Precious Mementos in The “Ike” Eisenhower Dollars
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an American leader in different ways: being a five-star general while in the Army, in the position of Supreme Commander in the German and French invasions during World War II, then serving in the position of very first Supreme Commander of NATO before becoming president in 1952. His two terms as president were good years for the country, only marred by a recession that occurred in 1958 and lasted until 1959 . His landmark achievements led to him being ranked one of the top ten of the great American presidents. His death in 1969 was widely mourned, and Eisenhower dollars were minted in 1971 to commemorate both his death as well as the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The face, properly known as the obverse, has the profile of this beloved president, bearing a mint-mark under his neck of an “S” if it’s minted in San Francisco or a “D” if it’s minted in Denver. You won’t find any mint-marks on Eisenhower dollars struck in Philadelphia. Coins minted in 1971 have an “FG” on them instead, for the coin’s designer, Frank Gasparro. The reverse, or the tail, changed defendant upon the occasion at that time. Apollo 11’s insignia decorated the reverse of the first edition coin, with an eagle holding an olive branch resting over the surface of the moon.
The design was changed for the bicentennial, and although the moon was still present, it had the image belonging to the Liberty Bell in front of it. Minted from 1971 – 1979, these coins were known for being the very first without any precious metals but weren’t as widely circulated . Both these 1971 coins and the 1976 Bicentennial coins became mementos of the special years.
There were, though, silver-clad issues that were minted especially for collectors. Although, these coins aren’t made with pure silver but cut with copper and then plated with 40% silver. They weren’t made for circulation but were only proofs, or “Brown Ikes” or uncirculated or known as “Blue Ikes”. During coin auctions, the worth of those coins rarely goes beyond its face value of a dollar. These remain relatively new, even though they have not been in circulation for several decades. Although this will be a keepsake for many people, you won’t find any value with this coin.
The Eisenhower Dollars were issued to honor the former President and 5 Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The first coin released was the 1971 Eisenhower Dollar, which hold an important place for collectors.