Eisenhower Dollar: Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties

Learn How to Identify These Rare and Valuable Ike Dollars

Eisenhower dollar
rusm / Getty Images

Although the Eisenhower or "Ike" one-dollar coin never circulated widely, it is starting to become more popular among coin collectors. The United States Mint first produced Eisenhower dollars in 1971 to honor the late president and World War II hero. On April 29, 1969, Congressman Robert Casey of Texas introduced legislation mandating this new one-dollar coin. On October 29, 1969, Congressman Robert R. Casey proposed another bill to define the reverse of the new dollar coin as a tribute to the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Production continued until 1978.

Since more coin collectors are starting to collect this series, this increased collector interest has led to the discovery of multiple die varieties and errors. However, not all of them will be listed in standard coin catalogs and value guides. The editors of these guides usually wait until collector interest in a particular die variety or error rises to the level of attention that conventional collectors would want to know the value. Additionally, editors of coin value guides need to have an adequate volume of sales history to publish a value. You can study these popular Eisenhower dollar varieties and errors so you can add them to your collection.

  • 01 of 07

    1971-S Proof Eisenhower Dollar - Normal "R"

    Eisenhower Dollar 1971-S Proof (Normal "R")
    James Bucki

    On most issues of the San Francisco 1971-S Proof Eisenhower dollar, the "R" in LIBERTY has a serif at the bottom of the vertical leg. This is easily identified by two artistic protrusions from the bottom of the vertical leg on the R. These coins were struck early in the life of the die before it began to wear out. The strike and cameo contrast are usually bold and clear. This is the most common die variety because it is exactly as the designer created it.

  • 02 of 07

    1971-S Proof Eisenhower Dollar - Peg Leg "R"

    Eisenhower Dollar 1971-S Proof (Peg Leg "R")
    James Bucki

    The rare variety of the San Francisco minted 1971 Proof Eisenhower one-dollar coin does not have the serifs at the bottom of the vertical leg on the "R" in LIBERTY. Some researchers believe that this variety was caused by over-polishing the Proof dies (a.k.a. die abrasion). Others think that it was a change in the coin hub that created the master die. Regardless of the cause of this die variety, it is a rare coin and carries a premium over and above common strikes.

    Read MoreIke Peg Legs FAQ from The Ike Group.

  • 03 of 07

    1972 Eisenhower Dollar – Type 1 (Low Relief)

    Eisenhower Dollar 1972 Type 1 Low Relief
    James Bucki

    The 1972 Philadelphia minted Eisenhower dollar Type I reverse was used from January of that year through August. You can identify this variety by looking at the three islands to the right of Florida found on the earth rising above the moon. Additionally, the earth's rim is flat from about eight o'clock to eleven o'clock and the feathers on the eagle's breast are raised and distinct.

    Since the production run of this variety ran for nine months, it is the most common of the three varieties. Therefore, it carries very little numismatic premium.

  • 04 of 07

    1972 Eisenhower Dollar – Type 2 (High Relief)

    Eisenhower Dollar 1972 Type 2 High Relief
    James Bucki

    The 1972 Philadelphia Minted Ike Dollar Type 2 reverse is the rarest of all three varieties. This was created when a Proof reverse die was mistakenly used in August at the Philadelphia mint facility. This type was created from a single coin die and was used in only one production run. This variety is identified by the absence of islands beneath Florida on the earth rising above the moon. Instead of islands, there are three incuse lines that look like water. Additionally, North America and South America seemed to fade out at the top and bottom of the earth.

    Since only one coin die was used in the production of this variety, it is estimated that the number of coins produced is under 100,000. Therefore, this is the most sought after die variety in the Eisenhower Dollar series.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    1972 Eisenhower Dollar – Type 3 (Modified High Relief)

    Eisenhower Dollar 1972 Type 3 Modified High Relief
    James Bucki

    The 1972 Type 3 Eisenhower dollar used a new reverse die that was created and used from September through the rest of the year. The islands on the earth that are rising over the moon on the reverse of this variety appear beneath and to the left of Florida and the overall relief and details of the earth are strengthened. The eagle's breast feathers are smooth and are not well defined. This variety is also known as the "Normal Reverse" in some publications.

  • 06 of 07

    1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar – Type 1

    Eisenhower Dollar Bicentennial Type 1
    Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

    Due to the anticipated high demand for bicentennial coins by the citizens the public, the United States Mint began producing the duel dated (1776-1976) Bicentennial Eisenhower dollars in 1975. Therefore, there are no Eisenhower dollars dated 1975. The mint first used a reverse die that had thick letters on UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR. Problems getting the coins to strike up correctly persisted, and artists at the mint had to rework the coin die. The easiest way to identify this variety is to look at the "T" in STATES. The horizontal bar in the "T" is squared at each end.

  • 07 of 07

    1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar – Type 2

    Eisenhower Dollar Bicentennial Type 2
    Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

    The United States Mint created a new reverse die to strike the remainder of the Bicentennial dollars. This die had thin letters that were used for UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR. Additionally, other details were enhanced and strengthened. The easiest way to identify this variety is to look at the "T" in STATES. The horizontal bar in the "T" is slanted at each end.

    The United States Mint began producing these Type 2 coins in early 1976. Since both Type 1 and Type 2 coins were produced for an entire year, neither variety carries a numismatic premium. Uncirculated coins can be purchased for around five dollars from your favorite coin dealer.