1923-S silver dollar may be sleeper after all
By Paul M. Green
The 1923-S silver dollar has been viewed
as an available date because of its mintage of more
than 19 million, but it has not been saved over the
It hardly seems possible that there might
be sleepers to be found in any type of silver dollar. With
the popularity of silver dollars today has come much information.
The 1923-S in a grade like MS-65 is starting
to look like something of a sleeper. If any date was overlooked,
1923-S seems like a pretty good candidate. In 1923 the mints
were still under a great deal of pressure to produce large
numbers of silver dollars. As a result, the 1923-S had a relatively
high mintage of 19,020,000 pieces. The total was certainly
high for a San Francisco silver dollar at the time.
The dollars of this period were not melted
since the Pittman Act melting was over. Dollars were being
produced not to circulate, but to serve as backing for new
With its mintage of over 19 million, the 1923-S would not
have seemed like a promising date. There were very few who
were interested in silver dollars anyway. It was not likely
to be highly saved. It apparently went to the vaults and kept
emerging. There was still no numismatic interest, so when
many $1,000 bags appeared around 1942, few coins were saved.
The same would be true around 1950 when more
bags appeared around San Francisco. Still more bags appeared
in the final Treasury releases of 1962-64. Like so many other
Peace dollars, it seemed like an available date with very
little potential. The Redfield hoard produced only a small
number of bags. While most were Mint State, the coins were
flatly struck and usually no better than MS-63.
With bag after bag emerging from an already
high mintage, there had been chances for decades to acquire
nice examples of the 1923-S, but it did not happen in large
Today the 1923-S is $13 in G-4 since it is
an available date. In MS-65 at $6,750, it is a premium date
but not among the top Peace dollars in price in MS-65.
With that said, there are only about half
a dozen more expensive MS-65 dates, and there may be reason
to suspect it could easily be more expensive.
The 1924-S is currently $9,500 in MS-65.
That puts it at almost $3,000 more than the 1923-S. However,
the 1923-S has been seen by PCGS 67 times in MS-65, two times
in MS-66 and once in MS-67. The 1924-S has been seen 61 times
in MS-65 and an additional five times in MS-66. We have almost
identical totals of two dates that are quite far apart in
A large reason for the difference may be
the historic belief that the 1923-S is available because of
its large mintage. This belief is how we got to the current
situation. Everyone believed it was available so it was never
saved. Sooner or later someone will learn that the 1923-S
is not available, and it may well be a great value at its