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Mint UNCIRCULATED Coin Set-Incl Dollar, Half, Quarter, Dime, Nickel, Penny From Both Denver & Philadelphia Mints + BONUS “S” Penny. From shop Wendyscnc. 5 out of 5 stars. Total Weight: 24.59 grams. Current Silver Bullion Value: $8.51. The US minted the 1974 S Eisenhower silver dollar as an uncirculated coin and also as a proof coin. Most of the coins minted were proof coins. The mint mark can be found above the date. Note that not every 1974 Eisenhower dollar is a silver coin. This includes various doubled dies and the rare 1974-D and 1977-D 40% silver transitional wrong-metal strikes. There are numerous avenues in the Eisenhower dollar series that one can take. So many collectors have devoted their entire numismatic careers just to the Eisenhower dollar.
In previous articles, we've explained how to value earlier series of U.S silver dollars, like Morgan and Peace Dollars (minted 1878-1935) as well as Trade Dollars(1873-1885). In today's article, we're going to discuss a more modern dollar coin — the Eisenhower Dollar, minted from 1971-1978.
History of the Eisenhower Dollar
Originally struck from 1971 to 1978, Eisenhower Dollars (or 'Ikes') were the first large-size dollar coins to be produced by the U.S. Mint since the end of the Peace Dollar series in 1935. 1976 bicentennial quarter.
As you might guess from the name, Eisenhower Dollars were created to commemorate President Dwight Eisenhower, whose portrait is featured on the obverse (front) side of the coin.
Eisenhower was selected in part because of his political party affiliation. Republicans in Congress agreed that the Mint needed a coin commemorating a Republican president, as the Democrats had recently secured a spot for President Kennedy on the half dollar (replacing Benjamin Franklin).
The coin's reverse features the Apollo 11 insignia, an eagle landing on the moon while grasping an olive branch, in commemoration of the first Apollo mission moon landing in 1969. The coin's designer, Frank Gasparro, was ordered to change his original design of the eagle because it was 'too fierce and too warlike', and reluctantly updated it to make the eagle look friendlier.
Unlike Peace Dollars and Morgan Dollars, Eisenhower dollars were minted in a copper-nickel alloy rather than a 90% silver 10% copper alloy.
By the 1970's, silver prices had risen to the point where striking general circulation coins from silver was no longer cost-effective. Prior to 1965, all dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars coins were produced in a 90% silver 10% copper alloy. This proved a point of contention for Congress—several congressmen argued that producing the new dollar coin in copper-nickel instead of silver would be a dishonor to Eisenhower's memory.
But eventually a compromise was reached. All Eisenhower Dollars produced for general circulation would be struck in copper-nickel, while the Mint would also sell dollar coins with a special 40% silver alloy to collectors for a small premium.
As a result, most Ikes aren't true 'silver dollars.' But the upside of that is that Eisenhower dollars are much more affordable than their 90% silver predecessors.
There are two different reverse designs within the Eisenhower series. From 1971 to 1974 and from 1977 to 1978, the Apollo 11 design was used for the coin's reverse. But in 1976, all quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins were switched to a special design commemorating the nation's bicentennial. The 1776-1976 Eisenhower Dollar featured the Liberty Bell superimposed upon the moon.
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(Values derived from the Red Book, the definitive price guide for U.S. coins).
Circulated Condition means a coin with signs of wear or marks, from being circulated/used by the general public.
Uncirculated Condition means a coin with bright original mint luster and no signs of wear. See the picture below for a visual comparison of the two.
As you can see, most Eisenhower dollars are readily available and are worth little more than face value. However, there are a few more valuable coins that are well worth keeping an eye out for.
Rare Eisenhower Dollars
While all Ikes intended for general circulation were struck in copper-nickel, the U.S. Mint also struck a number of S-mintmark coins (produced at the San Francisco mint) for collectors in 40% silver (each containing 1/3rd ounce pure silver). Not all S-mint Ikes are silver though, as the 1977-S and 1978-S Eisenhower dollars were both produced in copper-nickel.
The silver coins can be identified by their lighter color (see copper-nickel vs silver). A simple way to determine whether your Ike is silver or copper-nickel is the tissue test, as demonstrated below.Simply place a facial tissue on top of your dollar coin and see whether the color that shines through is darker or lighter. The coin on the left is silver-clad, whereas the darker one on the right is copper-nickel.
There is also one copper-nickel coin variety that commands a premium. The rare 1972 'Type 2' design variety with no mintmark is worth upwards of $30 in all conditions. Type 2 dollars are identified by the details of Earth, above the eagle on the reverse side of the coin. Next to the outline of Florida there are no distinguishable islands on Type 2 Ikes. On the less valuable Type 1 and Type 2 1972 dollars, there are distinct islands in the Caribbean. No other years in the Eisenhower Dollar series besides the 1972 feature the rare Type 2 design.
Here's a picture to illustrate the difference - note the small islands visible within the red circles on the Type 1 and Type 3 coins, while the Type 2 coin shows no distinct islands.
The Type 2 design is rough and undefined, with a barely distinguishable outline of the east coast, while small dots/islands can be spotted off the coast of Florida on the Type 1 and Type 3 designs. This can be tough to spot, so make sure you're using a magnifying glass or a jeweler's loupe to be sure.
Outside of the 1972 Type 2 and the silver Ikes, there are no real rarities within the series. Proof coins, specially produced by the U.S. Mint with mirrored surfaces and sold to collectors, are generally only worth a small premium.
But the lack of keydates means that a nice set of Eisenhower Dollars is easily attainable no matter what your budget.
Last updated 8/7/2018
Like Ike? Plenty of coin collectors do! A growing number of numismatists are building sets of Eisenhower dollars.
Read below for a full list of Eisenhower dollar prices.
The Eisenhower dollar was struck from 1971 through 1978 and was intended for regular commerce. Ultimately it failed to see the light of day as a circulating coin beyond the casinos of Las Vegas.
Few people knew back in the 1970s that the Eisenhower dollar would be the last circulating large-size dollar coin in the United States.
Today, it's become one of the top modern collectible coins, and for good reason. Ike dollars constitute a relatively short series with many unusual varieties to collect.
What Are Eisenhower Dollars Worth?
Eisenhower dollars appeal to collectors on a variety of budgets. Many pieces challenge even financially well-heeled collectors. Prices for some key date Ike dollars reach into the thousands of dollars.
Nonetheless, the majority of Eisenhower dollars are much more affordable to obtain. What follows is an Eisenhower dollar price guide. The values reflect examples in MS-63 (uncirculated) and Proof-65 grades.
Eisenhower Dollar Price Chart
|Date||Composition & Finish||Price|
|1971||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$4|
|1971-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1971-S||40% Silver Clad Uncirculated||$10|
|1971-S||40% Silver Clad Proof||$11|
|1972||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1972-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1972-S||40% Silver Clad Uncirculated||$10|
|1972-S||40% Silver Clad Proof||$11|
|1973||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$10|
|1973-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$10|
|1973-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Proof||$11|
|1973-S||40% Silver Clad Uncirculated||$11|
|1973-S||40% Silver Clad Proof||$30|
|1974||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$4.50|
|1974-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$4.50|
|1974-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Proof||$5|
|1974-S||40% Silver Clad Uncirculated||$11|
|1974-S||40% Silver Clad Proof||$13|
|1776–1976||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety I (Thick Reverse Letting) Uncirculated||$6|
|1776–1976||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety II (Serifed Lettering) Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1776–1976-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety I Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1776–1976-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety II Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1776–1976-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety I Proof||$8|
|1776–1976-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Variety II Proof||$6|
|1776–1976-S||Silver Clad Variety I Uncirculated||$14|
|1776–1976-S||Silver Clad Variety I Proof||$17|
|1977||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1977-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1977-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Proof||$4|
|1978||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.75|
|1978-D||Copper-Nickel Clad Uncirculated||$3.50|
|1978-S||Copper-Nickel Clad Proof||$4|
All the values listed above represent typical specimens. These have regular surface quality for their respective grades and conditions.
Better pieces command significantly higher premiums than the prices listed above. This is due to the difficulty of locating Eisenhower dollars (mainly clad business strikes) with few marks.
How the Eisenhower Dollar Was Created
United States Mint Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro created the coin's design. The first Eisenhower dollars were struck in 1971.
Cupro-nickel clad versions were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint for circulation. Meanwhile, 40% silver examples were made in San Francisco as proofs for collectors.
Copper-nickel S-mint proofs didn't come around until 1973. This was the first year that regular uncirculated sets and proof sets included the Eisenhower dollar.
In 1975, the U.S. Mint began producing special commemorative circulating Eisenhower dollars honoring the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
These Bicentennial dollars showcase a dual-dating feature declaring 1776–1976 on the obverse. The reverse design by Dennis Williams features the Liberty Bell superimposed on the Moon.
The standard Eisenhower dollar reverse and obverse dating resumed in 1977. Yet the end was in sight for the coin in 1978.
The public deemed the Eisenhower dollar too large. Americans were unwilling to carry large numbers of the heavy dollar coins during a period of runaway inflation.
40% Silver Eisenhower Dollar
The large dollar coin had failed to circulate well and was thus retired before 1979. This was when the Susan B. Anthony dollar, also designed by Gasparro, entered circulation.
However, the Susan B. Anthony dollar never caught on with the public, either. It was retired shortly after that in 1981. It returned for a one-year stint a general later in 1999 before being put out to numismatic pasture for good.
Collecting Eisenhower Dollars
The vast majority of hobbyists who collect Eisenhower dollars aim to complete a 32-coin set. It consists of all the regular-issue business-strike and proof coins. This includes the 40% silver Ikes dated 1971-S, 1972-S, 1973-S, 1974-S, and 1976-S.
Tricky Ikes: Only a small percentage of the total Eisenhower dollar mintage is 40% silver. Image source: Reddit user rddt1983
Such a set can be completed with coins in typical uncirculated and proof grades for less than $500. That includes the 40% silver key dates mentioned above.
Collectors with deeper pockets will add a much more expensive dimension to their Ike dollar objectives. They often pursue each of the regular-issue clad coins in Gem grades. They target proofs that grade Proof-67 or higher. Many will also seek the abundance of scarce varieties known for this series.
Surprisingly, clad business strikes in grades of MS-65 to MS-66 or better are among the most valuable Eisenhower dollars. There are few such Ikes that grade MS-68 or better.
The United States Mint took little care in handling or transporting these large, heavy circulating dollar coins. Understanding this, it becomes clearer why clad Ikes in Gem condition are so tough to locate. Most of the rarest Gem examples trade for more than $1,000 today.
Top-end proofs are not nearly as rare as their high-grade clad business-strike counterparts. They are tough to find with full cameo frosting, however. The 40% silver Ikes are among the easiest examples to find in grades of Proof-69 or Proof-70.
Meanwhile, deep cameo contrast is most common on the 1977-S and 1978-S Eisenhower dollars. This originated from a period when deep cameo frosting was becoming more the norm rather than the exception for U.S. proof coinage.
1972 Eisenhower Variety
Image: USA CoinBook
The Eisenhower dollar boasts a wide array of varieties. Those who collect design varieties have plenty to love.
The most popular varieties are found among 1972 Ikes. It showcases at least three different versions of planet Earth on the reverse design.
1974 Silver Dollar Coin
Type I is a relatively low-relief variety showing three islands to the right of Florida.
Type II, the scarcest of these three varieties, shows no islands below Florida. (Water lines are in their place instead.)
Type III shows three islands below and to the left of Florida.
Clearly, there are some geography issues at hand with these varieties. They keep collectors busy!
Several other exciting oddities are out there. This includes various doubled dies and the rare 1974-D and 1977-D 40% silver transitional wrong-metal strikes.
1974 Silver Dollar Value
There are numerous avenues in the Eisenhower dollar series that one can take. So many collectors have devoted their entire numismatic careers just to the Eisenhower dollar.
These modern clad coins offer a multitude of rewarding opportunities for collecting, research, and discovery—enough to satisfy even the most passionate of dedicated collectors for a lifetime!
Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a journalist, editor, and blogger who has won multiple awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild. He has also authored numerous books, including works profiling the history of the United States Mint and United States coinage.
1974 Silver Dollar Worth
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