Certified Eisenhower Dollars
The Eisenhower Dollar was issued from 1971 to 1978. Despite this relatively short duration of years, the coin was produced across different mint facilities, in different compositions, and with different varieties. This creates a multitude of issues for collectors to pursue. The series can be particularly challenging for this seeking certified examples of the coins in high grade.
The obverse design of the coin features a portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower who had served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II before becoming the 34th President of the United States. The design was proposed shortly following his passing and created by Frank Gasparro based on a drawing he had made many years earlier.
The reverse design, also by Gasparro, was based on the Apollo 11 mission insignia. This historic spaceflight had brought man to the moon for the first time on July 20, 1969. An eagle is pictured carrying an olive branch to the cratered surface of the moon, with the earth visible in the distant background.
During the Eisenhower Dollars series, coins were struck for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint facilities. The San Francisco Mint would strike coins for collectors. From 1971 to 1974, this included 40% silver versions struck in both uncirculated and proof qualities. From 1973 to 1978, the San Francisco Mint would also strike proof versions in clad composition for inclusion in the annual proof set.
Advanced collectors of the series will find several issues which are difficult to find in higher grades. This is particularly the case for earlier issues of the series struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The copper nickel composition and the wide diameter of the coins made striking difficult. The large flat surfaces of the design also resulted in excessive bag marks or abrasions on circulating versions of the coins.
Lower mintage issues of the series include the circulation strike 1973 Eisenhower Dollars from the Philadelphia and Denver Mint. These coins were only released in the annual mint set, which limited the distribution. The scarcest variety of the series is the 1972 Type 2, which represented only a small portion of the overall mintage for the year.