Eisenhower Dollar (Ike Dollars) Specifications and Details

In 1969 the United States beat the Russians to the moon with Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin being the first humans to leave their footprints there. The United States wanted to honor this accomplishment on a coin. Unfortunately, the cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar, for one reason or another, were off-limits for a redesign. Therefore, the United States Treasury Department decided to revive the dollar coin that had not been minted since 1935.

The new one-dollar coin would be the same diameter and approximately the same thickness as previous minted silver dollars, but the composition would be a copper-nickel clad base metal composition that is dictated by the Coinage Act of July 23, 1965. Mint engraver Frank Gasparro represented this historic event on the reverse by adapting the Apollo XI insignia from NASA. It was President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower who authorized the creation of NASA in 1958. Because of his involvement with NASA, the Treasury Department chose Eisenhower for the obverse of the coin.

The United States Mint saw an opportunity to market these new coins to collectors. In addition to producing regular business strike coins for circulation, the mint seized on the opportunity to also produce various special strikes and compositions for collectors. From 1971 through 1976, the mint produced special 40% silver composition Proof coins for collectors. These Proof coins were housed in hard plastic holders and placed in special brown boxes and are commonly referred to as "Brown Ikes." The mint also produced special uncirculated strikes in the 40% silver composition. They were distributed in blue envelopes with the coin being held in a soft plastic package. These are known as "Blue Ikes".

In 1973, the Treasury Department began a contest to select the design to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the American Revolutionary War on the quarter, half dollar and one-dollar coins. The Treasury Department chose Dennis R. Williams' reverse design on March 6, 1974, that superimposes the Liberty Bell on top of the moon for the reverse of the dollar coin. The United States Mint did not make any dollar coins dated 1975 since the production of the dual-dated (1776-1976) bicentennial coinage began in 1975 to meet the public's demand for these new circulating commemorative coins.

Coin Values and Prices

At one time, coin collectors frowned upon collecting Eisenhower dollars. The coins never circulated well with the public, the design was drab, and the coins never struck up well. Beginning in the mid-to-late 2000's, the popularity of collecting the last of the big United States dollars began to catch on. Coin experts began to find varieties, and the values for Eisenhower dollars began to rise.

Detailed Specifications

Issuing Government United States of America
Denomination $1.00 (One dollar)
Coinage Type Eisenhower One Dollar (a.k.a. Ike Dollar)
Mintage Dates 1971 to 1978
Production Facilities Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco
Mint Mark Location Above the '7' in the date on the obverse.
Composition Clad: Outside: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel; Core: 100% Copper
Silver: Outer layers: 80% silver and 20% copper;
Core: 20.9% silver and 79.1% copper (total: 40% silver)
Weight Clad: 22.680 grams
Silver: 24.592 grams
Weight Tolerance (+/-) Clad: 0.907 grams
Silver: 0.984 grams
Actual Gold Weight () 0.0000 Troy Ounces (does not contain any gold)
Actual Silver Weight (ASW) Clad: 0.0000 Troy Ounces (does not contain any silver)
Silver: 0.3162 Troy Ounces
Actual Platinum Weight () 0.0000 Troy Ounces (does not contain any platinum)
Specific Gravity Clad: 8.920
Silver: 9.530
Diameter 38.10 mm
Thickness 2.58 mm
Edge Type Reeded
Regular Obverse and Reverse (1971-1974 and 1977-1978)
Obverse Description President Dwight Eisenhower facing left, with LIBERTY above and IN GOD WE TRUST to the lower left and the date at the bottom.
Obverse Designer Frank Gasparro
Reverse Description Eagle holding an olive branch, landing on the moon, with the earth in the background with 13 stars in the field. The inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM above. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR at the border.
Reverse Designer Frank Gasparro
(Krause-Mishler Catalog No.) Clad: 203
Silver: 203a
Bicentennial Obverse and Reverse (1976)
Obverse Description President Dwight Eisenhower facing left, with LIBERTY above and IN GOD WE TRUST to the lower left and the dual date 1776-1976 at the bottom.
Obverse Designer Frank Gasparro
Reverse Description Liberty Bell superimposed in front of the moon. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM appears to the lower right. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR separated by two stars surrounds.
Reverse Designer Dennis R. Williams
KM# (Krause-Mishler Catalog No.) Clad: 206
Silver: 206a
Notes No coins dated 1975 were minted. Minting of the Bicentennial coins began in 1975 and continued throughout 1976. They have the dual date of "1776-1976".

Production Years, Mints and Types

The United States Mint Produced the Eisenhower dollar from 1971 until 1978 when the Treasury Department replaced it with the Susan B. Anthony dollar. You can learn about years, strike type, the mint facility where struck, the mint mark used on the coin and a description of any type differences in coins minted for that year.

Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1971 Philadelphia Clad
1971 Denver D Clad
1971 San Francisco S Silver
1971 Proof San Francisco S Silver
1972 Philadelphia Clad Type I
(Low Relief)
1972 Philadelphia Clad Type II
(High Relief)
1972 Philadelphia Clad Type III
(Modified High Relief)
1972 Denver D Clad
1972 San Francisco S Silver
1972 Proof San Francisco S Silver
1973 Philadelphia Clad
1973 Denver D Clad
1973 San Francisco S Silver
1973 Proof San Francisco S Clad
1973 Proof San Francisco S Silver
1974 Philadelphia Clad
1974 Denver D Clad
1974 San Francisco S Silver
1974 Proof San Francisco S Clad
1974 Proof San Francisco S Silver
Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1976 Philadelphia Bicentennial; Clad Type 1
(Thick letters reverse)
1976 Philadelphia Bicentennial; Clad Type 2
(Thin letters reverse)
1976 Denver D Bicentennial; Clad Type 1
(Thick letters reverse)
1976 Denver D Bicentennial; Clad Type 2
(Thin letters reverse)
1976 San Francisco S Bicentennial; Silver
1976 Proof San Francisco S Bicentennial; Clad Type 1
(Thick letters reverse)
1976 Proof San Francisco S Bicentennial; Clad Type 2
(Thin letters reverse)
1976 Proof San Francisco S Bicentennial; Silver
1977 Philadelphia Clad
1977 Denver D Clad
1977 Proof San Francisco S Clad
1978 Philadelphia Clad
1978 Denver D Clad
1978 Proof San Francisco S Clad

Errors and Varieties

The following are popular errors and varieties that Eisenhower Dollar collectors look for. These coins usually carry a premium and are valued above a common coin.

Year Mint Mint Mark Error/Variety Notes/Description
1971 Silver Proof San Francisco S Partial Peg Leg "R" Part of the serif on the "R" in Liberty is missing.
See Eisenhower Dollars Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for more information.
1971 Silver Proof San Francisco S Peg Leg "R" Missing the serif on the "R" in Liberty.
See Eisenhower Dollars Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for more information.
1972 Philadelphia Three different type of reverse dies were used Look at the Earth on the reverse to distinguish between the three type.
See Eisenhower Dollars Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for more information.

Mintage Figures

The United States Mint struck Eisenhower dollars (Ike dollars) over the span of eight years using a variety of different compositions and strike types.

Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1971 Clad Philadelphia 47,799,000
1971 Clad Denver D 68,587,424
1971 Silver San Francisco S 6,868,530 40% silver
1971 Silver Proof San Francisco S 4,265,234 40% silver
1972 Clad Philadelphia 75,890,000
1972 Clad Denver D 92,548,511
1972 Silver San Francisco S 2,193,056 40% silver
1972 Silver Proof San Francisco S 1,811,631 40% silver
1973 Clad Philadelphia 1,769,258
1973 Clad Denver D 1,769,258
1973 Clad Proof San Francisco S 2,760,339
1973 Silver San Francisco S 1,883,140 40% silver
1973 Silver Proof San Francisco S 1,013,646 40% silver
1974 Clad Philadelphia 27,366,000
1974 Clad Denver D 45,517,000
1974 Clad Proof San Francisco S 2,612,568
1974 Silver San Francisco S 1,900,156 40% silver
1974 Silver Proof San Francisco S 1,306,579 40% silver
Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Philadelphia 113,318,000
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Philadelphia 4,019,000
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Denver D 82,179,564
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Denver D 21,048,710
1976 Bicentennial; Silver San Francisco S 4,908,319 40% silver
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Proof San Francisco S 4,149,730
1976 Bicentennial; Silver Proof San Francisco S 3,998,621 40% silver
1976 Bicentennial; Clad Proof San Francisco S 2,845,450
1977 Clad Philadelphia 12,596,000
1977 Clad Denver D 32,983,006
1977 Clad Proof San Francisco S 3,251,152
1978 Clad Philadelphia 25,702,000
1978 Clad Denver D 33,102,890
1978 Clad Proof San Francisco S 3,127,781

Suggested Books on Eisenhower Dollars

  • Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins; Walter Breen; Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (May 1, 1988); ISBN-10: 0385142072; ISBN-13: 978-0385142076
  • The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume II; Fivaz, Bill and J.T. Stanton; Publisher: Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (2011); ISBN-10: 0794832393; ISBN-13: 978-0794832391
  • The Authoritative Reference on Eisenhower Dollars, 2nd Edition [Paperback] by John Wexler; Publisher: Kyle Vick; 2nd edition (2007); {212 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, 1,000+ photos}; ISBN-10: 0967965594 ; ISBN-13: 978-0967965598
  • Little Book of Collectible Eisenhower Dollars [Paperback] by Bill Sanders; Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 24, 2011); ISBN-10: 1463626959; ISBN-13: 978-1463626952
  • Collectible Ike Varieties - Facts, Photos and Theories; Publisher: Lulu (November 28, 2011; ISBN-10: 1257973347; ISBN-13: 978-1257973347; ASIN: B00588AK4U