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The first Eisenhower Dollar was issued in 1971 honoring both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the first landing of man on the moon. This new 'Ike Dollar' was the first dollar coin to be issued in the United States since 1935.
The Eisenhower Dollar was designed by Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro. The obverse depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the reverse shows an eagle landing on the moon. The engravers initials appear on the truncation of Eisenhower's neck and just below the eagle's tail feathers. One exception is the Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar which had the mint mark located on the obverse between the neckline and the date. Eisenhower Dollars minted in Philadelphia bear no mint mark.
In observance of the Bicentennial the dollar still portrayed the bust of Eisenhower, a dual date of 1776-1976 was added. A completely new reverse, depicting the Liberty Bell and the moon. Bicentennial designs were used on all quarters, halves and dollars issued from 1975 to 1976. No Eisenhower Dollars were struck with a 1975 date. Eisenhower Dollars struck in 1975 can be distinguished by wide, low relief lettering on the reverse (Type 1). Pieces struck in 1976 had sharp narrow lettering on the reverse (Type 2). All 1976 Silver issues were struck in 1975; meaning there are no silver Type 2 coins.
The composition varies depending on the issue. Pieces issued for general circulation, 1971-1978, had a weight of 22.68 grams, a diameter of 38.1mm, a reeded edge, and a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel bonded to a core of pure copper. Special silver pieces issued at a premium for collectors, from 1971-1976, had a weight of 24.59 grams, a diameter of 38.1mm, a reeded edge, and a complex composition as follows: outer layers 80% silver and 20% copper bonded to an inner core of 20.9% silver and 79.1% copper...resulting in a silver content of 40% (net silver weight .3161 oz. pure).
Eisenhower Dollars were struck in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
Terms and Mint Marks
BU (Brilliant Uncirculated): A strictly uncirculated coin with attractive mint luster but noticeable detracting contact marks or minor blemishes.
PRF (Proof Edition): The term "Proof" refers to a method of manufacture which produces a superior quality coin. Proofs are struck on specially prepared planchets using highly polished dies. They are struck multiple times at low speed and are made expressly for collectors in Proof Sets. Modern Proof coins are easily identified by their mirror-like finish and frosted features.
1 vs 2: The 1976 Type 1 Dollar has flat, shallow letters on the reverse. The Type 2 has sharp, thin lettering on the reverse.
SILVER vs CLAD: Some of the Eisenhower Dollars issued between 1971 and 1976 were composed of 40% Silver. These were Special Issues available only from the U. S. Mint which sold them at a premium. Eisenhower Dollars issued for general circulation were Clad: composed of a mixture of nickel and copper.
D (Denver): The 'D' mint mark is located on the obverse between the date and Eisenhower's neckline.
S (San Francisco): The 'S' mint mark is located on the obverse between the date and Eisenhower's neckline.
Note: Dollars struck in Philadelphia bear no mint mark.
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