No matter if you are a coin collector or you are just a history fanatic you’ll find a lot of interesting information in this article. Since talk about empowering women and their rights is more and more present each day we decided to contribute to that topic in our own way.
This specific article is dedicated to honoring a pioneer in advocating women’s rights – Susan B. Anthony. The historically significant decision was minting a coin with her image instead of an imaginary female as it was a common practice before.
This article outlines all you need to know about the 1979 dollar coin value, history, grading, as well as error coins that are very popular among collectors. Are you ready to learn which rare Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are worth looking for?
A Brief History Fact-Checking
In 1979 the United States Mint decided to produce a dollar coin in honor of Susan B. Anthony. Also, one of the reasons why they decided to introduce a new type of coin into circulation was the cost of printing a one-dollar bill. This way they would eliminate the one-dollar paper currency and save millions of dollars per year on manufacturing.
What makes this coin special is that it marks the first time that a portrait of a real woman appeared on a United States circulating coin. Before Susan B. Anthony only a fictional woman was placed on coins – Lady Liberty.
Unfortunately, the one-dollar coins weren’t successfully introduced into circulation. A lot of people confused the new one-dollar coin with a quarter which was the main reason why they rejected it. Although 1.5 billion coins were produced production ceased in 1981. A special request from the United States Postal Service brought one more series of this amazing one-dollar coin in 1999.
The main features of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coin
Even though this coin is already unique considering this is the first coin ever that carries an image of real-life women, in this part we will examine what distinguishes this coin from other US coins.
As usual, we will start with the design of the obverse side, or as most people call it front or head side. The reverse side features a portrait of a well-known American social reformer who advocates for the women’s rights movement, Susan B. Anthony. An image shows her right-facing bust profile.
You’ll notice that the word “Liberty” is engraved all over and around the coin, while the phrase “In God We Trust” is placed under Anthony’s chin. If you take a good look at the edge you will see that the stars are imprinted all over it. The rim is reeded and forms an 11-sided polygon.
At the bottom of the coin, you will find an engraved year of issuance – 1979. On the left side of the coin, is where you should look for the mint mark.
On the other hand, the obverse side is a bit more decorative to say so. This side features an image of an eagle holding a laurel in its talons. An eagle is making a symbolic landing on the moon, which is an allusion to the moon landing of Apollo 11 that occurs a decade earlier.
If you take a good look you’ll notice that Earth shows a map of North America. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are written around the coin’s edge. Just beneath that, you will see the Latin phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. Also, the denomination of one dollar is engraved at the bottom of the coin. Thirteen stars surround the eagle.
Let’s talk technicalities!
In most cases, what makes a coin valuable is the metal components used for minting. However, this coin isn’t minted from precious metals. The coin’s exterior layer is made of 91.67% copper, and 8.33% nickel. While the inner core is made from pure copper.
Every coin weighs around 8.1 g and measures 26.5 mm in diameter. However, not every coin has a significant blob that can help you identify a valuable 1979-dollar coin. We will explain this in the following chapter.
Susan B. Anthony One Dollar Coin Value Chart
- 1979D Dollar Coin Value – These coins were minted in Denver so if you take a good look on the left side of the coin you will see the D mintmark just above Anthony’s right shoulder. The 1979D dollar has the lowest value no matter the condition, an exceptions are error coins.
- 1979S Dollar Coin Value – These are the proof-only business variety coins that were specifically minted at the San Francisco Mint. The S mintmark is located right above Anthony’s right shoulder. However, in 1979, the Treasury decided to put these coins into circulation as well. It is possible to find this type of coin in rare and uncirculated conditions.
- 1979P Wide Rim Dollar Value – The Philadelphia mint produced two different types of planchets in 1979. This means that this coin comes with two different obverse dies – one with a wide rim and the other with a narrow rim. The wide-rim coin has the date stamped close to the outer rim. Several of these coins were placed in the sets since these are considered scarce and valued at a premium price. Even a circulated wide-rim one dollar coin will be evaluated above $100.
- 1979P Narrow Rim Dollar Value – This is the second type of coin and it features a thin, narrow rim. The year of issue is placed further away from the rim and it features the P mint mark. Unfortunately, this coin is not as valuable as his minting twin brother, even in uncirculated conditions it is less valuable than the wide-rim variety.
- 1979S Proof Type 2 – What makes this coin special is that the San Francisco mint used an old die. The end result was an unclear mint mark on the 1979 dollar coin and the number of these coins is unknown. There is also a 1979S proof type 1 coin which is considered an error coin. However, this one is less common and much more valuable.
Susan B. Anthony 1979 dollar coin errors value
A lot of people thought that the 1979 dollar series had only one error coin: The 1979-S proof type 1, also known as the coin with the blob error or cud error. However, that isn’t true. Here is the list of all 1979 dollar coin errors you can find on the market:
- 1979S Proof Type 1 – A famous blob error coin. This type of error happens when the striking die is completely worn out. When the massive pressure is combined with the continuous striking of the planchet, that results in die damage which can lead to blob errors. This 1979-S proof type 1 dollar coin has a blob error on the mint mark. In 1979 mint marks were still being struck by hand into the die and the final result was a blurry S mintmark.
- 1979S Proof Repunched Mintmark Dollar – Now this is a variety of coin error that is not commonly known outside the circle of avid collectors. This repunched mintmark proof dollar shows the blob remnants of “S” to the lower left of the primary “S” mintmark. These are pretty rare and their estimated price goes from $500 and up, depending on the condition.
- 1979 Dollar Clipped Planchet Error – These errors happen when a piece of the planchet from one side is missing before the striking process. An error like this is rather valuable and uncommon no matter which type of coin we are talking about. In the case of a clipped planchet Susan B. Anthony’s dollar error, the starting price is around $100 and it goes up.
- 1979 Dollar Multiple Strikes Error – When several designs of the same type appear on the same coin that is what we called a multiple strike error. This rare error will occur when a planchet is trapped in the press and struck multiple times. An error like this is expensive and rare. This is why the starting price is always around $500.
- 1979 Dollar Blank Planchet Error – A coin with an undesignated planchet is called a blank planchet error. These errors are valuable and rare and the estimated price goes from $100 and up. If you encounter a coin you’re unsure of, in most cases that is a blank planchet error, however, these coins should always be checked by a professional.
- 1979 Dollar Broadstrike Error – When the collar doesn’t show on a coin during striking, and the coin looks flattened and without a form, this is a broad strike error. Susan B. Anthony dollar coins with this type of error lack a defined rim and will never have reeded edges. These are pretty valuable and can bring you a few hundred dollars.
- 1979 Dollar Off-Center Strikes – A Susan B. Anthony coin with an off-center strike error is pretty rare and valuable. The price depends on how far off-center the strike is. In most cases, the surfaces have at minimum a 5 to 10% off-center strike, and that error is estimated to be worth $500 or more.
- 1979 Dollar Wrong Planchet Errors – Wrong Planchet errors are a pretty common mistake. However, that does not they aren’t valuable. This error occurs when a design from a different denomination of a physically larger coin is struck on a lower-value coin. When we talk about the wrong planchet errors on Susan B. Anthony dollar coins usually the coin was mistakenly struck on planchets from the Washington quarter, Jefferson nickel, Lincoln cent, Roosevelt dime, and Sacagawea dollar.
Table of the most valuable 1979 dollar coins
How Will The Mint State Of Coin Effect The Value Of The 1979 Dollar?
No matter what type of coin you have its value will always vary with the mint state. Naturally, you want to collect coins that seem like they just came off the mint. A coin that is in an uncirculated state is rare and more expensive especially if we talk about coins that originate before the 1800s. The reason is simple, in that time there were few coin collectors in the United States.
There are four factors that determine the quality of a Mint State coin and those are:
- Contact marks – Look for the slight dents and scratches on a coin’s surface. These are acceptable since they occur due to handling and manufacturing processes.
- Luster – Keep in mind that a freshly minted coin will have a perfect gloss on its surface. There is a simple trick to check how shiny the luster is, expose the coin to a single light source and turn it. A light beam will appear to spin and dance around the surface.
- Fine scratches – Ver fine scratches are also called hairlines. These scratches spread evenly across the whole coin’s surface and they are usually caused by the coin touching a cloth or some mildly abrasive material.
- Eye appeal – Eye appeal refers to the coin’s general appearance and whether the coin has that breathtaking, eye-popping look or not.
Here are some of the most valuable 1979 dollar coin mint states:
- Mint State (MS) 67 – A coin with the MS67 grade is an uncirculated example with an excellent eye appeal. Everything is there, a perfect shine, and a clean and appealing strike. There are possible tiny flaws such as a few minor contact marks which are only visible under 8x magnification. Coins that fall into this category are incredibly scarce, possess a remarkable aesthetic value, and will be priced over $500.
- Mint State (MS) 66 – To be graded MS66 a coin must retain its full mint look, it should have an above-average eye appeal with no more than three or four tiny contact marks. If the coin is put under magnification, there will be only a few light hairlines or one or two light scuff marks. These coins are usually evaluated to be worth around $500.
- Mint State (MS) 65 – A coin that is graded MS65 must keep the brightness above average, while the luster might be a bit damaged. That means they may have minor abrasion marks which won’t diminish the coin’s aesthetic appeal. These coins will be worth around $130.
- Mint State (MS) 64 – Naturally these coins are in the least impressive state. The luster and strike aren’t perfect and you will see a few light touch marks and one or two relatively heavy markings. Also, it is possible to spot a light flaws or imperfections in the design of the field. However, the overall quality is fair as well as the visual appeal. The price will go between $50 and $100.
Where Should You Look For 1979 Dollar Coins?
You should keep an eye on places where you decide to buy or sell your valuable coin, especially if we talk about error coins. If you aren’t experienced enough, you can end up buying an error coin which in fact isn’t a true error coin, it is simply just damaged. Make sure you always buy coins from reliable sellers to avoid being scammed.
It is crucial to focus on finding the best dealer on the market. What I always suggest is that your first option should always be a reliable auction house or reputable coin web pages such as Heritage Auctions, PCGS, Coins For Sale, or Littleton Coin Company.
Of course, you can explore places like eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers to get information about the particular coin such as price and how attractive are they to collectors. Unfortunately, places like these are full of scammers so look for a proven seller, and always consult with your mentor or specialist.
What makes a Susan B. Anthony 1979 dollar coin rare?
Everyone who is into coin collecting knows that a regular 1979-dollar coin is quite common. In fact, there are millions of these coins in circulation, which makes them easily accessible and affordable.
Luckily, some 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are rare because of their distinct die errors. The most desirable ones are the wide rim 1979 dollar coin error and the 1979-S Type 2 dollar coin. The second one is unique because it was produced in proof sets only and was never released into general circulation.
How will you know you possess a rare 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coin?
There are several ways you can figure this out. Check for errors in design or print. For instance, check to see if the coin has a date that is very close to the edge, also look if the width of the number 1 in the date is the same as the width of the rim. This is the Near Date variety of coin errors and is usually worth more considering how rare it is.
Which 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are valuable?
As you already learned these coins aren’t extremely valuable since they are common in circulation. However, the proof coins from the 1979 dollar proofs set that were minted in the San Franciso mint are worth more than others.
So far, we’ve discussed many different coins and their value in detail such as peculiarities like mintage, error coins, varieties, and so on. Hopefully, this thought you that every time you come across some old US coins you check them thoroughly. You can never know what kind of treasure can end up in your pocket change.
When we talk about the 1979 one dollar coin be sure to be on the lookout as this coin has become a favorite among collectors. Be patient and look for the error ones and you can be pretty sure you’ll be on the better side of the bargain.
Hopefully, this article answered some of the questions and helped you figure out how to handle your precious coins. In case you know some information that we didn’t mention here, please do not hesitate to share your opinions and advice in the comment section below.