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1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin Value

Key Takeaways:

  • The Susan B. Anthony Dollar was a landmark in US coinage history, featuring, for the first time, a real woman;
  • Susan Brownell Anthony was an activist who fought for the women’s right to vote;
  • The value of a 1979 Dollar Coin will vary depending on the coin’s condition and its variety;
  • Uncirculated specimens of the Wide Rim Variety are the most valuable Susan B. Anthony Dollar coins.

In 1979, the US Mint made history by releasing the first US circulating coin featuring a real woman. The Susan B. Anthony Dollar symbolizes not only a shift in coinage design but also a significant step forward for gender representation in American society.

This article delves deep into the life and achievements of the iconic Women's Suffrage leader. We will analyze the value of a Susan B. Anthony Dollar coin today, its design, reception, and enduring legacy.

Factors Affecting 1979 Dollar Coin Value

Coins tend to have their value affected by various factors, and this can change from coin to coin. These can include the color, the metal composition, the mint marks, the historical background, and other features.

Similarly to other coins, the value of Anthony Dollar coins primarily hinges on their historical significance and distinctive design, with fluctuations occurring based on the coin’s condition. Given their composition of copper-nickel clad rather than precious metals, the condition and rarity assume greater significance in determining their value.

Historical Background

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter authorized the minting of a one-dollar coin featuring the suffragist Susan B. Anthony on the obverse. The Treasury Department hoped the smaller dollar coin would save resources by replacing the paper dollar note, as it only lasted 8 months in circulation and was more expensive to make if compared to coins.

Many designs were considered to feature the Dollar coin at the time, like the soaring eagle with Lady Liberty, which has been a common figure in American coinage due to its symbolic significance.

The Congress members, however, requested a genuine woman. Their choice couldn’t have been better.

Susan B. Anthony Portrait

Source

Susan Brownell Anthony was, among other things, a feminist activist who fought for the woman's right to vote. Even though she would pass away before seeing the result of her work, she is still considered one of the most relevant figures in the fight for women's civil rights.

However, such an iconic piece of coinage would not reach the expected popularity.

Public Reception

The new Dollar coin was not an instant success. Most vending machines took a long time to adapt to it, and cashiers did not have a place for the coins in their change drawer. Additionally, people would often mistake them for the quarter dollars in circulation.

As a result, in 1981, the U.S. Mint suspended the production of the new coin and would only return to release them in 1999, 18 years later.

In 1997, the United States Mint approved the creation of the Sacagawea gold dollar coin. However, due to insufficient production capabilities to meet the expected demand, the Susan B. Anthony dollar was temporarily reintroduced in 1999 while the gold dollar coins were being produced.

By the end of that year, production of the Susan B. Anthony coins ceased permanently, in preference for the Sacagawea dollar coin and other gold dollar variants.

Despite its limited acceptance at launch, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin holds an important place in numismatic history due to its cultural significance. Numismatic experts and coin collectors maintained interest in them not only because it was a landmark in American coinage but also because of what it represented towards women's equality and active participation in society.

Price Guide

The following information pertains only to PCGS-graded coins. Based on dealers' requested prices, it works as a tool for accessing a coin's value but does not reflect with one-hundred percent accuracy the actual values you may find within the private coin-collecting market.

Susan B. Anthony Dollar in Mint State

MS65

MS66

MS67

MS68

1979-P

$22

$40

$650

$10,000

1979-P Wide Rim

$70

$135

$1,800

-

1979-P Wide Rim FS-301

$65

$125

$2,000

-

1979-D

$25

$40

$325

$10,000

1979-S

$28

$45

$175

$4,850



Susan B. Anthony Dollar Proof

PR68

PR69

PR70

1979-S Type 1

$6

$14

-

1979-S Type 1

$11

$20

$47

1979-S Type 2

$45

$50

$175

1979-S Type 2 FS-501

$45

$65

$175

 

Errors and Varieties

1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Regular Strike

The mind behind the iconic designs, both on reverse and obverse, was Frank Gasparro, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint at the time.

1979 Susan B Anthony Dollar Design

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The obverse side showcases suffragette Susan Brownell Anthony, a civil rights leader for women’s rights, in profile facing right. She is adorned with stars on either side and the inscription "IN GOD WE TRUST" near the right edge. "LIBERTY" is positioned above her, with the date below.

On the reverse side, an adaptation of the design from the 1971 Eisenhower dollar features an eagle gracefully landing on lunar soil, representing the Apollo 11 Mission of Landing on the Moon. Above, the Earth and the Latin phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM" are depicted, while the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR" surrounds the central motif.

The U.S. Mint produced the Regular Strike from 1979 until 1981, and then one more time in 1999.

A specimen from the Philadelphia Mint has sold for the auction record of $6,995 on a specimen graded as MS67+ in 2021, on eBay.

In 2017, the highest-ever bid on Heritage Auctions for a specimen graded MS68 from the Denver Mint was $1,528.

One from the San Francisco Mint, graded by NGC as Genuine, sold for a record value of $15,000 in 2021 on eBay.

1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Regular Strike (Wide Rim Variety)

Narrow vs Wide Rim Comparison

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As mentioned before, the Regular Strike for the Anthony dollar coin was released in 1979, but in that same year, the design was slightly modified to improve the coin's appearance.

The first version is known as the "narrow rim" coin, and the second one is the "wide rim."

Because the second variety is scarcer, it is usually sold at a higher premium than its "narrow rim variety" counterpart.

This coin variety is the most valuable Susan B. Anthony coin from the Philadelphia Mint. In uncirculated condition, its price can range from $65 to $6,500.

1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Proof Coins

1979 Susan B Anthony Dollar Proof Coin

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Proof coins are pieces of coinage produced for collectible purposes. They are distinguished from their regular strike counterparts mainly by their mirror-like finish and sharper design.

They undergo a different production process, are hand polished, and are struck at least twice, which gives them a more brilliant aspect.

They are also made in fewer numbers, and that scarcity naturally increases their premium. In uncirculated conditions, they can be worth between $5 and $175. Its price may vary depending on the variety.

1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Proof Coin Type 2 variety

Filled S vs Clear S

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This variety exists only within the proof coins. The “S” mint mark in type one is known as the "filled mint mark," and in type two is the "clear mint mark."

Coin grading companies identify this variant as the 1979-S proof type 1. This proof variety is notable for being classified as an error coin caused by a worn die.

According to the PCGS price guide, the type 1 in perfect uncirculated conditions (PR70) is worth around $47 as of March 2024.

Subsequently, the mint substituted the original die with a new one, resulting in a clearer “S” mint mark. This revised mint mark on the new dies features distinct serifs at both the top and bottom of the S.

Type 2 is worth around $175.00 under uncirculated conditions.

1979-S Susan B. Anthony Dollar proof type 1, “Blob” Error Coin

"Blob" Error Coin

Source

This error coin is a variation of the error mentioned above. At that time, the coins were still pressed by hand, and the punch was probably very worn. The “S” mintmark on these proof coins seems filled in, and the serifs at the top and bottom of the S are invisible.

The mint mark bore a closer resemblance to a "blob" rather than a clearly defined "S." Towards the conclusion of the 1979 production run, a new punch was crafted, resulting in the 1979-S Proof Type 2 coins with distinct and clear mint marks.

This error coin is worth around $100 in the online market, but no official price information was found.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we aimed to clarify that the value of an Anthony Dollar coin will depend mainly on each coin's condition and variety.

Exploring the evolution of American coins is delving into the nation's own narrative. Among the most iconic designs is the Susan B. Anthony coin, which, even being considered a low-demand coin at some point, symbolizes both the advancement of women on the obverse and the progress of humanity as a species on the reverse.

We hope to have clarified which aspects are relevant when assessing an Anthony dollar coin's value and what varieties to look for.

FAQs

Is a dollar coin from 1979 worth anything?

According to PCGS, 1979 Anthony dollar coins from Philadelphia and Denver are worth $10,000 in uncirculated condition. A 1979-P Wide Rim variety, also in uncirculated condition, is valued at $6,500.

Which Susan B Anthony coins are valuable?

The most valuable Susan B. Anthony coin is the "Wide Rim" variety from the Philadelphia Mint. In Uncirculated conditions, its price can range from $65 to $6,500.

Which $1 coin is worth money?

According to the PCGS price guide, the most valuable dollar coin is the Flowing Hair silver Dollar coin from 1794 and 1795, with 1794 being the rarest of both. Their scarcity and silver content guarantee a high premium even on poor-quality coins.

How many 1979 $1 dollar coins are there in the world?

According to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum, 757,813,744 Anthony dollar coins were produced in 1979. Coins with the dates 1980, 1981, and 1999 were also minted. In total, the United States Mint manufactured 888,842,452 Susan B. Anthony dollars for circulation.

How do I know if my 1979 Susan B Anthony Coin is valuable?

In the US, Anthony Dollars will always be worth at least their face value. However, the most valuable Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is the Wide Rim Variety. Prices can fetch as high as 6,500, according to the PCGS. The difference between this variety and its regular counterpart is that the rim of the coin is larger, almost touching the date placed at the bottom of the obverse.

What is special about the 1979 Susan B Anthony dollar?

Despite the initial public rejection, Anthony dollar coins are an important piece of American coinage, as they were the first time a woman appeared on a circulating US coin. The Susan B. Anthony coin depicted an important activist for women's right to vote and also celebrated the American landing on the moon.

 

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Mo Menezes
Mo Menezes
Researcher and Contributor

Murilo (Mo) Menezes is an attorney and tenured English professor. His passion for economics and coinage led him to the gold and silver industry where he writes in-depth articles about collectible coins; as well as coin news and investing articles...

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