The 1979 Silver Dollar, also known as the Susan B Anthony dollar, is a popular coin among coin collectors. If you have a collector in your family, there is a good chance that you have one of these coins lying around. But what is the 1979 Silver Dollar value? Is it a coin you can return, or just a fantastic souvenir of a bygone age? Keep reading to find out!
So How Much Is A 1979 Silver Dollar Worth?
Don’t start planning your retirement just yet. Silver dollars of this year tend to go for around their face value of one dollar. Thanks to their popularity among coin collectors, they can fetch up to 52 dollars for certain prints in excellent condition. Today we’ll cover all the 1979 coins and what each can be valued at.
Why Was The Anthony Dollar Popular?
There are a couple of factors that go into its popularity. The main element is perhaps that it was the first Anthony dollar coin of its type minted and continued to be the most common coin among silver dollars in circulation. There were 740 million of these coins minted in total.
While it was the most common to see in circulation, many of these coins were kept as souvenirs and out of circulation. On the bright side, that means there is plenty that is still in uncirculated condition around the world. You just need to hunt them down.
The other factor of why these coins were famous is because of who is printed on them. The 1979 coins showed the image of Susan B Anthony. Not only was it a nice change from seeing a president on the coins, but it was also the first time a United States coin featured a woman.
Who Was Susan B Anthony?
Susan B Anthony was best known for her women’s suffrage movement work. She worked very closely with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the two worked together, traveling around the country spreading the word of women’s suffrage.
Susan was born in 1820 to Daniel and Lucy. Daniel was a cotton mill owner, and Lucy’s family fought in the American Revolution. Together they raised Susan with a Quaker upbringing, which acted to shape her opinions on women’s rights.
Under Quakerism, all people are equal before God. It is little wonder that she and her seven brothers and sisters went on to become great activities, fighting for everything from women’s suffrage to the abolition of slavery.
Susan B Anthony began working on women’s suffrage in 1851 when she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They traveled around the country together, giving speeches and advocating for women’s equal rights. Later they formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.
In 1872, Susan was arrested for trying to vote. She led a protest during the 1876 Centennial. In 1888, she saw the merging of the two most significant suffrage movements into one group she led until 1900. For the remainder of her life, she continued to travel and give speeches on women’s suffrage until she died in 1906.
It wasn’t until 14 years later that the efforts of Susan B Anthony were finally rewarded, and women were given the right to vote in 1920.
What Are The Different Coin Varieties?
There are six different varieties of the Anthony Dollar available out in the world. We’ll describe each one, what sets them apart, and what they can be valued for.
Under the United States Mint, three different mints printed these coins. There was the Philadelphia Mint, which printed 360,222,000 coins; the Denver Mint, which printed 288,015,744 coins; and the San Francisco Mint, which printed 109,576,000 coins.
This is the first set of coins minted in the San Francisco mint. They were made for circulation and had no particular marks to set them apart. At most, you can expect to sell this coin for $2.
1979-S Type 1 – Blob S Proof
San Francisco also made several Proof copies of the Anthony Dollar for collectors. The first run of these proof coins featured a blob mint mark as the San Francisco proof mark. If you have a Susan B Anthony dollar with this mint mark, you could probably sell one of these coins for around $6.30. They have a little more value than the average circulation coin.
1979-S Type 2 – Clear S Proof
Later that same year, the San Francisco Mint upgraded its equipment to create a more precise stamp. This meant that the mint mark on their later Anthony Dollar proofs was much clearer.
Since these proofs were minted later in the year, there were much fewer of them printed. Because of this, this is the rarest and most valuable of the 1979 coins. You could probably sell one of these for $52.
These coins were minted in Denver. Denver only has one variety of the 1979 Silver Dollar. Their coins were used for circulation, so they aren’t particularly rare or valuable. Like the circulation S Anthony Dollar, you can probably sell one of these for about $2.
1979-P – Wide Rim
The Philadelphia mint had two runs of the Anthony Dollar. The first was known as the Wide Rim Silver Dollar and was caused by a printing error. These coins feature a rim that is slightly too wide so that the date is nearly touching. For this reason, these coins are also known as the 1979-P Near Date.
Because of the printing error, these coins are relatively rare. If you are looking to sell one, you can expect to get around $22 for one in uncirculated condition.
1979-P Narrow Rim
Once the printing error in Philadelphia was caught, the machinery was fixed to begin printing the standard 1979 Silver Dollar. These coins featured a narrower rim that didn’t touch the date. For this reason, these coins may also be listed as 1979-P Far Date. Because they are the standard version of the Anthony Dollar, they may also be listed simply as 1979-P.
As these coins were more common than the wide rim variety, they are worth about the same as other circulation coins. To sell one of these, you may be able to get it for a hair more than the 1979-D and the 1970-S at $2.20.
History of the 1979 Silver Dollar Coin
Initially, the idea to create a silver dollar coin was first brought up as a means to replace the dollar bill and save money from the printing of new cash.
When plans were first made to make a silver dollar, initial designs used the image of the roman goddess Liberty. Those in power at the time decided against this design, wanting to use a real person instead. It wasn’t until later that Susan B. Anthony was chosen as the face of the coin.
When the Anthony Dollar was first minted, the United States Mint released 1.5 billion coins into circulation in those first few years. It was expected that the public would rush for the new coins, but that rush simply never came. The silver dollar coin was often confused with a quarter, and the public generally rejected the new coin.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the surplus of silver dollars in circulation began to make its way back to the mint.
At this time, the public started to use the silver dollars in vending machines and subways. When a vending machine reads the Anthony Dollar, it reads it the same way as a gold dollar coin. Coin readers don’t see color but rather, they read the signature on the coins themselves.
The gold dollar coin was the second attempt at making a dollar coin by the United States Mint. It was first minted in 1999 and featured the image of Sacagawea.
Where Can I Sell My 1979 Silver Dollar Coin?
If you have an Anthony Dollar lying around (hopefully the more valuable ones!), you may be wondering how you can sell them. In today’s market, there are a few options for you.
A Local Dealer
If you are in a big city, you may be able to bring your dollar coin to a local coin dealer to sell. There are two ways this may go. Either the coin dealer will give you an offer based on your coin and condition, or the coin dealer will melt your coin and give you a price based on the cost of the raw metal.
An Online Dealer
In the age of the internet, there are plenty of reputable dealers online who will happily buy your coins. There are a few risks associated with online sales, simply that shipping coins can lead to them getting lost in the mail, and payments may take a little time to clear. With any online dealings, be sure to research your potential dealer first to make sure they are legit.
If you don’t mind doing the work yourself, then online marketplaces like eBay may be a great option. You will need to create a listing for your coin and wait for a coin collector to come to you. While this option means that you may need to wait for a buyer, you can usually get the highest price for your coins by selling them this way.
Why Are Silver Dollars No Longer Minted?
The silver dollar was designed to replace dollar bills. The only issue was that the silver color made them easy to confuse with quarters, unlike the Canadian dollar coin or “loonie,” which has a coppery bronze color that makes it stand out among other coins.
Due to the confusion, silver dollars were only minted from 1979 to 1981.
What Affects a Coin’s Value?
Aside from the minting conditions of the coin, there are a few other factors that can affect the overall value of a coin.
The main thing that affects the value of a coin is if it shows signs of being circulated or not. Signs of circulation can be anything from dirt and grime to scratches and dents. Any wear and wear will cause the value of the coin to drop.
Uncirculated coins will always get the top value from experts and collectors. Uncirculated may not mean it’s never been circulated. It is possible that uncirculated grades were still distributed for a short time and simply never experienced much wear and tear before they fell into the hands of a collector.
There are two factors that lead to the value of your 1979 silver dollar. For the highest value, you will want a coin in mint condition, and hopefully either the 1979-S Type 2 Proof with a Clear S or the 1979-P Wide Rim. These two coins will give you the highest price, while the other 1979 silver dollars will only fetch a price similar to the face value.