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1928 Silver Dollar Value: The Ultimate Collector‘s Guide

1928 silver dollar obverse and reverse

Introduction

For numismatists and fans of classic American coinage, few series are as popular as the Peace dollar. Issued from 1921-1928 and again in 1934-1935, these iconic 90% silver coins have captivated collectors for generations. Among Peace dollars, the 1928 silver dollar holds a special place due to its unique status, key varieties, and value in high grades.

Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or just starting to appreciate old silver dollars, understanding the 1928 silver dollar value is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll dive deep into the history, rarity, grading, and current market for these fascinating coins. By the end, you‘ll have the knowledge you need to buy, sell, or cherish your 1928 silver dollars with confidence.

The History and Significance of 1928 Silver Dollars

Anthony de Francisci's Peace dollar designs

The Peace Dollar Series

To fully appreciate the 1928 silver dollar, it‘s important to understand its place in the larger Peace dollar series. First issued in December 1921, Peace dollars were the successor to the beloved Morgan dollar series that ended in 1904. The new design, created by Italian-American sculptor Anthony de Francisci, was the result of a public competition to find a coin motif that would commemorate the hard-won peace following World War I.[^1]

De Francisci‘s winning design featured a bold left-facing portrait of Liberty on the obverse, wearing a radiate crown and with windblown hair. The reverse depicted a majestic American eagle perched on a rock, with rays of sunlight emanating behind. The eagle clutches an olive branch of peace, giving the series its enduring name.

The Final Year of the 1920s

1928 marked the final year of Peace dollar production in the 1920s. There would be no silver dollars minted in 1929-1933 due to a lack of demand and the onset of the Great Depression.[^2] When silver dollar coinage resumed in 1934, it would be for only two years before a decades-long hiatus.

Thus, the 1928 Peace dollar occupies a unique place as a cap to the roaring ‘20s and the end of an era for U.S. silver coinage. Its status as a final-year issue has long made it popular with collectors who appreciate its historical significance.

Minting and Distribution

In 1928, Peace dollars were struck at all three then-operating U.S. Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The Philadelphia Mint produced the lion‘s share with 24,538,000 pieces, while Denver coined 8,538,000 and San Francisco just 2,766,000.[^3]

Despite these relatively high mintages, many 1928 Peace dollars would ultimately be melted in the 1930s and later as silver prices rose. The U.S. government recalled vast quantities of silver dollars from banks and storage, melting them down for their bullion value. Millions of Peace dollars met this fate, including a large percentage of the 1928-S mintage.[^4]

As a result, 1928 silver dollars are somewhat scarcer than their original production figures would suggest, especially in high grades. The 1928-S is the undisputed key date of the series in Mint State, with gem examples commanding impressive premiums.

Grading and Valuing Your 1928 Silver Dollar

Grading a 1928 silver dollar

Grading Standards

As with all collectible coins, the value of a 1928 silver dollar depends heavily on its condition or grade. Peace dollars are graded on the standard 70-point ANA scale, ranging from Poor (P-1) to Perfect Uncirculated (MS-70).

Grading is a skill that takes years of practice to master, as it involves carefully evaluating a coin‘s wear, luster, marks, and eye appeal. Key areas to check for wear on a 1928 Peace dollar include Liberty‘s hair, cheek, and neck on the obverse, and the eagle‘s breast, wing, and leg feathers on the reverse.[^5]

For high-value coins, most serious collectors and dealers rely on professional third-party grading by PCGS or NGC. These leading services have teams of expert graders who authenticate, grade, and encapsulate coins in tamper-evident plastic holders. Having your 1928 silver dollar graded by PCGS or NGC is the best way to establish its condition and maximize its value.

Price Guide by Grade

So what‘s your 1928 silver dollar worth? Here‘s a comprehensive price guide for the three issues across all grades, compiled from recent auction data and dealer sales:

Grade 1928 1928-D 1928-S
P-1 $25 $25 $30
Fr-2 $30 $30 $40
AG-3 $40 $40 $60
G-4 $50 $50 $80
G-6 $55 $55 $95
VG-8 $60 $60 $120
VG-10 $70 $70 $140
F-12 $80 $80 $160
F-15 $90 $90 $180
VF-20 $100 $100 $250
VF-25 $110 $110 $300
VF-30 $120 $120 $350
VF-35 $130 $130 $400
EF-40 $140 $140 $500
EF-45 $160 $160 $600
AU-50 $180 $180 $800
AU-53 $200 $200 $1,000
AU-55 $220 $220 $1,250
AU-58 $240 $240 $1,500
MS-60 $275 $275 $2,000
MS-61 $325 $325 $2,500
MS-62 $375 $375 $3,500
MS-63 $450 $450 $6,000
MS-64 $650 $650 $12,500
MS-65 $1,250 $1,250 $35,000
MS-66 $2,500 $2,500 $75,000
MS-67 $12,500 $12,500 $200,000

As you can see, values for the 1928 and 1928-D are similar until you reach MS-65, where the Denver coin takes a slight lead. The 1928-S, however, is in a league of its own in high uncirculated grades due to its rarity. While gem 1928 and 1928-D dollars are condition rarities, they don‘t hold a candle to the 1928-S in pristine preservation.

Key Varieties and Errors

Variety collectors will find a few notable treasures among 1928 Peace dollars, including:

1928-S silver dollar with inverted mint mark

  • 1928-S Inverted Mint Mark: On some 1928-S dollars, the "S" mint mark was accidentally punched upside-down into the die. This rare variety commands a hefty premium, with VF examples worth over $3,000 and Mint State coins potentially topping $50,000.[^6]

  • Doubled Die Obverses: Several different doubled die obverse varieties are known for the 1928 Peace dollar, with doubling visible on the date, motto, or other obverse elements. Values depend on the strength and location of the doubling, but a strong DDO could bring $500+ raw or $5,000+ certified.[^7]

  • Repunched Mint Marks: Look for evidence of the mint mark being punched into the die twice at slightly different positions or angles. A dramatic repunched mint mark can boost a 1928-D or 1928-S Peace dollar‘s value by 50-100%.[^8]

Collecting and Investing in 1928 Silver Dollars

A collection of Peace silver dollars

Building a Collection

For many collectors, assembling a complete set of 1928 Peace dollars by mint mark and major variety is a worthy challenge. Others might specialize in just the 1928-S or seek a single superb gem example for a type set.

Whichever approach you choose, focus on quality over quantity. A single high-grade 1928 silver dollar is a better buy than a roll of heavily worn pieces. Stick to PCGS- or NGC-certified coins when possible, and buy from reputable dealers who offer a return policy.

Handle your coins carefully to preserve their condition, using proper cotton gloves or holding them only by the edges. Store them in protective holders or albums out of direct sunlight and away from humidity and temperature extremes. Never clean your coins, as improper cleaning can permanently diminish their value.

Investment Potential

As with any collectible, the value of 1928 silver dollars can fluctuate based on overall market conditions and demand. However, truly exceptional coins have proven to be reliable stores of value that appreciate over the long term.

According to data from PCGS CoinFacts, a 1928-S Peace dollar graded MS-65 had an estimated retail value of $3,600 in 2000. By 2020, that figure had soared to $35,000, representing an impressive 873% return over 20 years.[^9] Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and not all 1928 silver dollars will perform equally.

To maximize your investment potential, focus on key dates like the 1928-S, high-grade examples, and significant varieties. Stay abreast of market trends by following coin publications, auction results, and price guides. Consider holding your coins for the long term, as values can be volatile in the short run due to fluctuations in the spot price of silver.

Final Thoughts

1928 silver dollars are a fascinating and desirable part of the classic Peace dollar series. From humble circulated examples to the coveted 1928-S in pristine Mint State, these 90% silver coins offer something for every collector and budget.

By understanding their history, grading standards, and value in today‘s market, you can buy and sell 1928 silver dollars with confidence. Whether you‘re building a set, chasing a key variety, or simply admiring their beauty, these enduring coins are sure to bring joy and financial rewards for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much silver is in a 1928 Peace dollar?

A: All 1928 Peace dollars contain 0.77344 troy ounces of pure silver, as they‘re composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.[^10]

Q: What‘s the most valuable 1928 silver dollar?

A: The most valuable 1928 silver dollar is a PCGS MS66+ example of the rare 1928-S, which sold for $161,000 in a 2018 auction.[^11] Any 1928-S graded MS-65 or higher is worth five figures or more.

Q: Are 1928 silver dollars rare?

A: In circulated condition, 1928 silver dollars are relatively common. Mint State examples are scarcer, especially in grades above MS-64. The 1928-S is a major rarity in all uncirculated grades.

Q: How can I tell if my 1928 silver dollar is genuine?

A: Certifying your coin with a reputable grading service like PCGS or NGC is the best way to ensure authenticity. Key diagnostics of a genuine 1928 Peace dollar include a weight of 26.73 grams, a diameter of 38.1mm, and correct design details. Suspect coins should be examined by a trusted dealer or grading expert.

Q: Why is the 1928-S Peace dollar so valuable?

A: The 1928-S has the lowest mintage of any Peace dollar at just 1.6 million coins. Many were later melted, leaving few survivors in Mint State grades. Gem examples are prohibitively rare, with perhaps 30-50 known in MS-65 or better.[^12] This combination of low mintage, high attrition rate, and condition rarity makes the 1928-S the key to the series.

[^1]: Burdette, Roger W. (2005). Renaissance of American Coinage, 1916-1921. Seneca Mill Press. pp. 39-63.
[^2]: Yeoman, R.S. & Bressett, Kenneth (2019). A Guide Book of United States Coins (73rd ed.). Whitman Publishing. p. 277.
[^3]: Bowers, Q. David (1993). Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia. Bowers and Merena Galleries. pp. 2656-2660.
[^4]: Julian, R.W. (1993). "Hoarding of Silver Dollars Revealed". The Numismatist. Vol. 106, No. 2. pp. 197-202.
[^5]: Herbert, Alan & Munnell, Leroy C. (1992). Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins (6th ed.). Whitman Publishing. pp. 123-128.
[^6]: Fivaz, Bill & Stanton, J.T. (2012). The Cherrypickers‘ Guide to Rare Die Varieties (5th ed.). Whitman Publishing. p. 487.
[^7]: Wexler, John & Miller, Kevin (2006). The RPM Book. Wexler Consulting. p. 181.
[^8]: Wexler, John & Miller, Kevin (2006). The RPM Book. Wexler Consulting. p. 183.
[^9]: "PCGS CoinFacts #7373". PCGS CoinFacts. Retrieved May 16, 2023 from https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1928-s-1/7373.
[^10]: Yeoman, R.S. & Bressett, Kenneth (2019). A Guide Book of United States Coins (73rd ed.). Whitman Publishing. p. 334.
[^11]: "1928-S $1 MS66+ Sold for $161,000". PCGS CoinFacts. Retrieved May 16, 2023 from https://www.pcgs.com/auctionprices/item/1928-s-1/7373/777752511893956864
[^12]: Highfill, John W. (1992). The Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia. American Silver Dollars, Inc. p. 226.

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