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US Dollar Coins

For generations, numismatists have collected coins minted by the United States government. While pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars all have value, the dollar coin has stood out as particularly interesting. Historically, dollar coins have been circulated in small numbers and revised many times over the last two hundred years.

What are dollar coins made of?

Dollar coins have been produced in several different guises since they debuted in their modern form in 1878. Following the adoption of the Coinage Act of 1873, the USA moved to a strict gold standard and ended the free production of silver dollar coins. After 1878, dollar coins were allowed to contain a mix of silver and copper. Dollar coins retained a mixture of silver and copper until 1971, when they were switched to a copper and nickel mixture that they have retained since.

What U.S. dollar coins are available?
  • Morgan Dollar: The Morgan Dollar was produced from 1878 to 1904, with a second run in 1921. These silver dollars were produced in several locations, including the Philadelphia mint, the Carson City mint, the San Francisco mint, the New Orleans mint, and the Denver mint. These silver dollars featured Liberty on the reverse and an eagle clasping arrows on the obverse.
  • Peace Dollar: The Peace Dollar was produced from 1921 to 1928, and again from 1934 to 1935. These silver dollars designed to demonstrate the peace that came after World War I, and carried an updated picture of Lady Liberty on the reverse. The obverse shows an eagle clasping an olive branch to symbolize peace. These silver dollars were produced in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
  • Eisenhower Dollar: In 1971, the supply of dollar coins finally ran low enough to justify the production of new coinage. The Eisenhower dollar was produced from 1971 to 1978, and was the first new dollar coin produced with no silver. This currency featured Dwight D. Eisenhower on the back and an eagle on the moon on the front to celebrate the Space Age.
  • Susan B. Anthony Dollar: In 1979, 1981, and 1999, the U.S. mint produced the Susan B. Anthony. These were designed to be in broader circulation than past dollar coins and were resized to a size similar to the quarter. Five hundred million of these were produced, leaving a large unused surplus.
  • Sacagawea Dollar: The Sacagawea dollar was minted from 2000 to 2008 and is unique in its gold color. The gold dollar features Sacagawea on the back and a soaring eagle mint mark on the front.
  • Presidential Dollars: Beginning in 2007, the U.S. Mint started producing a different dollar coin for each president, with the idea of releasing four different dollar coins per year until all presidents were honored. Starting in 2012, the quantities of presidential dollar coins were cut back dramatically, with only a couple million dollar coins produced for each president. The post-2012 coins are not generally seen in circulation and are a target for collectors.
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