The Eisenhower Dollar - America's Unpopular Yet Valuable Large Dollar
The Eisenhower dollar was minted from 1971 to 1978, depicting President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse. Despite honoring this beloved president, the large dollar coin failed to circulate widely when first introduced, as most Americans preferred the more convenient smaller denominations. Today, Eisenhower dollars are treasured by collectors for their low mintages, condition rarity, and historic significance. For coin enthusiasts, the Eisenhower dollar remains an important series showcasing this iconic president.
Introduction to the Eisenhower Dollar
The Eisenhower dollar coin was minted from 1971 to 1978. It was the first new one dollar coin minted in the United States since the Peace dollar last struck in 1935. The coin depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse and an eagle landing on the moon on the reverse.
Unenthusiastic Public Reception
Despite honoring the beloved president, the Eisenhower dollar failed to circulate widely when introduced. The large size was unpopular, as most people preferred the handier quarter, dime, and nickel coins for everyday purchases. This initial cool reception is why many Eisenhower dollars sat in bank vaults rather than circulating actively.
Key Date Rarities
For collectors today, a few key date Eisenhower dollars are quite scarce and expensive. The 1975 proof and no mint mark coins had low mintages below 5 million each. The 1973 variety with a doubled die obverse is also extremely rare, with only a few examples known.
Most Valuable in Higher Grades
Since most Eisenhower dollars went straight into collections or storage, locating gems with perfect MS67 or MS68 grades can be challenging. This premium for pristine, high-grade examples adds significant value. In 2018, an MS68 1971 Eisenhower dollar sold for over $12,000 at auction!
Final Years and Key Varieties
The last circulating Eisenhower dollars were struck in 1978. No coins were minted in 1977 or 1979. Beginning in 1971, both 40% silver versions for collectors and copper-nickel clad versions intended for circulation were produced. This adds to the range of varieties to collect.
Despite being unloved in their day, Eisenhower dollars are treasured by collectors today for their low mintages, condition rarity, and historic significance. For coin enthusiasts, the Eisenhower dollar remains an important series showcasing this beloved president.
Eisenhower Dollar Bolo Ties
Coin Community - Eisenhower Dollar Links and Resources
Heritage Auctions - Eisenhower Dollar Coins for Sale
JM Bullion - Eisenhower Dollars for Collectors
NGC Coin Explorer - Eisenhower Dollars (1971-1978)
PCGS CoinFacts - Eisenhower Dollars
USA Coin Book - Eisenhower Dollar Coins
Coin Values - Eisenhower Dollar Values