Susan B. Anthony (SBA) One Dollar Coin Specifications and Details

Illustration of Susan B Anthony coins

Illustration: The Spruce / Chloe Giroux

Background and History

In 1976 The United States Mint began to consider abolishing the current large size dollar coinage or making a new coin that was smaller and lighter in weight. Although Eisenhower dollars never widely circulated, the U.S. Mint and The Department of the Treasury was intent on keeping the one dollar coin.

Keeping with the times, it was decided to portray a woman on the new smaller coin. It was decided that Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer of women's rights, would be portrayed on the new coin. Research indicated that the coin could easily be confused with a quarter, so an eleven sided rim was included in the design and a marketing campaign was mounted to educate the public.

Susan B. Anthony One Dollar Coin
Susan B. Anthony One Dollar Coin (Obverse and Reverse). Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

All of this was to no avail. The public still confused the new coin with a quarter and it never circulated widely. The reverse used the same design that was used on the previous one dollar coin, the Eisenhower dollar. No coins were made from 1981 through 1998. However, in 1999 an additional run was made to meet the demands of the vending machine industry. The next year the Sacajawea dollar was introduced. Prices for Susan B. Anthony dollars are affordable for all type of collectors.

Detailed Specifications

Year Mint Mint Mark Type
1979 Philadelphia P
1979 Denver D
1979 San Francisco S
1979 Proof San Francisco S Type 1; Filled S
(Mint mark looks like a blob)
1979 Proof San Francisco S Type 2; Clear S
(Mint mark is clear and well formed)
1980 Philadelphia P
1980 Denver D
1980 San Francisco S
1980 Proof San Francisco S
1981 Philadelphia P
1981 Denver D
1981 San Francisco S
1981 Proof San Francisco S Type 1; Clear S
(Mint mark is clear but pointed)
1981 Proof San Francisco S Type 2; Flat S
(Mint mark is flat on top)
1999 Philadelphia P
1999 Proof Philadelphia P
1999 Denver D

1979 & 1981 Proof Susan B Anthony Dollar Varieties

In 1979 mint marks were still added to coin dies by hand. A mint worker preparing a die to be used at the San Francisco mint for the production of Proof coins broke the metal punch that was used to impart the mint mark into the die. This process involved the worker holding the metal punch on the die while striking it with a heavy hammer. The hard metal that the die is made from caused the mint mark punch to shatter.

A new metal punch used to impart the mint mark into the die was made by an artisan at the mint with a slightly larger and clearer "S". Since this happened near the end of the production run, the Type 2 (clear and well formed mint mark) is the rarer or of the two types of 1979 proof Susan B. Anthony dollars.

This same sequence of events played out again in 1981 and resulted in two types of Proof 1981 Susan B. Anthony Dollars.

Errors and Varieties

The following are popular errors and varieties that Susan B. Anthony (SBA) One Dollar Coin collectors look for. These coins usually carry a premium and are valued above a common coin.

Year Mint Mint Mark Error/Variety Notes/Description
1979 Philadelphia P Wide Rim (or "Near Date") Date is closer to the rim than previous 1979 issues.

Mintage Figures

The following table lists mint production numbers for the number of Susan B. Anthony (SBA) One Dollar Coin produced at each mint facility. Where possible, production numbers by strike type are noted.

Year Mint Mint Mark Mintage Notes
1979 Philadelphia P 360,222,000 All types
1979 Denver D 288,015,744
1979 San Francisco S 109,576,000
1979 Proof San Francisco S 3,677,175 All types
1980 Philadelphia P 27,610,000
1980 Denver D 41,628,708
1980 San Francisco S 20,422,000
1980 Proof San Francisco S 3,554,806
1981 Philadelphia P 3,000,000 Issued only in mint sets
1981 Denver D 3,250,000 Issued only in mint sets
1981 Proof San Francisco S 4,063,083 All types
1981 San Francisco S 3,492,000 Issued only in mint sets
1999 Philadelphia P 29,592,000
1999 Proof Philadelphia P 750,000
1999 Denver D 11,776,000

Suggested Books on Susan B. Anthony (SBA) One Dollar Coin

  • Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins; Walter Breen; Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (May 1, 1988); ISBN-13: 978-0385142076
    Compare Prices
  • The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume 2; Fivaz, Bill and J.T. Stanton; Publisher: Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (2009); ISBN-13: 978-0794832391
    Compare Prices
  • History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage, Whitman Publishing Llc; 1ST edition (April 30, 2005), ISBN-10 0794819729, ISBN-13 978-0794819729
    Compare Prices
  • A Guide Book of United States Proof Sets 2nd Edition (Official Red Books), Whitman Publishing; 2 edition (June 1, 2010), ISBN-10: 0794828604, ISBN-13: 978-0794828608
    Compare Prices