The United States Mint produced Eisenhower Dollars from 1971 through 1978. These were never circulated in most of the USA, although you could see them in Las Vegas casinos.
Have you ever heard of Ike Dollars? This is another name for the Eisenhower dollar used in honor of the late president’s nickname.
Today, the 1971 silver dollar is among the most collectible coins because it’s the last circulating large-size dollar.
Take a few minutes to learn more about this collectible silver coin, its history, and its worth.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower died in 1969, President Richard Nixon signed the legislation to strike a new coin in his honor. This was the first official coin struck since 1935 (the end of the Peace dollar series) and the first coin to have a copper-nickel clad metallic base.
Eisenhower dollars made for circulation were struck in copper-nickel clad from 1971 through 1978. However, the United States Mint in San Francisco offered it in 40% silver as well.
These were issued in two varieties known as the 1971-S uncirculated and 1971-S proof varieties. Both of these are particularly interesting for collectors because they’re rare.
The United States Mint changed it a bit during the eight-year production run. This is why you can now find several different design elements.
There are three different die varieties, one of which is quite rare. There was a unique reverse design put out to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial.
These feature a rendition of the Liberty Bell placed on the mood. Dennis R. Williams’ design was chosen to celebrate the moon landings and the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The state began producing these coins of 1776-1976 in 1975, which is why no Eisenhower dollars are dated 1975.
When it comes to the 1971 silver dollar, it’s important to note that the United States Mint produced 47,799,000 of them. However, this doesn’t always match the circulation number of coins.
In other words, these numbers don’t include the coins that have been destroyed, melted, or never released.
How Much is a 1971 Silver Dollar Worth
The value of silver coins usually depends on the value of silver itself. Keep in mind that some were uncirculated while others were proof specimens.
Eisenhower dollars are collectibles, although they’re not worth much more than their weight in silver. The standard 1971 silver dollar in MS 63 choice uncirculated condition can get you $14, while you’ll get around $20 if the coin is in MS 65 gem uncirculated condition.
However, their price sometimes depends on the cost of silver. Since silver goes for $25 per ounce, a 1971 silver dollar price might also rise and fall.
The price of a 1971 silver dollar doesn’t typically reference any standard grading scale. However, it’s best to know the system to help you estimate the price to some extent.
- The MS 63 choice uncirculated is a coin with a rather large blemish or a contact mark. Its luster is also not as prominent.
- MS 65 gem uncirculated has a strong luster. It typically has a few contact marks that aren’t too noticeable.
- The PR 65 proof might have a few blemishes, but it otherwise has no flaws.
One thing to keep in mind is that high-grade 1971 Eisenhower dollars are tough to find. Even if you do find some, they’re likely to have quite some imperfections and contact marks.
Three different mints of The United States produced Ike dollars. For this reason, you’ll see that the 1971 dollar has a letter in its name and a mark on the obverse.
The ones produced in Philadelphia don’t have a mintmark. Those made in Denver have a D, while those produced in San Francisco have an S.
You can see the mark above the date and below the president’s portrait.
The chart below can help you understand the difference between the buy price and sell value. These are approximate retail prices, and you might not always come across the same numbers when trying to buy or sell.
In other words, a particular coin dealer might vary the price and value differently. They’ll look at the coin’s grade, among other factors they think are essential to determine the worth.
For this reason, look at the chart as more of a guidance.
|Date and Mint||Circulated Buy||Circulated Sell||Uncirculated Buy||Uncirculated Sell|
|1971-S Silver||$7.00||Bullion Value||$14.00||$9.50|
|1971-S Slv. Proof Proof||/||/||$14.00||$10.50|
|1971-S Slv. Pr Cameo Proof||/||/||$15.00||$12.50|
|1971-S Slv. Pr Deep Cameo Proof||/||/||$16.00||$11.00|
This is approximately what you can expect when buying or selling. However, it’s important to note that these are collectible items, so you might come across much higher prices. The record price paid was $6,900, which happened at a Heritage auction in March 2012.
Blue Pack Ike Dollars
The 1971-S silver dollar is the poorest when it comes to quality and strike. When it was offered for sale, it came with a special insert that said it was produced without any special care.
This is easy to notice on each 1971-S coin you see regardless of whether it’s certified or uncertified. While the 1972-1974 Blue Pack Ike is typically MS66 to MS67, most 1971-S Eisenhower dollars are MS63 to MS65.
- The FS-401 – Peg Leg
Although it’s estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 were struck, only five have been certified by NGC and 367 by PCGS. The FS-401 variety trades for approximately $40 if you also have the original government packaging. Certified examples in the grade of MS67 can get you around $300.
- The FS-501 S/S RPM
These are some of the most popular RPMs, with the re-punched mintmark clearly visible. It’s best seen on coins struck with fresh dye, but you’ll notice it’s more challenging to notice when the dye wears down.
This one trades for about $40 in original packaging. You can get around $200 for examples in MS66, but only if they’re certified by NGC or PCGS.
A single MS67 coin was sold at Heritage for a staggering $8,813 in January 2016. The value would probably drop if a few more examples appeared.
Collecting a 32-coin Set
It’s unlikely you’ll have any issues completing the set of 32 Eisenhower coins. However, many of these coins were badly struck.
For this reason, many pieces now have bag marks, nicks, and scratches, especially those from 1971 and 1972. Eisenhower dollars are rarely melted because of the lack of precious metal content.
Collecting a whole set with high-grade coins is not only difficult but expensive. This is even more the case for 1971 and 1972 coins from Denver and Philadelphia. These were never sold in mint sets and have only come through banks.
Also, keep in mind that a 1973-D tied with ten other coins of the exact date and mintmark was sold for $12,925 in June 2013.
The 32-coin set has all the regular-issue business-strike and proof examples. It has the 40% silver Eisenhower dollars dated 1971-S, 1972-S, 1973-S, 1974-S, and 1976-S.
A set made up of uncirculated and proof coins can be collected for less than $500. Those up for paying a bit more look for each of the regular-issue coins in gem grades, including the proof-67 and higher.
Sadly, The United States Mint didn’t really care much when transporting or handling these coins. This means many of them have some sort of damage or scratch.
With that said, it’s easy to understand why it’s so difficult to find a 1971 dollar in gem condition. Some of the rarest gem coins trade for as much as $1,000.
The lowest price for a 1971 dollar is around $4, but this coin can bring you much more. Of course, its value depends on many things like the state and condition, variety, the mint mark, and more.
An Eisenhower dollar was somewhat of a fail since it didn’t circulate further than the west coast, where it was used in casinos. Still, it’s a unique collectible coin many collectors sought to have.
The production began in 1971, so the 1971 silver dollar is where you want to start if you’re looking to complete a set. It can be challenging to find in pristine condition for several reasons but mainly because no care was taken in production.
Even today, people exchange rolls of these coins for paper money. This is another reason why uncirculated ones are more expensive than the circulated examples.
Identifying whether or not your 1971 silver dollar is worth any notable amount shouldn’t be too difficult. However, you may want a professional to look at it to determine its condition and rarity.