The 1990 Eisenhower Centennial Dollar is the second United States coin struck to honor the 34th President of the United States, the first being the circulating Eisenhower dollar issued from 1971-1978.
Authorized by Public Law 100-467 (Act of October 3, 1988), which authorized the striking of up to 4,000,000 silver dollars to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The large mintage was typical for the early period of U.S. modern commemorative coinage and the Act called for the use of silver from the United States Strategic Materials Stockpile. The issue did not sell out. Instead, a total of 34.6% of the authorized mintage was sold. The 1990 Eisenhower Centennial Dollar was offered in two finishes (Proof and uncirculated) and at two price points. The pre-sale price point was $23 ($41.85 Adjusted for Inflation) for the uncirculated version and $25 ($45.49) for the Proof. The regular price was $26 ($47.31) for the uncirculated version and $29 ($52.77) for the Proof. The uncirculated version was struck at West Point (Eisenhower graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1915), while the Proof version was struck at Philadelphia.
The 1990 Eisenhower Centennial Dollar was the first silver dollar-sized coin issued bearing the “W” West Point mintmark.
The Mint also offered the Proof version in its 1990 Prestige Proof Set. That set included the 1990 Eisenhower Proof coin plus one Proof example of each of that year’s “circulating coins”. The 1990 Prestige Proof Set was sold for $46 ($83.71).
The coin’s launch ceremony was held on January 16, 1990 at Eisenhower’s Gettysburg, Pennsylvania residence. At the event, Mint Director Donna Pope presented the coin to Treasurer Catalina Villalpando and Pennsylvania Congressman William F. Goodling (R-PA19). Goodling sponsored the coin in the House (H.R. 3654). The coin was available for purchase from the mint through the end of 1990.
John Mercanti’s design features two overlapping portraits of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mercanti calls the design his “Janus Portrait”, referring to the Ancient Greek god of beginnings and transitions. The Eisenhower portrait in the foreground is facing to the right and depicts Ike as President. The Eisenhower portrait in the background is facing to the left and shows him as a five-star general, a rank Eisenhower was elevated to on December 20, 1944, at the height of World War II. Wrapping around the rim at the top of the design is the inscription “EISENHOWER CENTENNIAL”. “LIBERTY” appears below the chin of the left-facing portrait. The Mintmark “P” or “W” appears below the E in LIBERTY. Below the chin of the right-facing portrait is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. Wrapping around the rim at the bottom of the design is the dual-date “1890•1990”. John Mercanti’s stylized initials “JM” appear to the right of LIBERTY on Eisenhower’s bust truncation.
The Eisenhower home is depicted on the coin’s reverse. While Eisenhower resided in a number of places during his adult life, this residence is located at 250 Eisenhower Farm Drive in Gettysburg. The Eisenhower’s purchased the 180+ acre farm site in 1950. After suffering a heart attack in 1955, the president presided over the country from the residence until his recovery allowed him to return to Washington. Back to the coin’s design – in the center is the Eisenhower home. Trees and shrubs surround it. In the shrubbery, in front of the chimney is a bell. To the bottom left of the house is the inscription “EISENHOWER HOME”. The legend “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” wraps around the rim at the top of the design. The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is located below the house, oriented to the center-right of EISENHOWER HOME. “ONE DOLLAR” wraps around the rim at the bottom of the design. Marcel Jovine’s initials “JOV” appear in the shrubbery on the far left. Chester Young Martin’s initials “CYM” appears in the shrubbery on the far right.
Designer(s): John Mercanti was named Chief Engraver of the United States Mint by Mint Director Edmund C. Moy on May 19, 2006. One of the most prolific coin designers in United States history, Mercanti is most known for his reverse design on the American Silver Eagle bullion coin. View Designer’s Profile. Marcel Jovine was a notable toy designer and coin designer. View Designer’s Profile.
|Year Of Issue:||1990|
|Mint Mark:||W (West Point), P (Philadelphia)|
|Mintage:||241,669 (W); 1,144,461 (P)|
|Alloy:||.900 Silver, .100 Copper|
|OBV Designer||John Mercanti|
|REV Designer||Chester Young Martin/Marcel Jovine|
|Quality:||Uncirculated and Proof|