Who was Susan B Anthony, and why was her face engraved on a coin created by the United States Mint? There are many rare coins and paper money circulated by the United States Mint. Susan B Anthony dollars are an example of such coins that many coin collectors seek today.
Keep reading if you want to learn the importance of Susan B Anthony coinage and what makes them different from other coins from the US Mint.
What is a Susan B Anthony Dollar?
Susan B Anthony was a women’s rights activist whose face was featured on more than 880-million-dollar coins minted by the United States Mint. From a distance, the Susan B Anthony dollar coin looks like any other coin stamped with the American mint mark. However, the value of the currencies of this series differs based on their origin date and engravings.
Susan B Anthony Dollars Mints
The US Mint created Susan B Anthony dollars for only four years. The mint released the coins in the years 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1999. There are many mint marks on the Susan B Anthony dollar, and the Philadelphia mint mark is one of them. Apart from this, the coin has marks of San Francisco mint and Denver mint. Usually, rare coins are high in price due to the low number of coins created by the mint. However, the rarity of a coin also comes from any error during its minting.
The History Behind Susan B Anthony Dollars
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a monetary unit that was created by the United States Mint in 1979 as part of an attempt to bring women back into the forefront of American currency. At that time, there was a growing movement to bring gender equality to aspects of everyday life, and that included money. In fact, one of the rallying cries of this movement was “simply put, if men have dollar bills, why can’t women have dollar coins?”
So in order to meet these demands, and without having to change their standard practices regarding how much currency is printed and what denominations are used for transactions, the government decided to create a new type of smaller dollar coin with Susan B Anthony on the front.
The Susan B Anthony silver dollar was a new coin in 1979 when there were efforts to replace the Eisenhower dollars with smaller coins. The new coin was a round planchet with an eleven-sided border. The irony is that the Susan B Anthony dollars were not initially designed to hold the engraving of Susan B Anthony.
What is the Composition of a Susan B Anthony Dollar?
The coin designed to replace the Eisenhower dollar was initially meant to carry the face of liberty. However, the Congress called for a real woman represented on the one dollar coin. Thus, the Susan B Anthony dollars were created. There were many women’s faces that were suggested to be featured on the one dollar coin.
In the end, Congress decided on Susan b Anthony’s face. The reverse design of the Eisenhower dollar remained on the Anthony dollar. The reverse of the congress passed plan of Anthony dollar symbolized Apollo11 with the eagle landing on the moon.
The one dollar coin was minted in a large quantity as the authorities thought there would be high demand for the smaller dollars. However, the new dollar coin was not met with as much enthusiasm as people confused it for the quarter.
The dollars were eventually circulated in vending machines. The Susan b Anthony dollars were depleted by the end of the 1990s. The dollar coin was again struck as a measure to supply usable coins when the gold-colored one dollar coin could not be minted to meet the demand. Therefore, in 1999, the Anthony dollars were again minted.
The following year, the Susan B Anthony dollars were retired from circulation by the United States government. According to a congress passed a law, the Sacagawea coin was put in circulation after the Susan coin series was discontinued. The treasury department also struck some rare coins under the series that are valuable for coin collectors.
These special coins struck by the treasury are made in proof finish and are very distinct. The minting variations of the Susan b Anthony coin series make some coins great as collectibles.
However, these coins, called the Carter quarter, remained in the government stockpile and lost their rarity. Therefore, the values listed for the Susan b Anthony coins remain low. The premium face over the value of the Susan b Anthony series remains minimal compared to other coin series created according to law.
What’s on Both Faces of Susan B Anthony Dollar?
The Susan B Anthony dollars were designed by the Chief engraver of the US Mint, Susan B Frank Gasparro. The Susan B Anthony dollar coins hold the face of the activist looking towards the right and the year on the bottom of the coins. On the reverse side, these dollar coins have the eagle mark engraved. The dollar coins are also impressed with the one dollar mark that highlights one dollar coins.
Susan B Anthony Dollar Coin Value
Not all Anthony coins are highly valuable. The 1979 P wide rim Anthony coins hold some level of importance. Moreover, the 1980 S proof Anthony coins also have value as they were punched with the mark. The error and punch of the S mark on 1980 Anthony coins make the coins of the series valuable. These coins have faint marks of an S to the lower left of the primary S mark on the surface. The Susan b Anthony dollar value for a coin depends on its grade and present condition.
Susan B Anthony Dollar Coin Value
The circulated 1979 P wide-rimmed coin from the Susan B Anthony coin series is at a value of $5 to $8. A coin from the uncirculated grades of the same Anthony dollar coin series is sold by a coin dealer at the price of $25 today. If you wish to get the most valuable coin of the series from the coin dealer, you must look for the 1980 dollar coin.
The 1980 Anthony dollar is a rare coin that does not show up in the coin market often. The smaller dollar coin takes around $100 to $500 to buy. If you are interested in buying famous dollars from the United States Coinage, you should buy the ones created under the Anthony dollar coin act.
However, this dollar coin does not cost much; if you plan to sell it, you will not get much. The profits you get from the deal depend on which coin of the Anthony dollar coin act series you sell.
Why Was the Susan B Anthony Coin Was Created?
The whole idea behind the production of Susan B Anthony dollars was to create a conveniently sized coin that can be easily used for the transaction. Congress passed the legislation so that the common man could use cash to pay for daily necessities.
The Susan b Anthony coins were especially in production so that they could fill the vending machines that were selling essentials to the people of the country.
Moreover, the lawmakers also believed that introducing small coins like the quarter would reduce annual production prices of paper money by $19 million for the government of the time.
Susan B Anthony Coin Design
It was a new page in the history of US currency as, for the first time, a real woman’s face featured on the silver coin. The search for the perfect design for the coin stopped at the statue of liberty. On the date of April 29, 1976, when the design was reviewed it was praised by the commission of fine arts.
However, in May 1978, there was a proposed law introduced in congress that sought a change in the obverse design before the coin went into production. The law proposed that the obverse side of the coin should have the face of a prominent American woman who has stood for the rights of women.
Thus, the nation was in search of someone who could represent every American woman on the coin obverse. The search led to the famous women suffrage rights activist Susan B Anthony.
Instead of a symbolic figure representing equality in the country, the likeness of Susan B Anthony represented the reality of a nation that had made much progress in terms of legislation for women.
Why Was Susan B Anthony On the Coin?
Susan B Anthony had also fought against slavery from the age of 17. It was apt that she was the first woman citizen of the US to be engraved on a coin. Susan B Anthony stood for the prices that women had to pay to get equality in society.
It was proof of Susan B Anthony’s popularity that she was chosen by the National Organization for Women, the Congresswomen’s Caucus, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and the League of Women Voters to be part of the coin set to production.
The Coin Celebrating Equality and Liberty
The design of the Susan b Anthony coin began before the law related to it was passed. The bill regarding the coin minting was approved on the date of October 10, 1978 by President Jimmy carter.
President Jimmy Carter also issued a statement in October after that date that the new Susan B Anthony dollar would significantly improve US coinage. Before the Susan B dollar went into circulation, the Eisenhower one was put out of circulation.
The Susan B dollar was once proposed as a national coin for the US as it stood for equality and liberty. However, apart from some versions of it that were minted under proof, there are not many of the series that are valuable to collectors.
Susan B Dollar Coins First Stockpile Release
The stockpile of the first Susan dollars was released in July 1979. However, in the months that followed July 1979, the public did not welcome the Susan B dollar with fervor. The small size of the coin became the proof of its unpopularity, and there was proposed legislation in July 1979 to increase the size of the coin.
However, the bill was never passed. The few years of its minting are also proof of the Susan B coins’ failure in entering the site of transactions.
Are there any Rare Susan B Coins?
Some of the 1981 varieties of the coin can only be issued to collectors with proof of identity. Some of the 1979 coins of the series also hold a lot of importance. It is important to know that the site of the 1999 reissue edition coins is the Philadelphia mint. Some of the rare 1981 and 1979 varieties are very different and rare from other coins that have been discontinued.
How to Spot Rare Susan B Coins?
There are many ways to spot rare currency like the Susan B coins. You might even find one at home or in your hand when doing daily chores. If you do find a rare Susan B dollar, try to find its year of mintage and know its price.
You can either keep it as a collectible or sell it to the right person at the right time. You might stumble upon such treasure when you least expect it. You can also try to search for the outdoors when you are roaming.
You can use a metal detector for the purpose and try to find as many pennies as possible. You might find other series of currency when searching for this one. If you are an avid coin collector, you might be aware of the deals you can get on such coins on eBay.
You can search for them online on eBay or on US Coin Book. While there might be many deals on eBay to buy such collectible items, you need to do your own research and tests before buying one. Beware of potential fraud and fake sellers.
Why are They Discontinued?
Surprisingly, the United States Government never actually issued a statement as to why they stopped producing the Susan B Anthony coin. What we do know is that they stopped producing new coins in 1981, and that they had stopped ordering new dies and tools for producing the Susan B Anthony coin by 1983. What we do know is that they did not discontinue the coin because it was unpopular or of poor quality. In fact, the coin was very well-received. There’s a small chance that the government stopped minting new coins because there was a small movement for the government to bring back the $1 gold coin. But that is just a guess.
How to get genuine prices for Susan B Coins?
When you are selling your Susan B currency, you also need to be aware of the buyers and research so that you get good prices from genuine buyers.
- Check for their background and then take the decision to sell. When the buyer is genuine, the price you get also satisfies your pocket.
- Always check for genuine websites for sale when you want to sell the coins online.
- Such rare items should be dealt with care and caution, especially during sale and purchase.
There’s a lot of history between Susan B Anthony and her fight to bring gender equality to American currency. And while the fight was won, the battle is never truly over. The United States Mint has been producing coins for more than 100 years, and over that time, there have been several attempts to change things up. Some have been wildly successful, and others were complete failures.
The Susan B Anthony dollar is one of the coin designs that was not a success. While it was initially popular, it eventually fell out of favor. The reasons for this are unclear. What we do know is that the coin, while it lasted, was an excellent example of how the government can meet modern-day demands without having to make major changes to its practices.