» 1978 Silver Dollar Error List & Value

1978 Silver Dollar Error List & Value

1978 Silver Dollar Value

The American silver dollar carries a sentimental value (at least) for many Americans – regular public and numismatic alike. Even though dollar bills proved more convenient and easier to manage (and carry around), there is still something special about a silver dollar coin. The 1978 silver dollar value is somewhat modest in the lower grades. However, as the coin rise in the MS scale, so does its value – significantly. In great condition, it can be worth a few hundred dollars.

Next, we’ll discuss the value, design, history, grading, and errors of the 1978 silver dollar.

1978 silver dollar value

Series Circulated MS 62 MS 66 MS 67
1978 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value $1.05 – $2 $14 $110 $6000
1978 D Silver Dollar Value $1.05 – $2 $14 $175 $9,000 – $10,000
1978 S Proof Silver Dollar Value (Uncirculated)



The average silver dollar proof coin is worth around $30 on average. Special proofs can be worth plenty more.

1978 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value

1978 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
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The mint in Philadelphia is considered the main mint of US coin production. Yet, until 1980 they were the only coin to not have a mint mark. So, the 1978 coin, minted in Philadelphia does not have a mint mark.

25,702,000 silver dollars were minted in Philadelphia. Despite the name, there is no real silver within these coins. Some silver dollar proof-coins are made out of silver, however, none of them were minted in 1978. Like most coins of this time, the 1978 dollar is made up of copper and nickel. The rise in the price of silver made forced the government to move away from silver coins and instead create them using copper and nickel.

The diameter of the 1978 silver dollar is 38.1 mm and the weight is 22.68 grams. Its edge is reeded.

The design of the 1978 silver dollar comes from coin designer and sculptor Frank Gasparro. The same design was used on all Eisenhower dollars from its initial release in 1971. Interestingly, in 1978 the silver dollar had become quite unpopular among the public.

It was the push of gambling and casino business that manage to convince Congress to create new silver dollars. The reason? They needed new silver dollars for slot machines. When President Eisenhower died there had been talks about honoring him by putting him on the currency. The idea then came to create a new silver dollar on which he’d fit well.

In 1978 the Eisenhower silver dollar was released to the public. The coin was quite large and heavy which made it inconvenient for everyday use. It was estimated that 70% of all the Eisenhower coins were used in casinos only.

The design only lived for one year. It wasn’t looking good when the government spent money to create a coin which isn’t being used or circulated due to its size and weight. The following year, in 1979, they released a completely new silver dollar, this time feating Susan B Anthony.

Unfortunately, this coin suffered the same fate as the Eisenhower dollar. But this time the coin was too small and often confused with a quarter coin because people couldn’t tell the difference between them when paying with them. People lost money using the small silver dollar.


The obverse of the 1978 silver dollar features a left-facing President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mint Cheif Engraver, Frank Gasparro, had completed the sketch which inspired the portrait, 20 years before it was put on a coin.

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The sketch was created during a troop celebration after the Second World War. Gasparro saw Eisenhower and decided to sketch him not knowing it would end up on the country’s currency.

Along the upper rim of the coin is the word “liberty” capitalized. Underneath his chin is the American motto “In God We Trust” inscribed. And below that, and his neck, is the year when this coin was produced – 1978.

There is nothing unusual about the obverse of this particular coin. It resembles most other obverse designs – except it lacks a mint mark like all coins from Philadelphia did at the time.


The reverse design, on the other hand, is unique in some ways compared to other coins. It was designed by Michael Collins. While it does feature a bald eagle, like many coins, the design itself is different. The angle of the eagle and the way it’s approaching the surface for landing is unusual. Most eagle designs are in a static position with their wings spread.

Furthermore. the bald eagle is also landing on the moon. This is a way of paying homage to Apollo 11 and America’s achievement of landing on the moon. Visible underneath the eagle’s feet are the moon’s craters. It’s also carrying the sprig of an olive tree.

Behind the eagle, we see Earth in space. Along the edges of the coin are stars. Normally, on American coins stars represent the states, but in this case, it’s safe to assume that it represents the states and the actual stars in space.

Along the upper rim are the words “United States of America “ written. And underneath the name of the nation is the Latin phrase “E  Pluribus Unum”, which translates to “out of many, one”. This refers to all the different states joining as one nation.

The very bottom of the coins reads the denomination of the coin: “one dollar”.

The 1978 silver dollar value for a circulated coin is close to its face value of $1. Some, in better condition, will be worth double.

MS 60 – 62 can have a value of $14, which is decent. Now, further up the MS scale and these coins reach a significant value of over a hundred dollars. The MS 67 can be valued at several thousand dollars.

1978 D Silver Dollar Value

1978 D Silver Dollar Value

The 1978 D Silver dollar was produced in Denver. Hence the mint mark “D”. The design is identical to the coin minted in Philadelphia, except this coin has a mint mark located right above the “78” of the coins mint production year.

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33,012,890 coins were minted in Denver. That’s more than in Philadelphia, which is less common since Philadelphia is the main mint.

1978 S Proof Silver Dollar Value

1978 S Proof Silver Dollar Value

Approximately 3 million proof coins were minted in San Francisco. They carry the mint mark “S” in the same location as the “D” from the Denver series.

Proof coins are not made as public currency. Rather, more effort is put into the look of the coin in favor of collectors. The proof coins tend to overall look better than the regular circulated coins.

Despite that, they’re not always the most valuable ones despite being minted at much lower rates. One of the reasons for this is that it’s deemed more valuable for a coin that was meant for circulation to remain uncirculated. Rather than keeping a coin intended for safe-keeping behind protected covers.

Generally, the 1978 silver dollar is not considered rare. However, as you reach an MS grade higher than 66 they are becoming quite rare, which would explain the value gap between MS 66 and MS 67.

One reason for the scarcity of well-preserved coins is their size. The Eisenhower silver dollar is large. This means it’s hard to keep it from getting scratches, or blemishes and keeping the details perfectly intact.

There are very few 1978 silver dollar coins like this around today, which is why their value is so remarkable.

1978 Silver Dollar Grading

The grading system when it comes to coins is technically straightforward. Although it does take an expert to determine the value of a coin based on its condition.

Numismatists use the Sheldon Scale to determine how valuable a coin is. They evaluate specific aspects of the coin, which is then graded on a “Perfect Mint State” scale of 1 – 70.

Low numbers represent less valuable coins where details have been smudged out due to circulation, they’re dirty, etc. High on the MS scale means the coin is close to perfect in its detail work and luster.

Previously, only adjectives would be used to describe the conditions of a coin. Words like “good” “fair” and “excellent” were used. However, it turned out that different numismatists use these words slightly differently and don’t always mean the same thing as each other.

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To get back on the same page, numismatists decided to use both adjectives and descriptive words as well as a 70-point scale to describe the condition of a coin. This resulted in a much more detailed description of the condition of the coin.

Rare 1978 Silver Dollar Error List

Some coin series suffer from more errors during minting production than others. The 1978 Eisenhower coin is one of those where there are plenty of error coins circulating among the public. Here are a few errors to look out for.

1978 Silver Dollar Off-center strike

1978 Silver Dollar Off-center strike
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As the name suggests, this coin’s error is that the design isn’t fully in the center of the planchet where it’s supposed to be. The value of a coin like this can be between $300 and $800. The exact amount will depend on the overall quality of the coin.

The visibility of the year is generally considered valuable. Therefore, the most valuable off-center coins can miss about half of the design but clearly show the year.

1978 Silver Dollar Defective Planchet

1978 Silver Dollar Defective Planchet
Image Credit: coins.ha

This error occurs when there are errors on the planchets. It can either be an issue with its composition which may result in different colors; or the planchet is broken. In these cases, parts are missing from the coin.

1978 Silver Dollar indent Error

1978 Silver Dollar indent Error
Image Credit: nedluddpdx

When a coin comes off its strike position the die can hit the planchet and strike the coin at an odd angle. This can result in there being indents on the coin. A coin with a 10% indent sold for around $180

1978 Silver Dollar Multiple Strikes

For multiple reasons, sometimes a coin will be struck more than once. That means the die hits the coin with the same design more than once. Sometimes the design perfectly overlaps with each other, other times they don’t.

Either way, it’s often clearly visible that a double strike has occurred. The image will be fuller and thicker, or you’ll see the same thing twice.

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1978 Silver Dollar FAQ

Is a 1978 silver dollar rare?

In most cases, no, they’re not particularly rare. 26 million were struck in Philadelphia and 33 million in Denver, which means a large quantity of them exist. However, 1978 is the last year the Eisenhower dollar was minted, which can mean a sentimental value for some collectors which makes them more willing to pay slightly more than market value.

Some well-preserved coins, MS 67+, are very rare. These coins are valued at several thousand dollars.

Is a 1978 silver dollar real silver?

No, silver stopped being used in currency after the silver shortage in 1965. Until that point, all coins were made out of mostly silver. Since then, the composition of coins was replaced with copper as the base, and nickel to give it the silver look.

Some coins are still made in real silver, but these are proof coins and special collection-made coins. Coins like this are made for collectors, and not the general public. That means you won’t find an extremely rare coin in your pocket change because they’re not meant for circulation.

Where is the mint mark on a 1978 silver dollar?

The mint mark is above the coin’s minting year. It’s above and in between the 7 and 8. Only coins minted in Denver and San Francisco have a mint mark. The Denver mint puts a “D” as a mint mark and the San Francisco uses an “S”. However, the S-series are only proof coins.

The Philadelphia Mint didn’t put a mint mark on their coins until 1980.

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