Eisenhower Dollar

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Eisenhower Dollar

The Eisenhower Dollar holds a unique place in the annals of American coinage, symbolizing both a tribute to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and later the 34th President of the United States, and commemorating the Apollo 11 moon landing, a milestone in human exploration. Introduced in 1971 and minted until 1978, this coin captures a period of American pride and technological achievement.

Design and Features

The obverse of the Eisenhower Dollar features the profile of Dwight D. Eisenhower, facing left, with the reverse initially showcasing an eagle landing on the moon, echoing the Apollo 11 insignia. This design was a fitting tribute to Eisenhower's leadership during the war and his support for the space program during his presidency. From 1975 to 1976, the reverse design was temporarily changed to celebrate the bicentennial of American independence, featuring the Liberty Bell superimposed on the moon.

Eisenhower Dollar Minting and Variations

The Eisenhower Dollar was minted in two primary compositions: a base metal version for circulation, consisting of copper-nickel clad, and a 40% silver version aimed at collectors. The collector's edition was produced in both proof and uncirculated finishes, offering a higher degree of craftsmanship and appeal for numismatists.

Eisenhower Dollar Collectibility and Legacy

The Eisenhower Dollar is sought after by collectors for several reasons, including its historical significance, the physical heft of the coin, and its relatively short circulation period. Special editions, such as the bicentennial variants and the 40% silver issues, are particularly prized. Additionally, the Eisenhower Dollar marks the last of the large-sized dollar coins issued for circulation, making it a significant piece in the transition of American coinage.

Buying Eisenhower Dollars Online

For collectors and enthusiasts looking to acquire Eisenhower Dollars, the online marketplace offers a wide selection. From individual coins to complete sets, including both circulated and uncirculated conditions, as well as proof versions, collectors can find options to suit various interests and budgets. When purchasing online, consider the coin's condition, rarity, and any certification by reputable grading services, which can greatly affect its value and collectibility.

Eisenhower Dollar Value

The value of an Eisenhower Dollar can vary widely based on its condition, mint mark, year of issue, and whether it is a silver-clad collector's item. While circulated coins might fetch only a small premium over face value, uncirculated coins, special editions, and coins with lower mintages can command higher prices among collectors.

The Eisenhower Dollar stands as a tangible reminder of American resilience, innovation, and the spirit of exploration. Whether you're a seasoned numismatist or new to coin collecting, the Eisenhower Dollar offers a piece of American history that is both meaningful and collectible.

What makes a 1776-1976 Eisenhower dollar rare?

The 1776-1976 Eisenhower Dollar, minted to commemorate the United States Bicentennial, is a special piece in American numismatics. While millions of these coins were produced, making them relatively common in general circulation, certain factors can elevate the rarity and value of specific examples:

Special Minting Features

  • Silver Clad Versions: The 1776-1976 Eisenhower Dollars were minted in both a copper-nickel clad for circulation and a 40% silver clad for collectors. The silver versions, especially those in uncirculated or proof condition, are more sought after and considered rarer than their copper-nickel counterparts.
  • Type Varieties: There are three major varieties of the Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar, differentiated by the design on the reverse:
    • Type I (Low Relief, Bold Letters): Features a low relief design with bold, blocky lettering on the reverse. This type was minted in 1975.
    • Type II (High Relief, Thin Letters): This variety, found only in the 40% silver collector's sets, features a sharper, more detailed high relief design with thinner lettering. It is considered the rarest of the three types.
    • Type III (Low Relief, Serifs on Letters): The most common variety, minted in 1976, reverted to a low relief design but with serifs added to the lettering on the reverse.

Mint Marks and Production Locations

  • San Francisco Mint Proofs: Proof versions of the Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar, particularly those with the "S" mint mark from the San Francisco Mint, are in higher demand. The proofs have a more polished appearance and sharper details compared to the regular strikes.
  • No Mint Mark: Philadelphia-minted coins from this period did not carry a mint mark. While not inherently rare, high-grade examples of Philadelphia coins can be more challenging to find, increasing their collectibility.

Condition and Grading

  • Uncirculated and Proof Conditions: Coins that have been well-preserved and show no signs of wear can be considered rare, especially if they still have their original luster and no significant marks or blemishes. Coins graded by reputable services can fetch higher prices.

Special Sets

  • Collector's Sets: The 1776-1976 Eisenhower Dollars included in special bicentennial collector's sets, particularly those in original government packaging, hold more appeal to collectors. The sets often included a silver dollar, half dollar, and quarter, all bearing the special bicentennial designs.

While the 1776-1976 Eisenhower Dollar is not rare in the sense of low production numbers, certain varieties and conditions of the coin are less common and more desirable to collectors. The combination of historical significance, minting variations, and condition can significantly affect the collectibility and market value of these bicentennial coins.

1972 silver dollar value

The value of a 1972 silver dollar, specifically the Eisenhower Dollar, can vary significantly based on several factors, including its type, condition, and whether it is a special silver collector's edition. It's important to note that the majority of Eisenhower Dollars minted in 1972 were made of a copper-nickel clad and not silver, intended for regular circulation. However, there were silver-clad collector versions produced in the same year.

Types of 1972 Eisenhower Dollars and Their Values:

1. Copper-Nickel Clad Circulation Strikes

  • Common Condition: These coins in circulated condition are generally worth only their face value, $1.
  • Uncirculated Condition: Uncirculated or higher-grade coins might fetch a few dollars above their face value, especially if they are in mint condition and have been well-preserved.

2. Silver Clad Collector's Edition (San Francisco Mint - "S" Mint Mark)

  • Uncirculated Silver Clad: These coins were sold to collectors and are made of 40% silver. In uncirculated condition, they can be worth $10 to $20 or more, depending on the silver market and the coin's condition.
  • Proof Silver Clad: Proof versions, also 40% silver, were struck with special dies to create a more detailed and mirrored finish. These can range from $15 to $30 or more, with prices varying based on the condition and the current market for collectible coins and silver.

3. Varieties and Errors

  • 1972 Type Varieties: The 1972 Eisenhower Dollar has three major die varieties for the Philadelphia-minted coins, known as Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. The Type 2, characterized by a low-relief earth on the coin's reverse and lacking a visible Florida, is considered the rarest and can command higher prices, potentially hundreds of dollars in high grades.
  • Errors: Any 1972 Eisenhower Dollar with mint errors (e.g., double dies, off-center strikes) can also be more valuable, with prices depending on the nature and rarity of the error.

The most expensive Eisenhower dollars sold

1. 1972 Type 2 Eisenhower Dollar

  • Notable for: Its rarity due to the low relief of the Earth on the coin's reverse.
  • Estimated Price Range: High-grade examples can reach into the thousands of dollars, with some sales reported over $5,000 for MS65 and higher grades.

2. 1971-D "Friendly Eagle" Reverse Eisenhower Dollar

  • Notable for: A variation in the eagle's design on the reverse, considered rare.
  • Estimated Price Range: In top conditions, these have been known to fetch several thousand dollars, with prices varying widely based on condition.

3. 1976 Type 1 Proof Silver Eisenhower Dollar

  • Notable for: Its unique bicentennial design and being part of the silver proof sets.
  • Estimated Price Range: Proof 69 Deep Cameo versions can sell for over $1,000, with prices increasing for higher grades or special attributes.

4. 1973-S Silver Proof Eisenhower Dollar

  • Notable for: Low mintage numbers for the proof silver coins.
  • Estimated Price Range: High-grade examples, especially those graded Proof 70, can command prices of $3,000 or more.

5. 1971-S Silver Proof Eisenhower Dollar

  • Notable for: Being the first year of the series and sought after in high grades.
  • Estimated Price Range: Proof 70 Deep Cameo examples can exceed $2,500.


Eisenhower Dollar FAQ

The Eisenhower Dollar is a one-dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978. It was the first dollar coin issued after the Peace Dollar and was minted to honor both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Eisenhower Dollars were primarily minted in a copper-nickel clad for circulation. However, special collector versions were struck in a 40% silver alloy from 1971 to 1976.

While most Eisenhower Dollars are relatively common, key dates include the 1972 Type 2, the 1973 and 1973-D (due to their low circulation release), and the 1976 Type 1 and Type 2 bicentennial varieties.

The value of a 1971 Eisenhower Dollar varies. Circulated coins are generally worth their face value, while uncirculated and silver collector versions can be worth more, depending on their condition and the market.

The 1972 Type 2 Eisenhower Dollar, known for its low relief and absence of islands below Florida on the reverse's Earth depiction, is considered one of the rarest and most sought-after by collectors.

While it's possible to find Eisenhower Dollars in circulation, they are relatively uncommon. Most have been collected or are kept as novelties due to their large size compared to other coins.

The most valuable Eisenhower Dollars are typically those in pristine condition, especially the 40% silver collector's editions, error coins, and high-grade examples of the 1972 Type 2 and certain bicentennial varieties.

The Eisenhower Dollar was discontinued due to its large size and the public's reluctance to use the coin in everyday transactions, leading to low circulation.

The Susan B. Anthony Dollar, introduced in 1979, replaced the Eisenhower Dollar. It was smaller, making it more convenient for everyday transactions.

To determine if an Eisenhower Dollar is silver, look for a mint mark of "S" indicating it was minted in San Francisco. These "S" mint mark coins from 1971 to 1976 are likely to be the 40% silver collector's editions. Additionally, the silver versions have a different edge and sound compared to the copper-nickel clad coins.