An experienced coin dealer can tell you how much your silver dollar is worth just by looking at it. Typically, though, a silver dollar’s worth would hinge on its origin, age, and condition. Its variety will also inform this.
So how much is a 1979 silver dollar worth? I will explain how to determine this in this article.
Determining the Worth of a 1979 Silver Dollar
The silver dollar made in the US in 1979 is called the Susan B. Anthony dollar. The US Mint doled out the dollar coins in the hope to cut the cost of making paper one-dollar bills.
While the Susan B. Anthony dollar coins from 1979 are not expensive due to the fact that they are common, a few of them are quite valuable.
The following is a chart showing the worth of a 1979 silver dollar:
|Date and Mint Type||Circulated Buy||Circulated Sell||Uncirculated Buy||Uncirculated Sell|
|1979-P Wide Rim||$10||$6||$30||$22|
|1979-S Type 1 Proof||–||–||$8||$6.30|
|1979-S Type 2 Proof||–||–||$69||$52|
Therefore, the 1979-S type 2 and 1979-P silver dollars are worth more than others.
Note: The offer you get for your silver dollar type will vary according to the buyer or seller. Therefore, the chart above is just an approximation, not exact rates, to give an idea of what to expect for your coins.
The silver dollars were short-lived due to the confusion they created. As I said earlier, the coins were meant to replace the dollar bills in order to save costs. But people rejected it because they easily mistook it for quarters.
So, the coins were made from 1979 through 1981, then again in 1999. They carried the face of a pioneer women’s rights advocate, Susan B. Anthony.
How to Differentiate the Silver Dollar Coins
There are few physical distinctions between the silver dollar coins. Let me explain the differences so you easily know which you have and what it is worth:
The Wide Rim Silver Dollar Coin
In 1979, the US Mint made two coin hubs. But due to an error, the minting yielded two obverse dies that were different.
The first one came with a rim that was wide. Consequently, the date on the coin placed too close to its rim.
The government minted silver dollar coins with these obverse dies types only in the state of Philadelphia. This is why you see some marked with the P mint mark. The coins that carry the D and S mint marks don’t have any of this variety.
So, if you have a silver dollar coin, take a look at the date on it. The rim would be thick, with the date hanging too close to it. This variety of the coin is scarce so is valuable.
But its value is found when the coin is an uncirculated type. If it is the circulated type, it is not worth more than a few dollars.
The Narrow Rim Silver Dollar Coin
The silver dollar coin with a narrow rim does not have as much value as the wide rim type. This is even when it is uncirculated.
Again, as with the wide rim dollar, if you have a 1979 coin with the P mint mark, check to see the date. If it is not so close to the rim, it is the narrow rim type and is not worth much.
The S Proof Type 1
This type has an S mint mark that is not clear. It looks more like a blob than any defined letter. Because of this, it is called the blob mint mark.
The reason for this is that back in 1979, punching mint marks into working obverse dies was done with the hand. Coupled with the fact that the punch in use then was old, the mark came out poor.
This silver dollar with the poorly done mint mark is common so is not worth much. You will be able to tell if you have this type by just finding the mark and checking how clear it is.
The coins with the S mark were made in San Francisco.
The S Proof Type 2
Towards the end of production of the silver dollar coins in 1979, there was a new punch for the mint marks. The punch made clearer S marks on the dollar coins. So the ones with the clearer S became type 2.
The shortness of time meant a few of these coins came out of the mint. Due to this, they are scarce and more valuable than type 1.
Check your coin. If it has the clear S, with a ball appearing on the bottom and top of the letter, it is the newer S-type coin. Therefore, you have a valuable coin in your possession. In fact, it is the rarest and most valuable of the silver dollar coins. The table above will inform you how much it is worth.
Here is a video explaining the worth of the S-type silver dollar and why it has its value…
The 1979-D silver dollar coins are those minted in Denver. They seem to have the lowest value. You will know if you have one by looking at the left side of the coin, a little above the shoulder of SBA. That is usually where the mint mark appears.
Susan B. Anthony silver dollar is not popular among those who actively collect coins. So you will find that they are not as valuable as some other rare coins.
What Else Affects the Value of the Silver Dollar?
The condition in which the silver dollar appears also affects what you will get for it. If a coin is circulated, it will show wear and tear. Coin collectors usually like to take those that come in mint condition. The same is true for other types of collectors.
So if your silver dollar shows evidence of good circulation, the value drops. This is despite the type of coin it is.
If you have one that already has a low value and has been around the block, well, be ready to accept a few dollars for it. You can also opt to keep it and wait to see if the value goes up.
On the other hand, if the silver dollar in your possession is uncirculated, you stand a chance of getting good money for it. Any coin collector who wants this type of silver dollar would be willing to pay well, especially if it is the rare clear S type.
Uncirculated does not mean it has never been used. It simply means that it has been in circulation much. So it is showing little or no signs of wear and tear.
History of the Silver Dollar Coin
The first design made for the Susan B. Anthony dollar was a representation of the goddess Liberty. This image appeared on the coin’s obverse side.
However, lawmakers and different organizations refused to accept this, calling for the dollar coin to show a real person, a woman.
After the submission of proposals to decide which woman to use, Susan B. Anthony became the chosen subject. But the dollar’s reverse side retained the design on the Dwight Eisenhower dollar’s reverse side – the insignia of the mission of Apollo 11.
Anticipating a rush from the public, which didn’t happen then, the United States Mint minted 1,500,000,000 coins. The initial confusion it caused, where people mistook it for quarters, affected its popularity.
But in the 1990s, it began to see an increase in demand as people began to use it in mass transits and vending machines. This caused the surplus to deplete.
Did you know…
- The silver dollar was one of the first such coins in the US? Well, now you know. It dates as far back as 1794 and has been in use in the country since that time.
- Silver dollar usage has not been constant; there were times when people used other denominations. In fact, production stopped at some point due to shortage of silver. But now, it is being produced again but not out of silver and not for regular usage.
- Vending machines read the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar coin the same way they read a gold coin. This is because of the electromagnetic signature in them. The machines don’t read color; they read the signature. Besides, the golden color of the gold coin is not from the precious metal. The color comes from mixing nickel, zinc, copper and manganese.
- The dollar coin that came after the Susan B. Anthony silver coin of 1999 is a gold coin. Made in 2000, it carried the image of Sacagawea, a Native American woman.
Where to Sell Your Silver Dollar Coins
There are some reputable places to sell your silver dollar coins for good money. Of course, they are going to check their value; they won’t take your word for it.
But if you are like me, you’d want to make the most out of the experience. So below are a few places I would recommend to you if you want to sell your coins:
A Local Coin Dealer
While this is obvious, you may not find one so close to your home. This is especially true if you live in a small town.
Another downside is that some of them won’t give you good value for it. They will only value the coins after they are melted and the pure silver is weighed.
However, if you are able to find one, you will get cash for your coins. There is no need to wait or take a cheque.
You will also be able to deal with them face-to-face and learn a thing or two. If you have more coins to sell, you know where to go.
An Online Coin Dealer
This is very convenient. And if you are a private person, you don’t have to meet the buyer face-to-face.
Online, you will be able to find a lot of these buyers and reputable ones, too. So if one does not work for you, you have many others to choose from.
But bear in mind that the transaction won’t be private. You will leave financial footprints online. And the payment may take days or weeks to clear while the dealer holds your coins.
Additionally, transporting the coins is a risk. It may be delayed or you may lose them. Plus, it costs to transport them.
A Coin Show
You will find many experts and reputable dealers at one coin show. Even if you don’t sell immediately, you tend to get a good valuation of your coins.
However, you will pay an entrance fee to the show. And it does not happen often; once in a month or two is usually the earliest.
You are likely to get a higher payout on eBay if your coins get into an auction-style sale. There are usually many serious buyers and collectors on the site, looking for such opportunities. You stand an even better chance if your coins are of the rarest type.
There is also a slight chance of underselling in the auction-style sale. Plus, you will pay for the services. In addition, transporting the coins may eat well into your profit.
To know how much a 1979 silver dollar is worth, take the following into consideration:
- Mint mark
These two factors make all the difference in increasing or decreasing the value of your dollar coins.
Have any questions? I am here to answer them. Ask them in the comments section.