismatics private sale to the author, April 2000. Zerbe specimen, also known as the RARCOA specimen. Picture attached.

2) Matte PR66, type 1, NGC, 1634739-001. Heritage Numismatic auction, April 2002, lot 4354, $51,750. Norweb specimen.

3) Matte PR65, type 1, NGC, 1274863-003. Pinnacle Rarities private sale to the author, November 2000. Rhodes-Mormon-Breen specimen. Picture attached.

4) Matte PR67, type 1, NGC, 1727946-051. Heritage Numismatics auction, January 2014, lot 5347, $329,000. Philladelphia Estate specimen.

5) Matte PR66, type 1, NGC, 1274863-002. Heritage Numismatics auction, May 2009, lot 2658, $161,000. Lester Menkin specimen.

6) Matte PR65, type 1, NGC, 1716846-003. Goldberg auction, January 2004, lot 2841, $86,250. Wayte Raymond specimen.

7) Matte, grade unknown, type 1, Impaired. Florida United Numismatists auction, January 1973, lot 789, $9000. Todd Impaired specimen.

8) Matte PR64, type 1, PCGS, 83411977. Heritage Numismatics auction, April 2017, lot 4193, $158,625. Lindsmith Specimen.

9) Matte PR25, type unknown, circulated, PCGS, 02423037. Heritage Numismatics auction, April 2002, lot 6536, $10,638. Houston specimen.

10) Matte PR67, type 1, PCGS, 29547405. Goldberg Coins auction, June 2014, lot 1344, $458,250. Raymond T. Baker Specimen. 

11) Matte PR61, type 1, NGC, 2049291-001, Impaired. Heritage Numismatics auction, January 2014, lot 4211, $99,875. Unknown history. Pawn Stars Impaired specimen.

12) Matte PR66, type 1, PCGS, 25229755. The Rarities Auction, Stacks & Bowers, May 2015, lot 48, unsold. Unknown History Specimen.

Auction History by Specimen (DW2020)

1. Zerbe Specimen, Matte PR66, NGC 912198-009

         1970, August, American Numismatics Association Convention Sale, lot 1604, Sold for $14,000

         1984, July, Rarcoa, Auction ‘84, lot 1793, Sold for $39,600

         1986, January, Mid-American Rare Coin Auctions, Florida United Numismatics Convention Sale, lot 354, Sold for $26,000

         1988, July, Superior Galleries, Auction ’88, Public Auction Apostrophe Sale, lot 273, Sold for $50,600

         1998, November, Bowers & Merena Auction, lot 540, Unsold

         2000, Superior Stamp & Coin, ANA National Money Show Auction, lot 575, Sold for $71,875

Commentary

         This specimen and the ones appearing in the RARCOA's section of Auction '84, July 1984, Lot 1793, Florida United Numismatists Convention Sale, Mid-American Rare Coin Auctions, January 3-4, 1986, Lot 354 and the Public Auction “Apostrophe” Sale, Auction '88, Superior Galleries' section, Lot 273, known as the “RARCOA Specimen”, are the same coin. A characteristic toning spot is in the obverse field between the “L” and Liberty’s forehead. A characteristic double toning streak is below the “T” in TRVST. (DW2013)

         This coin is the “Zerbe Specimen”, pictured in the American Numismatic Association Convention Sale, 1970, Lot 1604. All appear to have the characteristic toning streak below the “T” in TRVST. They also appear to share the three straight toning streaks on the obverse between the “R” and “T” in LIBERTY. The plating variation above liberty’s hair and below the “R” in LIBERY is similar. On the reverse, they all appear to have the toning spots below and to the right of the “E” in “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. However, several distinct toning spots are apparently absent, but could have occurred between 1970 and 1986. 

         The general toning patterns are similar on all these coins, but appear to become more pronounced with age. Conversely, plating variation also becomes more pronounces with age, as seen surrounding the date, TRVST, tiara rays and top of liberty’s hair.  (DW2014)

         The Zerbe Specimen is the only 1922 high relief Peace dollar identified in this roster with the Type 2 matte proof finish as described by Q. David Bowers in his book Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia, 1993: “Two types of finish were employed: Type 1) Dull, porous gray surface similar to Sandblast Proofs of the era. Most 1922 High Relief Proofs were made with this type of finish. Type 2) Special silvered Matte Proof finish. 1 to 2 1922 High Relief Proofs are of this type. Walter H. Breen sought to determine the process by which this finish was applied, "but could never get an explanation." “The surfaces of high-grade Proofs are bright silver, with any breaks in the surface showing as dark areas of toning (not surface spots or oxidation, as might be first thought). This same proofing process was used by the Mint for certain early twentieth-century silver medals, and by the private firm of Whitehead & Hoag, among others. Commentary: This is the rarest of all major Peace silver dollar varieties.” California Numismatist and official ANA Historian, Farran Zerbe, helped initiated the effort to mint the Peace Dollar in 1920. At the Chicago ANA Convention in August, he presented a paper titled “Commemorate the Peace with a Coin for Circulation”.1 It is interesting to consider the possibility that this coin, with its unique ‘silver-glazed’ finish, was made especially for Farran Zerbe and presented to him in 1922 by the Chief Engraver of the Mint, George T. Morgan, in appreciation of his original efforts.

 1 Walter Breen, “The 1922 Type of 1921 Peace Dollar,” The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, July 1961, p. 1723.2. 

2. Mehl-Norweb Specimen, Matte PR66, NGC 1634739-001

         1988, November, Bowers & Merena, Norweb Collection Sale, lot 3931, Sold for $46,200

         2002, April, Heritage Auctions, Signature Sale, lot 4354, Sold for $51,750

3. Rhodes-Moorman-Breen Specimen, Matte PR65 NGC 1274863-003

         1959, April, Donald L. Rhodes Auction, California State Numismatics Association Convention, lot 945, Sold for $3,100

         1986, October, Stack’s Public Auction, R.W. Barker Collection, lot 113,  Sold for $35,200

Commentary(DW2014)

         This specimen and the one appearing in Stack's Public Coin Auction, October 22 & 23, 1986, Lot 113  are the same coin. Characteristic toning spots are seen in the obverse field near the rim at 9 o’clock, and the reverse rim below the “A” at 3 o’clock. (DW2013)

         It is very likely the coin pictured in Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, July 1961, p. 1722 and Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, 1722-1989, 1989 p. 220, and known as the “Breen Plate Coin”. All apprear to have the reverse toning spot at the rim below the “A” at 3 o’clock. They also appear to share the same toning where the obverse field meets Liberty’s forehead. However, the NSM and Breen Plate Coin both lack the toning spot in the obverse field near the rim at 9 o’clock. This toning spot may have occurred between 1977, the first publication of the Breen Encyclopedia, and the 1986 Stack’s Auction. It would be helpful to know it’s ownership between Breen and Barker. 

         It is not the same coin pictured in the American Numismatic Association Convention Sale, 1970, Lot 1604, which is actually the Zerbe Specimen (#1 in this roster). Nor is it the same coin pictured in Don Taxay's U.S. Mint and Coinage, Arco Publishing Co., 1966, p. 357, which is actually the Lester Merkin Specimen (#5 in this roster). (DW2014)

4. Philadelphia Estate Specimen, Matte PR67, NGC 1727946-051

         1985, July, Paramount International Coin Corporation, Auction ‘85, lot  1277, Sold for $37,400

         1990, October, Superior Galleries Sale, lot 3835, Sold for $56,100

         2003, July, Heritage Auctions, lot 9054, Unsold

         2014, January, Heritage Auctions, FUN Platinum Night Auction Sale, lot 5347, Sold for $329,000

5. Lester Merkin Specimen, Matte PR66, NGC 1274863-002

         1994, November, Stack’s Auction, The Estate of Lester Merkin Sale Auction, lot 1004, Sold for $55,000

         2006, April, Heritage Auctions, lot 1240, Sold for $126,500

         2009, May, Heritage Auctions, lot 2658, Sold for $161,000

6. Wayte Raymond Specimen, Matte PR65, NGC 1716846-003

         1991, November, Bowers & Merena, The Frontenac Sale, lot 2249, Unsold

         1999, August, Bowers & Merena, The Rarities Sale, lot 300, Unsold

         2004, January, Goldberg Auctions, lot 2841, $86,250 later listed as unsold

7. Todd Impaired Specimen, Matte Proof-no grade

         1973, January, Rarcoa, Florida United Numismatics Convention Sale, lot 789, Sold for $9,000

8. Lindesmith Specimen, Matte PR64, PCGS 83411977

         2000, March, Bowers & Merena Auction, lot 2217, Sold for $36,800

         2001, March, Superior Stamp & Coin, ANA National Money Show Auction, lot 407, Unsold

         2017, April, Heritage Auctions, lot 4193, Sold for $158,625

9. Houston Specimen, Matte PR25, PCGS 02423037

         2002, April, Heritage Auctions, Signature Sale, lot 6536, Sold for $10,638

10. Raymond T. Baker Specimen, Matte PR67, PCGS 29547405

         2014, June, Goldberg Auctions, Sale 80, Session 3, lot 1344, Sold for $458,250

11. Pawn Stars Impaired Specimen, Matte PR61, NGC 2049291-001

         2014, January, Heritage Auctions, FUN Platinum Night Auction Sale, lot 4211, Sold for $99,875

12. Unknown History Specimen (12), Matte PR66, PCGS 25229755

         2015, January, Goldberg Auctions, The Pre-Long Beach Auction, lot 1690, Unsold

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Interesting bit of research! Looks like you own one of these and it makes you the holder of the #1 ranked 1921-1922 Peace Dollar Proof Set. Congrats on that! From the above, it sounds like you paid a hell of a price for it.

Your Peace Dollar set is also very impressive and the fact that it doesn't even break into the top 10 shows just how competitive / hard to compete in that category is.

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Hi Revenant,

Thanks for reading my journal entry! It took some doing to put this information together and I think the auction data is complete. There are additional pedigree details that I didn't include and those are more difficult to come by.

I bought these coins back in 2000 when values weren't nearly as high. Since then several more matte proofs have surfaced and their popularity has grown. I liked peace dollars for their historical significance, but was really attracted to them artistically. They seem to fit well into the Art Deco style of the 1920's. I started collecting them as a kid, but got side tracted when my coins were stollen. Glad I was able to pick collecting up again later.

Anyway, I hope others are drawn to them as I was and find this journal interesting.

Cheers!

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Breen, Mehl, Merkin, Zerbe, Norweb, Raymond,  - it's a Who's Who of numismatists! Although I don't see Green, Eliasberg, or Garrett on the list, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that one or more of these coins had passed through their illustrious fingers, as well.

Nice bit of research Well done! (thumbsu

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As a collector of world coins I am familiar with Peace Dollars but not the proofs, and therefore your Journal Entry was extremely interesting as it contains much valuable information to collectors - many thanks!

I find that the TPG certificate numbers are great for keeping track of individual coins unfortunately most world coins are still in a raw state and collectors are thus reliant on quality pictures (usually lacking xD). More world coins do some to be making their way into TPG holders though which does make the process easier.

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Nice, a wealth of information and great pictures of my favorite series of coins.  Thanks for all your research, I really enjoyed poring through it. 

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