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Eisenhower Dollars

Dwight D. Eisenhower, distinguished Army Five-Star General during World War II and 34th President of the United States died on March 28, 1969. The Eisenhower Dollar was designed by United States Mint’s Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro and was issued from 1971 until 1978. Issued to honor the recently deceased president, Treasury officials believed that it would never be widely circulated. To make the coin more palatable to the collecting public, the moon landing reverse was loosely copied from the insignia originally developed by astronaut Michael Collins for NASA. More than 100 million clad dollars were struck by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints in 1971. Proof clad silver dollars were struck from 1971 until 1974 and sold by the Mint in “Brown Packs.” The uncirculated versions were sold in envelopes called “Blue Packs.” These coins were 38.1 millimeters in diameter, had a reeded edge and weighed 24.9 grams. They had an outer layer of .800 silver and .200 copper bonded to an inner core of .209 silver and .791 copper for an Actual Silver Weight (ASW) of .3161 pure silver. The copper-nickel issue weighed 22.68 grams and had outer layers of .750 copper and .250 nickel bonded to an inner core of pure copper. To celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States’ Independence, a contest was held to create a reverse for the 1976 issue. The final design chosen from over 1,000 entries, depicted the Liberty Bell superimposed over an image of the moon and was submitted by Dennis R. Williams. The coin’s obverse had the dual date of 1776-1976 and was issued in various forms including proof and uncirculated issues.

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