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Amazingly Rare Gem Matte Proof 1922 Peace Dollar Headlines Our May 2015 New York City Rarities Sale Fewer Than A Dozen Traced

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins. Based on the lot description by Jeff Ambio, Vice President of Numismatics and Auction Production

Author: Frank Van Valen & Jeff Ambio / Wednesday, April 22, 2015 / Categories: United States Coin of the Week

A spectacular PCGS-certified 1922 Matte Proof-66 Peace dollar, one of fewer than a dozen traced with any certainty, will be among the many highlights in our May 20, 2015, Rarities Sale, to be held in conjunction with our offering of Part I of the D. Brent Pogue Collection in New York City.

Peace dollars came about through legislation after World War I that allowed the coinage of silver dollars to replace the silver used up by the war effort. It wasn’t until 1921, however, that the price of silver was attractive enough to the Mint to begin striking the new Peace silver dollars. Peace dollar Proofs of 1921 and 1922 were struck with great care – and in limited numbers – at the Mint. Indeed, numismatist and author Roger Burdette called Proofs like the offered coin: “The best rendition of the Peace dollar to leave the Mint," high praise indeed.

Our cataloger, Jeff Ambio, a well-regarded specialist in the Peace dollar series, noted the following about this rarity: “All Proof 1922 high relief Peace dollars were produced in the same manner, struck multiple times on the Mint's medal press to bring up even the most intricate elements of the design. Once struck the coins were sandblasted in the Mint, this type of finish being popular at the time in production of high quality medallic and coinage works of art. These coins are often referred to as ‘Matte Proofs,’ or being of a ‘matte finish,’ although they are more accurately described as Sand Blast Proofs in keeping with the method of manufacture.”

Production technicalities aside, the Gem Matte Proof 1922 Peace dollar offered in our Rarities Sale is one of just 11 examples of the date traced by Jeff Ambio, and it ranks among the very finest of that small group for grade and eye appeal. No Peace dollar collection can claim completeness without this special Matte or Sand Blast Proof issue, and we expect intense bidding from Peace dollar aficionados at auction time.