Where is the mint mark on a 1921 silver dollar? The 1921 silver dollar is a popular coin for collectors and silver stackers. Many are curious about where the mint mark is located on these coins, especially when examining coin details is an important part of numismatics and assessing silver dollar value.
If you don’t have much time – the quick answer is that the mint mark on 1921 Morgan silver dollars is found on the reverse (tails side) of the coin, Between the D and O in the word DOLLAR.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about finding the mint mark on 1921 silver dollars, including where on the coin it is located, the different mint marks to look for, how missing and repunched mint marks can make these coins more valuable, and images showing exact mint mark locations.
Mint Marks & Their Locations on 1921 Silver Dollars
The Meaning of Mint Marks
Mint marks are small letters stamped on coins to indicate at which United States mint facility the coins were manufactured. For example, coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint generally do not have a mint mark, while those struck at other mints like San Francisco (S), Carson City (CC), Denver (D), and New Orleans (O) will have the respective mint mark.
Mint marks provide numismatists and coin collectors insight into the coin’s rarity and help determine the coin’s value. Coins struck at branch mints generally have lower mintages than Philadelphia coins, making them more rare and valuable to collectors.
Where is the Mint Mark on a 1921 Silver Dollar?
On 1921 Silver Dollars, the mint mark is located on the reverse (tails) side of the coin below the center wreath, between the letters D and O in the word DOLLAR.
Some key things to note about mint marks on 1921 Silver Dollars:
- No mint mark = Struck at the Philadelphia mint in higher numbers. Less rare and less valuable.
- D = Struck at the Denver mint in smaller quantities. More rare and more valuable.
- S = Struck at the San Francisco mint in limited amounts. Very rare and valuable for collectors.
The Philadelphia and Denver mints combined struck over 64 million examples that year to help relieve the shortage of silver dollars in circulation at the time.
The 1921 Philadelphia no-mint mark Silver Dollar had a giant mintage of over 44 million. So it is easily found and affordable for collectors to acquire today.
The 1921-D Silver Dollar had a much smaller mintage of just 20 million coins. It sells for a modest premium over common Philadelphia examples. High-grade, nicely preserved 1921-D Dollars sell for considerably more.
Identifying Different Mint Marks on 1921 Morgans
1921 Philadelphia Mint Silver Dollars (No Mint Mark)
The 1921 Morgan silver dollars minted at the Philadelphia Mint do not have a mint mark. Since Philadelphia was the main US mint at the time, coins struck there did not need a special mint mark to distinguish them.
To identify a 1921 Philadelphia Mint Morgan look for the absence of a mint mark on the reverse of the coin below the wreath.
An estimated 44,690,000 1921 Morgan dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint with no mint mark. This high mintage makes the 1921 Philadelphia Mint Morgan one of the more common dates in the series.
While common, these coins still carry a premium value due to the popularity of the Morgan silver dollar series.
1921-D Denver Mint Mark
The 1921-D Morgan has the ‘D’ mint mark under the wreath on the reverse of the coin, indicating it was struck at the Denver Mint. The Denver Mint began operations in 1906 to help meet the demand for circulating US coinage.
The 1921-D is more scarce than its Philadelphia counterpart, with a lower mintage of 20,345,000 coins. It also tends to exhibit sharper strikes and more lustrous surfaces. As a lower mintage and better quality strike, the 1921-D tends to trade for a small premium over common date Morgan’s.
1921-S San Francisco Mint Mark
Morgan dollars struck at the San Francisco Mint feature the ‘S’ mint mark below the wreath on the reverse. The San Francisco Mint opened much earlier than Denver, in 1854, mainly striking gold coins from nearby California mines.
The 1921-S Morgan stands out as having the low mintage in the series at around 21,695,000 coins. It is considered a semi-key date that commands a considerable premium among collectors. The 1921-S also features exceptional strikes and pristine surfaces that make it a favorite for high-grade type set collectors.
|No MM (Philadelphia)
|Most common, commands smaller premium
|Lower mintage, sharper strikes
|S (San Francisco)
|Key date, exceptional quality
As seen in the mintages, the 1921-S is the scarcest and most valued of the series. Yet all three mint marks have their merits according to the unique characteristics of that Mint.
More information on identifying and appreciating different 1921 Morgan silver dollars can be found at PCGS Coin Facts.
Key Date 1921 Silver Dollars and Mint Marks
1921-S Key Date Rarity
The 1921-S Morgan silver dollar is considered one of the key date rarities in the series. Around 21.6 million examples were minted at the San Francisco mint that year, making it the low output of Morgan dollars.
This low production coupled with the melting of many 1921-S specimens in later years has created substantial demand from collectors. Today, an MS-60 graded example sells for around $975, while MS-65 graded coins fetch closer to $8,500 at auction according to the PCGS price guide.
Micro S and D 1921 Varieties
In addition to the main 1921 Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Morgan issues, specialists also seek out two interesting sub-varieties:
- 1921 Micro S – This shows a tiny, almost unnoticeable “S” mintmark just under the wreath. These trade for strong premiums over regular 1921-S dollars.
- 1921-D Micro D – On some Denver mint specimens, the mintmark is punched into the die in a very small format. These Micro D examples are scarcer and more valuable to dedicated variety collectors.
|Value in MS-60
|1921-D Micro D
|1921-S (San Francisco)
|1921 Micro S
As the data shows, the Micro mintmark varieties carry large premiums due to their rarity. Study images closely to spot these exciting 1921 issues for your collection.
Mint Mark Varieties – Missing and Repunched
Missing Mint Marks
Some 1921 silver dollars were struck without a mint mark due to worn or damaged coin dies. This can make identifying the origin of the coin more difficult. According to research from notable numismatic websites like NGC, a small number of 1921 Morgan dollars from the Denver Mint and 1921 Peace dollars from the Philadelphia Mint were released missing a mint mark.
The lack of a mint mark is more common on 1921 Peace dollars, with an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 examples missing the P mint mark from the Philadelphia Mint. By comparison, far fewer 1921 Morgan dollars are known to be missing the D mint mark.
While missing mint marks can naturally occur, some unscrupulous dealers have also been known to illegally remove mint marks to try to increase a coin’s value. Collectors should therefore be cautious when purchasing common-date 1921 silver dollars missing their mint mark and rely on reputable coin dealers and third-party grading services.
Repunched Mint Marks (RPMs)
Repunched mint marks, sometimes called doubled mint marks, happen when a coin die becomes slightly misaligned during the minting process. This results in a secondary, often weaker impression of the mint mark appearing right next to the main mint mark.
Repunched mint marks are generally scarce on 1921 silver dollars and can pique collector interest due to their unique look. According to PCGS CoinFacts, the 1921 Morgan silver dollar does have some repunched mint mark varieties known to collectors and specialized registry set builders.
However, they remain far scarcer than repunched dates and other die varieties from this date.
|Repunched MM Variety
|1921-D D/D North
|1921-S S/S Southwest
As these limited data indicate, repunched mint marks can carry moderate premiums over regular 1921 silver dollars, particularly on better-condition coins certified by PCGS or NGC. However, they are still readily overshadowed value-wise by key date issues like the 1893-S Morgan silver dollar.
How to Identify Your 1921 Silver Dollar Mint Mark
Identifying the mint mark on your 1921 Morgan silver dollar is an important step in determining its value. Here are some tips on locating and verifying the mint mark:
Check the Reverse of the Coin
The mint mark is located on the reverse (tail side) of Morgan dollars below the wreath, between the “O” and “D” in “DOLLAR”. You’ll need to tilt the coin and closely examine this area. The 1921 silver dollars were struck at three mints:
- Philadelphia (no mint mark)
- Denver (D mint mark)
- San Francisco (S mint mark)
Use a Magnifying Glass
Since the mint marks are very small, a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe will be extremely helpful. This will allow you to see the mint mark letter or confirm that there is no mint mark for a Philadelphia issue.
Distinguish Between Proof and Circulation Strikes
The 1921 proof Morgan dollars do not have a mint mark since they were all struck at the Philadelphia Mint. However, identifying a proof coin can be tricky since they have very reflective, mirror-like fields while circulation strikes have more of a frosty luster.
Authenticate the Coin
There are counterfeit versions of the 1921 silver dollar, so authentication is important. You can either consult a reputable coin dealer or a third-party grading service like PCGS or NGC. Their certification and grading will verify that it’s a genuine coin.
Identifying your 1921 Morgan silver dollar mint mark takes some coin-collecting know-how. But this simple process provides valuable information on the origin of the coin and assists in determining its current market value based on condition and scarcity.
Where Is The Mint Mark On A 1921 Silver Dollar – Conclusion
As you have learned, identifying the mint mark on 1921 Morgan silver dollars involves knowing exactly where to look on the reverse design. You also now know what the different mint marks signify, including coins struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
While most 1921 silver dollars have the mint mark present as expected, some of the more dramatic errors like missing and repunched mint marks can add numismatic premiums. Learning how to spot subtle varieties allows you to discover rare and valuable coin finds.