During my visit to Colorado Springs and the Denver mint in July, 1994, I learned some new things about the test minting of silver dollars at Denver in 1964.
In order to begin using the stock pile of silver, several million 1964 Peace Dollars were made at the Denver Mint in the "trolley building" across the street to the west of the current mint building. They were coined in great secrecy and only during the day shift. One day the workers came to a locked up work place and were forced to sign an affidavit indicating that they had never worked on this project and knew nothing about these '64 Peace dollars, in effect, that their work of several weeks never happened.
All of the '64 Peace dollars were supposedly melted down. Though security was much less efficient then, a current mint official who was working on the project at that time thinks that very few ever left the building. However, this official does believe that some got out into the hands of various officials like senators, and the like, because, "There were often calls from senators and state officials, and others like the mayor of Denver, and people like that, seeking copies." The official said he feels there are "probably 6 or so" somewhere out there that were not melted. Others have said that there are as many as a 2 or 3 bags.
How would you like the Peace dollar on this page in your collection? Don't drool over it. It doesn't really exist. I took the 4 from a 1924 and the 6 from a 1926, put them on a beautiful 1923, did a little magic blending them together, and Voila, 1964.
Originally published August, 1994.