Legend Numismatics

HomeUS Coins1977-D Eisenhower Dollar : A Collector's Guide

1977-D Eisenhower Dollar : A Collector’s Guide

1977-D Eisenhower Dollar. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1977-D Eisenhower Dollar. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

1977 marked the second-to-last year of the Eisenhower Dollar. The large clad dollar coin, issued to honor the late president, was an interesting novelty item when first released in 1971. However, it proved over time to be just as unpopular as the silver dollars that preceded it. Outside of casino gaming halls and some of the more rural parts of the American West, large dollar coins carried no currency in commerce when the more portable and practical $1 Federal Reserve Note was readily available.

As the decade wound down, Congress and the United States Mint began to turn their attention to shrinking the dollar coin in hopes that a more practical coin might see widespread circulation. For this project, Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro would spend the next two years hashing out a design that would go down in U.S. Mint history as one of its most unfortunate.

As for the 1977-D Eisenhower Dollar, the Denver Mint struck 32,983,006 coins, releasing most into circulation in the western part of the United States. Occasionally, bank customers will turn cash these in, with the typical circulated example–nearly 50 years after its release–falling in the Extra Fine range.

The 1977-D Eisenhower Dollar is also available in the 1977 United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set. A total of 2,006,869 sets were sold to collectors at an issue price of $7.00 USD ($36.08 in 2024 inflation-adjusted dollars), and outside of original bags and rolls, these sets offer collectors the best opportunity of finding Gem Mint State coins. These sets contain $3.82 in face value coins, are surprisingly affordable, and can be purchased for $6 to $10 with shipping included. A volume purchaser we know will typically buy these sets in quantity, then cut them apart, remove the coins, and sell them in plastic coin tubes. He does this to ensure that he never buys the same set twice when hunting for high-grade Eisenhower Dollars.

What Is the 1977-D Eisenhower Dollar Worth?

Outside of the aforementioned raw coins, which sell for very small premiums over face, the most desirable 1977-D Eisenhower Dollars are coins that have been certified in the grades of MS66+ and above by CAC, NGC, and PCGS. MS66+ coins, of which there are just over 40 graded, offer the budget-minded collector an opportunity to get a high-eye-appeal example for a few hundred dollars. At MS67, the cost of a 1977-D Eisenhower Dollar climbs to over $3,000 for a desirable coin. This is down considerably from where the coin was about 10 years ago. Populations have risen, but not every MS67 coin will meet the standards of the top-end collector. At least this was the case when collectors Andy Oskam, James Sego, and Troy Weaver were actively building their award-winning sets.

Worth even more is the famous 40% Silver off-metal 1977-D Eisenhower Dollar error coin. See our table and commentary below.

* * *

Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS67 (17, 5/2024), NGC MS67+ (1, 5/2024), and CAC MS66 (40:1 stickered:graded, 5/2024).

  • NGC MS67 #6785461-001: eBay, February 25, 2024 – $1,600.
  • PCGS MS67 #43876681: Stack’s Bowers, April 7, 2022, Lot 6188 – $3,120. Hit in front of Eisenhower’s sightline below L. Rim hit above the eyebrow. Rim hit below I. Thin scratch below IB. Two ticks at the neckline. Hit in hair.
  • PCGS MS67 #42804451: GreatCollections, November 7, 2021, Lot 1056994 – View; GreatCollections, February 27, 2022, Lot 1083345 – View.
  • PCGS MS67 #26288854: GreatCollections, July 25, 2021, Lot 1022645 – View.
  • NGC MS67 #1832490-001: “The Pittstown Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2021, Lot 5524 – $2,040. Cloudy surfaces. Planchet flaw near rim at 9 o’clock. Thin diagonal scratch to the right of Y. Cluster of hits on the neck. Hit on the bottom of the chin.  Cluster of hits at the top of the Eagle’s left wing.
  • PCGS MS67 #25793121: Heritage Auctions, August 12, 2016, Lot 5615 – $3,407.50; “I Like Ikes Collection,” GreatCollections, September 30, 1018, Lot 614611 – View. Goldenrod and yellow rim toning on both sides. Thin scratch above 7. Hit in front of Eisenhower’s mouth. Hit on Eisenhower’s forehead. 
  • NGC MS67 #3552554-075: Heritage Auctions, April 28, 2017, Lot 4866 – $1,410. Diagonal hit above GO. Scattered hits on Eisenhower’s jaw, neck, and behind his eye. Reed marks to the right of 7.
  • PCGS MS67 #25627124: Heritage Auctions, March 4, 2016, Lot 5024 – $3,525.  Scattered russet and purple toning, with toning streaks running horizontally over Eisenhower’s face. Toning area just to the bottom left of B.  Thin scratch across Eisenhower’s jaw. Thin scratch to the right of the eagle’s tail feathers.
  • PCGS MS67 #25081934: Stack’s Bowers, January 22, 2013, Lot 12582 – $4,250 Reserve Not Met; Stack’s Bowers, May 9, 2013, Lot 1203 – $4,700. “The Sonoran Monsoon Collection (Joe Shirley, Jr.),” Heritage Auctions, January 8, 2016, Lot 6227 – $7,637.50. New holder. Sonoran Monsoon on insert. LI flatly struck. Dark reflective area to the right of Y. Thin scratch across neck. Small hit on the jaw below the eye. 
  • PCGS MS67 #5357485: Heritage Auctions, April 6, 2001, Lot 6876 – $6,037.50; Heritage Auctions, January 7, 2016, Lot 7152 – $6,037.50. Old Green Holder.

1977-D Struck on a 40% Silver Planchet Mint Error

Struck with planchets intended for the San Francisco Mint’s silver Bicentennial coinage. Ranked as #65 on the Garrett/Schecter list of Top 100 Modern Coins. This error was first published Coin World and Numismatic News in February 1978. Numismatist Walter Breen estimated a population of 15 coins of this error, but this total is not reflected in auction appearances.

  • NGC MS63 #5230660-002: Heritage Auctions, May 5, 2022, Lot 3831 – $21,600.
  • NGC MS63 #2039328-001: Heritage Auctions, February 4, 2014, Lot 5287 – $12,925; Heritage Auctions, January 2017, Lot 6370 – $17,625; Heritage Auctions, February 24, 2022, Lot 3132 – $26,400. 24.9g.
  • NGC MS62 #1846247-001: Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2023, Lot 3808 – $26,400. 24.6g. Blue and gold toning.
  • NGC MS62 #2551133-001: Heritage Auctions, March 18, 2011, Lot 4337 – $7,475. 24.16g.
  • PCGS AU55 #3595879: Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2004, Lot 9817 – $3,737.50. Certification number no longer active.
  • NGC AU Details – Scratch #6602116-010: Heritage Auctions, December 21, 2022, Lot 93239 – $3,360. 24.2g. Thick cut behind head.

* * *

Eisenhower Dollar Design

Obverse:

Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro’s portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower (as President); Eisenhower facing to the left. Gasparro’s initials “FG” appear raised in the bust truncation. Beneath Eisenhower’s chin, to the left, is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The legend LIBERTY wraps around the top of the coin in the space between the rim and the top of Eisenhower’s head. The date wraps around the bottom of the design, between the rim and the bottom of Eisenhower’s bust truncation. While Philadelphia-struck pieces bear no mintmark, coins struck at Denver and San Francisco will bear small mintmarks of “D” or “S” above the space between the last two digits of the date. On Eisenhower dollars, mintmarks were hand-punched and may very in exact location and orientation.

Reverse:

The reverse is based on Michael Collins’ Apollo 11 Mission Patch design.

In the center, a bald eagle is in descent. In its talons, an olive branch. Its left wing is raised. The lunar surface lies below. Above the eagle’s head is a depiction of the Earth; North America is prominently visible. Wrapping around the top of the coin adjacent to the rim is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Thirteen small five-pointed stars circle around the eagle. Below the ring of stars but above the eagle is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Wrapping around the bottom of the design is the denomination ONE DOLLAR.

Edge:

The edge of the 1971 Philadelphia Eisenhower dollar is reeded.

Designer

Frank Gasparro was a friend to numismatists and served as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1965 to 1981 (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1977
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mintmark: D (Denver)
Mintage: 34,680,000
Alloy: .750 Copper, .250 Nickel with pure Copper core
Weight: 22.68 g
Diameter: 38.10 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: Frank Gasparro
REV Designer: Frank Gasparro
Quality: Business Strike

 

* * *

References

https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

* * *

CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bullion Sharks Silver

L and C COIN Specials

Professional Coin Grading Service