When it comes to the 1964-D Peace dollar
, "The Fantasy" for many of us has been simply to own one of these coins. I remember being 7 years old and growing up in Southern California in 1964. A favorite uncle had started my interest in coin collecting at a relatively early age by bringing my brother and I his pocket change and the old Whitman blue coin folders on a regular basis. In 1964, another good friend of my moms knew of my interest in coins, and brought me a brand new shiny Kennedy Half Dollar very shortly after their release. Located as we were in the southwest, this one of course came from the Denver mint. To this day I remember very distinctly hearing about a "new silver dollar" that was planned for release sometime in the next year or two. Silver dollars were always "THE" coin to have in your collection at age 7, and like other kids my age who had heard the rumors of the new dollar coin......I wanted one.
But owning one of those dollars was never to become reality. Mintage was discontinued and all existing pieces supposedly destroyed by the mint prior to any ever being released to the public. While the Kennedy Half.....in all it's glory.....helped to fill that new coin emptiness for a time, I have still had thoughts of those new silver dollars through the years, as I'm sure other kids in the neighborhood "coin club" have from time to time. Unlike dreams of the 1804 or 1794 silver dollars, the 1913 Liberty nickel, the 1943 copper cent, or other famous rarities that actually exist in physical form, it seemed for an entire lifetime that the impossibility of ever holding a 1964-D Peace dollar
in my hand would remain just that........an impossible dream.
Fast forward to the year 2010, and new rumors of the possible "minting" and release of a 1964-D Peace dollar
began to echo through numismatic circles, this time with details that piqued my interest on and off over the months leading up to the announcement that Daniel Carr would "over-strike" genuine Peace dollars
with a very accurate representation of what the genuine item probably looked like before being destroyed back in 1965. To add to the intrigue, Carr had obtained a surplus Denver Mint coining press which he restored to its original function, and planned to use it to strike the "new" coins. As time moved on, more rumors began to circulate that Carr was effectively challenging the status quo surrounding the Hobby Protection Act by claiming that his 1964-D Peace dollar
creations did not fall under the necessity of a "copy" stamp, which to the purist who enjoys the Peace dollar
design, made it all the more interesting. The controversy began to increase surrounding the issue, and in late 2010, the first coins were released......without the "copy" marking. These "fantasy overstrikes" as they have since become known, proved to be not only one of the most talked about issues in the hobby, but also the internet discussion forums, with literally thousands of postings in favor, in opposition, or in total indifference of the newly produced pieces.
Having been an avid coin collector most of my life, I have handled many tens of thousands of silver dollars, including a large percentage of Peace dollars
, and through such experience have learned the characteristics of look, feel, luster, and the little idiosyncrasies that make a Peace dollar
a Peace dollar
. After first obtaining a couple of the Carr overstrikes, I can say without hesitation that his "re-creation" of the 1964-D Peace dollar
is one of the most accurate renditions of the Peace dollar
that I can imagine. While some of the variations of this issue are interesting from the standpoint of Dan's own production blog on the coins, including the matte proof and mirror proof-like, and earlier "subdued luster" multiple struck pieces, the "high-luster" and "high-grade" examples are single struck in a manner that, to my eye, represent what is probably the most accurate portrayal of what the regular mint-issue coins would have looked like. The accuracy in design and luster of these overstrikes is the closest I can imagine to holding one of the original coins in my hand.
Just think of the long list of other restrike and overstrike coins that are (now) accepted as mainstream numismatic items, controversial though they may have been at the time of their production or discovery........ 1827 quarters, 1851 dollars, 1852 dollars, confederate cents, Washington and Independence cents, 1823 cent, continental dollars, fugio restrikes, 1840-1842-1845-1848 half cents, numerous modern bullion coins, many pattern pieces, American Plantation tokens, Castorlands, CSA half dollars, 1804 cents, and others I surely missed. It would not surprise me to eventually see Dan's 1964-D Peace dollar
accepted among the others, a coin not produced to deceive or defraud, but one to fill the desire of what otherwise "might have been".
For those lucky enough to have obtained one for our collection, or just to carry around as a pocket piece of "The Silver Dollar That Never Was", we understand the controversy, but ask only that those who have shown so much opposition give back a little understanding in return. We all collect what we like, or at least we should. That's what this hobby and so many others are about.......individual freedom to like what we like without having to apologize for not towing the mainstream line.
Thanks Dan....... for helping a long but never forgotten dream become a reality.