Unique Peace Dollar Splasher Certified by PCGS and Cataloged in Judd!
This unique Peace Dollar splasher (uniface die trial) was just certified by PCGS as Judd A1921-1. It's the only known Peace Dollar die trial, but interestingly it's noted in U.S. Mint correspondence researched by Roger and confirmed by @MrEureka!
Along with the unique 1921 Peace Dollar plaster and Dan's Broken Sword reverse bronze cast, these are really wonderful pieces of numismatic history that bring to life the story of the creation of the Peace Dollar detailed in Roger's book "A Guide Book of Peace Dollars".
This splasher (or one made at the same time) is possibly what's referred to in a December 23, 1921 letter from Raymond Thomas Baker, Director of the Mint to Secretary Andrew William Mellon for approval of the design, Baker wrote:
Raymond Thomas Baker, Director of the Mint wrote:
I have the honor to submit models [samples] of the proposed designs for the Standard Silver Dollar. [...]
The model as now submitted as the approval of the Fine Arts Commission, and is in compliance with the requirements of the law.
R.T. Baker, Director of the Mint
These models were likely lead splashers per Roger in his book, "A Guide Book of Peace Dollars".
The samples were likely lead "splashers" or small plaster casts, there being no time to harden the hubs and make dies. Undersecretary Gilbert approved [...] and the mint continued preparing master and working dies. Baker wired his approval on December 24.
@MrEureka was also able to examine the piece and concluded it was a U.S. Mint product due to some specific physical characteristics of the piece.
I have performed an in-person evaluation of the unique 1921 Peace Dollar Splasher (cataloged as Judd A1921-1), and am of the opinion that the splasher is a genuine U.S. Mint product.
Indicators that it is genuine include:
- Highly concave fields, unlike a normal 1921 Peace Dollar, and more comparable to a 1922 Proof High Relief. As such, the piece could not have been created from copy dies, or from a casting mold, and I am convinced that it is a direct impression from an original die.
- The rim is squared, unlike a normal 1921 Peace Dollar. Again, this leads me to believe that the coin is a direct impression from an original die, not a copy derived from some means from another coin.
Read much more about this and the plaster in the Mint Error News Special Edition article: