» 1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Error List & Value

1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Error List & Value

1971 eisenhower silver dollar value

If you’re curious about the Eisenhower Silver Dollar Value, it’s probably because you own one or want to buy one. It is also possible that you are an enthusiast who is considering getting into the world of coin collecting.

You should be aware that the Eisenhower silver dollar is one of the most desirable coins to acquire. This is due to the fact that the coin was only minted from 1971 to 1978, and collecting all of the coins from that time period is not a difficult task.

These were the last silver dollars made, and they were a coin with many difficulties and peculiarities.

That is why in this guide we want to provide you with all the information you need to get to know the 1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar in depth.

1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Value Chart

Quality 1971 San Francisco (S) Silver Dollar Value 1971 San Francisco (S) Proof Silver Dollar Value 1971 San Francisco (S) Proof Silver Dollar Type 1 Reverse Value
Extremely Fine $ 11
Uncirculated $13
MS 65 $32
MS 68 $6,500
PR 60 $9

Cameo: $10

Deep Cameo: $13

PR 63 $12

Cameo: $14

Deep Cameo: $15

PR 66 $15

Cameo: $17

Deep Cameo: $22

PR 69 $22

Cameo: $35

Deep Cameo: $46

Deep Cameo: $9,500

In the United States, the silver dollar has a long history. They were first minted in 1794, at the same time as gold dollars.

Most silver coins featured Lady Liberty as the main image, but in 1909, the first official coin with President Abraham Lincoln’s face on the obverse was minted. This coin was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth.

It was also a reference for the following coins, which gradually replaced Lady Liberty’s face with that of various US presidents.

This is how the silver dollar was reintroduced after several years in 1971. President Eisenhower died in March 1969, and it was the ideal time to create a coin in his honor.

However, by that time, silver coins had been replaced with a much cheaper metal alloy and a coating to enhance the coin’s luster.

There was much debate about whether it was acceptable to make Eisenhower coins without real silver, and many would consider this an offense, so it was decided that only the San Francisco mint would be responsible for producing coins with real silver out of the entire annual production.

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To produce true silver coins, the coin composition in San Francisco was changed, and the coin production was much more careful, with several strikes for the minting and very well-controlled processes.

The core of the silver coins is 40% silver and 60% copper. The coin’s coating is 80% silver and 20% copper. This results in a coin with a high gloss finish and a slightly heavier weight than any other 1971 coin produced outside of San Francisco.

Despite the fact that silver coins were minted for several years, this series did not last long because Eisenhower coins were not popular and people did not find a useful use for the coin.

Many were used in slot machines, but they were generally difficult to find in circulation, and after 8 years, it was decided to withdraw the series, replacing the coin with another of a new size and design, but that coin did not work either.

The 1971 silver dollar is the first coin in the series and is often the coin that collectors begin with if they want to complete the entire series of Eisenhower silver dollars.

1971 S Eisenhower Silver Dollar Value

1971 S Eisenhower Silver Dollar
Image Credit: USA Coin Book

This is one of the most intricate and intriguing coins in American history. It may not have meant much to most people, but it is a highly sought-after coin among collectors because it was made specifically for them.

These coins were never meant to circulate freely, but a special batch was produced at the Philadelphia mint for coins with a different composition and intended for collectors.

The Denver and Philadelphia mints produced millions of Eisenhower coins in 1971, but they were not made of silver. The coins minted in San Francisco, on the other hand, contain 40% silver and the rest is copper. They have an 80% silver and 20% copper coating.

As a result, the coins shine brightly and have a higher value than common coins in circulation.

However, the life of this coin would be brief. Even the circulating coins became obsolete and were phased out before the end of the 1970s.

Silver dollars are only issued by the San Francisco mint, so look for the mint mark on the obverse of the coin to identify it. An “S” appears on all San Francisco coins.

These coins are distinguished by being heavier than those previously in circulation and by having been minted using various techniques, which explains why some will be much more expensive or available only in extremely high gem states.

However, if you want to buy an uncirculated or even a gem-grade one, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Because these coins were intended for collectors, the mint initially gave them away but later sold them to anyone who wanted to buy them.

In fact, the success was so great that they had to limit the number of coins that could be purchased. Initially, each person could purchase up to five coins, but this was reduced to one coin per person.

That is why this coin is not rare. On the contrary, it is a coin that is in very good condition and does not cost a lot of money, so it makes it perfect for all newbies entering the world of coin collecting.


1971 Obverse
Image Credit: APMEX

The coin’s obverse depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower as its main character. This coin was designed by artist Frank Gasparro, who was also the mint’s Chief Engraver.

Gasparro is said to have been a big fan of President Eisenhower, and the bust on the coin is based on a drawing he did of him years ago.

Gasparro also did not have much creative freedom in the design of the coin because the obverse had to bear Eisenhower’s image and the two designs on the reverse were rejected and replaced by a sketch of an astronaut that Gasparro had to modify. So it can be said that the front is the only original design of the artist.

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Another requirement for designing the coin was that the obverse be as similar to the Washington quarter as possible. Gasparro did a good job at first, but the currency’s constant changes obscured his talent.

Many people believe that the obverse of the Eisenhower silver dollar is of poor quality. They think it’s a mediocre work, and the same author only calls it “good.”

In addition to Eisenhower’s bust facing left, we can see the word LIBERTY on the coin’s top edge and the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST on the coin’s left side, just in front of Eisenhower’s neck. The date 1971 is on the lower edge of the coin and the mintmark with the letter “S” is located below the bust of Eisenhower.

Remember that the only silver dollars minted in 1971 were in San Francisco, so if your coin lacks the letter S, it is not a silver dollar. Coins with the letter D are from Denver, while those without a mark are from Philadelphia.

They are real dollars that were in circulation, but they cannot contain significant amounts of silver.


1971 Reverse

The reverse of the coin had a long history, debate, and changes, but it eventually became a modification of the Apollo 11 insignia.

Apollo 11 was the 1969 space mission that landed on the moon, and space missions in general have always been closely associated with Eisenhower. Furthermore, Eisenhower died in March 1969, just a few months before his first moon landing. That is why they thought it was appropriate to place this insignia on the coin’s reverse side.

Designer Frank Gasparro had previously prepared two designs, but they were all rejected, so he was asked to modify the Apollo 11 insignia and make it the reverse of the new silver dollar.

The insignia’s designer was Michael Collins, one of the astronauts on the mission. Gasparro tried to accommodate the design but it is impossible to note the number of unusual elements in coin designs.

The main design is a bald eagle descending to the lunar soil. It has in its claws an olive branch, synonymous with peace. This is a very curious detail since the bald eagle is usually represented with the olive branch and with a group of arrows in the other claws, but this time it was not like that.

Frank Gasparro had to tune the eagle and change the head several times since he was criticized that the eagle’s expression being too fierce and not in sync with the coin, which wanted to show a sincere desire for peace and fraternity in the coin.

The lunar soil is dotted with craters, and in space, 13 stars represent the 13 original states that comprised the American nation.

The planet Earth can be seen in the background, but only in the area where the American continent is located. It also has the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM on the upper edge.

E pluribus unum is Latin for “one of many.” This phrase refers to the country’s founding. It refers to how many states joined to form a country.

The inscription ONE DOLLAR can be found on the lower edge of the coin, and the initials of Frank Gasparro can be found discreetly, just below the feathered tail of the bald eagle.


The 1971 silver coins are extremely collectible, but they are also very easy to obtain. Remember that these coins have been sold for millions of dollars since they were created, and they have always been sold for collection purposes rather than market circulation.

That is why they are so easy to find today in very high gem states and at very low prices. The coins in the best condition, on the other hand, can be worth thousands of dollars.

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The pieces that have not been circulated cost $7. It will only cost you 17 or 18 dollars to obtain a gem state 63 or 65.

Gem-state MS 67 coins can fetch significant sums and you’ll find them starting at $3,800.

Last year one of these examples was sold in deep Cameo in grade 67 for $264,000.

1971 S Proof Eisenhower Silver Dollar Value

1971 S Proof Silver Dollar Value

More than 4 million tests were made and although this is not a high number for coin manufacturing, it is for test coins.

These coins were intended for collectors so they were made with a lot of detail and patience. The fact that there have been so many and that they have preserved so well over time means that proof coins are not very expensive and you can find coins of the highest value on the market for a negligible price.

Standard MS 60 quality coins are $10, while the highest gem grade MS 69 coin is only $22 each.

1971 S Proof Eisenhower Silver Dollar Type 1 Reverse Value

1971 S Proof Silver Dollar Type 1 Reverse Value
Image Credit: The Ike Group

The reverse of the 1971 coin features two distinct designs. They are not two separate designs, but they are minted with more detail and in low relief.

This finer version is known as Type 1, whereas most coins are known as Type 2. The truth is that the number of Type 1 coins is unknown, but three have been discovered so far.

On the reverse, version 1 has better outlined Caribbean islands and more detailed eagle feathers.

The most expensive example, with a special contrast called the Deep Cameo, was worth $9,500.

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1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Grading

To understand the price of a coin it is essential to understand its different grades and levels of conservation. Here we leave you a video so that you can review the basic concepts of this coin.

Rare 1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Error List

Despite the fact that this coin was carefully minted, it is not free from some errors. Here are the best-known errors.

1971 S Proof Silver Dollar, Minted Double Obverse

This happens every time a planchet is hit repeatedly by the same die. This causes double lines to appear on the outlines of the figures or letters.

It is a mistake that can be worth a lot of money since a PR 63 copy was sold that should cost 12 dollars to 4 thousand dollars.

1971 S Silver Peg Leg

1971 S Silver Peg Leg
Image Credit: eBay

This is a well-known bug and it is that the serif of the letter R in the word LIBERTY has been deleted. This gives the appearance that the letter R has a wooden leg and hence the name.

An uncirculated copy can cost you around 50 dollars while the best version can cost you approximately 7 thousand dollars.

1971 Eisenhower Silver Dollar FAQ

Is there anything special about a 1971 silver dollar?

They are the first silver dollars to be minted after a long time. The composition of this coin changed to 40% silver and 60% copper and was intended for collectors.

Are all 1971 Eisenhower dollars 40% silver?

No. Only the coins from San Francisco are made with silver. To recognize a San Francisco coin you need to look for the “S” mintmark on the obverse of the coin.

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