Eisenhower Dollars Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties

Identifying Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for Ike Dollars

Eisenhower dollar
rusm / Getty Images

Although the Eisenhower or "Ike" dollar 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 the series, this has led to the discovery of multiple die varieties and errors. 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.

  • 02 of 07

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

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

    The rarer variety of the San Francisco minted 1971 Eisenhower proof dollar 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 die (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 is flat from about eight o'clock to eleven o'clock and the feathers on the eagle's breast are raised and distinct.

  • 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.

    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

    The United States Mint began producing the duel dated (1776-1976) Bicentennial Eisenhower dollars in 1975. 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.