Collecting Susan B. Anthony One Dollar Coins

Susan B. Anthony One Dollar Coin
Heritage Auctions,

Frank Gasparro designed the Susan B. Anthony (S.B.A.) one dollar coin and it was first minted in 1979. The Treasury Department hailed this new one-dollar coin as the replacement for the paper one-dollar bill. The coin was continuously produced through 1981. Unfortunately, the coin's size and color were very similar to the U.S. quarter, and people frequently confused this new one-dollar coin with a quarter. This confusion resulted in the public rejecting the use of this coin and initiated its ultimate demise.

In 1999 The Federal Reserve Bank ordered more one-dollar coins to meet the demand of the vending machine industry. Most of these coins ended up in vending machines used by the United States Postal Service. This increase in demand resulted in an eighteen-year lapse between 1981 and 1999 where no dollar coins were produced.

Collector demand for this coin series is low due to its unremarkable design and rejection by the public. Both circulated and uncirculated examples are readily available. Occasionally, you may be able to find circulated coins available at your local bank.

Uncirculated coins can be purchased at reasonable costs from your local coin dealer. Intermediate collectors seeking examples of proof and die variety coins will find them readily available at local coin shows and on the Internet.

Advanced collectors seeking to assemble a collection of the high-grade business strikes and proof specimens will need patience and time to track them down and purchase them. When producing these coins, the United States mint didn't pay much attention to the quality of their production. Dies were used long past their useful life and this resulted in poor quality strikes. Look for high-quality coins that have crisp clear strikes from early die state strikes. Additionally, high-grade specimens should be submitted to third-party grading services to ensure their authenticity and package them into their protective holders.


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Type Collecting

Beginning collectors or coin collectors not seeking to assemble an entire set can readily find an uncirculated example at any coin shop or coin show. The United States Mint issued three coin collector sets of uncirculated specimens from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints. Coin collectors can purchase the sets for a slight premium over face value.

Date Set

Given the short run of this series, very few people will collect a date set of S.B.A. Dollars. At first glance, it looks like this series has a twenty-one-year span of production, but in fact, the United States Mint only produced it for four years (1979, 1980, 1981 and 1999). With a little extra cash and effort, you can collect an entire date and mint set of this series.

Date and Mint Set

A majority of coin collectors assemble a set of Susan B. Anthony dollars by date and mint mark of business strike coins. You may even find that your local bank may have some of these coins available when customers deposit them or exchange them for paper currency. Otherwise, you may obtain them from your local coin dealer or online for a small premium over face value. To complete your coin collection, you will need to collect a total of eleven coins:

  • 1979-P
  • 1979-D
  • 1979-S
  • 1980-P
  • 1980-D
  • 1980-S
  • 1981-P
  • 1981-D
  • 1981-S
  • 1999-P
  • 1999-D

Complete Set

Intermediate and advanced coin collectors looking for a challenge will attempt to assemble a complete date and mint set that includes business strikes, proof issues, and five popular die varieties. Furthermore, you should strive to obtain the business strike coins with a minimum grade of at least MS-65. Almost all the coins in the series are extremely affordable. However, there is only one coin that will cost you a little more than $100: the 1981-S SBA Dollar Proof Type 2. In addition to the coins listed above, you will need to obtain the following coins:

  • 1979-P Wide Rim (aka: Near Date)
  • 1979-S Proof Type 1 (Blob Mint Mark)
  • 1979-S Proof Type 2 (Clear Mint Mark)
  • 1981-S Proof Type 1 (Clear Mint Mark)
  • 1981-S Proof Type 2 (Flat Mint Mark)

Values and Grading

Many factors go into determining the price and value of a coin. As a coin collector, you must develop your coin grading skills in order to determine an accurate value of your coins. Also, you will directly benefit by learning as much information as you can about the Susan B. Anthony One Dollar coins. This includes such things as total mintages, die varieties, and detailed specifications.