|Coin||Weight (g)||Composition||Silver Melt Value||Full Melt Value|
|Eisenhower (for S mints only 1971-1974, & 1976)||24.59||40% silver, 60% copper|
The Ike Silver Dollar was only struck for collects in as uncirculated or Proof forty percent silver coins from 1971 thru 1974 and 1976 at the San Francisco mint and have the "S" mint mark. The former General of the Army and President Dwight David Eisenhower had passed away on March 28th, 1969. On October 29, 1969 Congressman Bob Casey of Texas introduced the bill for a new dollar coin to be struck commemorating both former President Eisenhower and Apollo XI with its historic flight to the moon culminating with the first man on the moon.
The United States had dropped silver from circulating coins in 1964 and the dollar coin was infrequently used for general circulation because of its size. There were some tensions over a base medal being used in the dollar coin that was being prepared to memorialize Ike.
The Peace Dollar was issued in 1921-1928, 1934, and 1935. It was designed to commemorate the United States victory in World War I. In 1964 there was a national coin shortage and 316,076 silver Peace dollars were minted. In March of 1964 the United States had dropped the silver standard subsequently the 1964 Peace silver dollars were destroyed without leaving the mint. This caused Congress to pass a five year moratorium on one dollar coins. The Ike Dollar was not issued until 1971 and continued thru 1978. This is the first dollar coin issued by the United States mint since the Peace Dollar.
The “Ike” Dollar is the first base (non-precious) metal dollar struck by the United States Mint. The Ike Dollar business strike is nickel clad and minted for general circulation in 1971 to 1978. The nickel clad Ike dollars have a composition of 25% nickel and 75% copper this covers a core of 100% copper. The business strikes are copper-nickel and weighs 22.68 grams.
The Ike Silver Dollar is a silver clad coin of 40% silver and 60% copper weighing 24.59 grams. These silver clad coins have a core of 79% copper and 21% silver; the cladding is 80% silver and 20% copper. The Ike Silver Dollar had been struck for collectors by the San Francisco Mint with the “S” mint mark as Proof and Uncirculated silver coins. The San Francisco Mint did no business strikes for the Ike dollar.
There were a small number of Ike Silver Dollar accidentally struck at the Denver Mint with the “D” mint mark in 1974, 1976, and 1977. The Denver Mint’s Ike Silver Dollar had been released with the business strikes so they are in circulated condition. It is fairly easy to determine if you have a silver clad coin verses a nickel clad coin. Since the nickel clad coins have a copper core you can look at the edge edgeways and if there is a streak of copper running around the center of the edge around the coin then you have a nickel clad coin.
Both clad coins are 38.1 millimeters in diameter and 2.58 Millimeters thick with a reeded edge and the same designs. The obverse was designed by Frank Gasparro and has Ike facing left with “LIBERTY” encircling the top of the coin and the date on the bottom. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is on the very lower left under Ike’s chin. The mint mark: “D” for Denver, “S” for San Francisco, and none indicates the Philadelphia Mint, is between Ike’s head and the date.
The reverse’s design was based on art work of Michael Collins and James Cooper and has a bald eagle is in the center of the coin with wings spread landing with an olive branch clutched in both talons. A horizon and surface of the moon is in the background arcing on the lower quarter of the coin. Thirteen stars start just above the lunar horizon and encircle the eagle. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is centered and stacked under the stars and above the eagle with a small Earth just off a little lower and left. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircles the upper outer part of the coin by the rim and likewise below at the base of the coin is “ONE DOLLAR”. This reverse was used from 1971 to 1974 and then again in 1977 and 1978. There are no Ike dollars dated 1975. These were either minted in 1974 or as a Bicentennial edition.
The Bicentennial reverse was designed by Dennis R. Williams. In the center of the coin is an off center Liberty Bell, a little left, and then behind a little right and up is the full moon. Stack in the lower right quarter is “E PLURIBUS UMUN”. At the base of the coin, encircling along the rim is “ONE DOLLAR” then separated by a large star on either side is “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircles the top of the coin along the rim.
There are only a few minor variations. One has to do with modification of the die hub: for the nickel clad Philadelphia 1972 strikes there are three; a “High”, “Low”, and Modified Earth Relief. Then the silver 1971 San Francisco has a die break apartment on the obverse: of “LIBERTY” the “R”’s second “leg” is effected and called a Peg (claw) Leg with a partial “Peg” leg as well. A third has to do with all the mints, including the Ike Silver Dollar, for the Bicentennial issue which has a variation with the lettering on the reverse; a thin lettering variation and a bold (or thick) letters. Since these are modern coins and produced in large quantities Mint and Proof tend to be sought after by most collectors.
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