1972 Silver Dollar Value (“S” “D” Mints, Errors & Varieties)

The 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar is not just a coin; it’s an artifact that celebrates the transformative leader, the 34th US President, and the historic Apollo 11 mission!

But did you know that the 1972 silver dollar has three variations, like the flat earth reverse, and some unique errors that can hike its value up to thousands? Well, today I will tell you many other facts & features that’ll help you value your old 1972 Eisenhower silver dollar!

Key Takeaways

  • The Eisenhower Dollars coins were issued as a tribute to the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. 
  • Only the San Francisco Mint produced over 2.1 million 1972-S Silver dollars (uncirculated) for collectors, which can be worth $3,600 or more with high mint state grades. 
  • The 1972 Silver Dollar proof coins with a special “S” mint mark can be worth up to $4,000 or more. 

The Interesting History of Eisenhower Dollars

  • 1969: After 34th US President Dwight David Eisenhower’s passing, officials proposed releasing a coin as a tribute to him. However, its composition was still in question. 
  • 1970: Due to the high prices of silver bullion, the US Mint decided to produce base metal (copper-nickel clad) coins for circulation and Eisenhower silver dollar coins for the uncirculated and proof sets. Finally, the coin was authorized. 
  • 1971 – 1972: The final striking of circulation coins started at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, including the three varieties. The San Francisco Mint started and uncirculated & proof coins. 
  • 1975: The Brown and Blue Ikes were discontinued after 1974. The Bicentennial dollars, with its three different variations, were minted with a special reverse (Liberty Bell) and mint date “1776–1976” on the obverse. 
  • 1976: The downfall of the Eisenhower dollar began, and a new, smaller coin was proposed. 
  • 1979: The new Susan B. Anthony Dollar finally replaced the Eisenhower Dollar coin, making it a collectible. 
1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Key Facts
Material (Composition)Copper (75%) and Nickel (25%) over a pure Copper center 
Minting Location Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Year of Minting 1972
Weight22.68 grams (Copper/Nickel-clad)24.62 grams (Silver-clad)
Diameter38.1 mm
Thickness2.58 mm
DesignerFrank Gasparro
Face Value$1
Mint MarksNo Mint Mark (Circulation Strike by Philadelphia Mint)“D” Mint Mark (Circulation Strike by Denver Mint)“S” Mint Mark (Uncirculated Striked by San Francisco Mint)
Total Mintage (All Facilities)168,438,511 (Circulation Strike)2,193,056 (Uncirculated Silver)
1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar History

Design Features of 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar

Let’s take a closer look at the design of the 1972 Eisenhower dollars! Both the obverse and reverse of this coin were designed by US Mint engraver Frank Gasparro.

1. 1972 Eisenhower Dollar Obverse Design:

This obverse (front) of the 1972 silver dollar bears the following simplistic design:

  • The left profile (bust) of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States
  • The word “LIBERTY” carved along the upper edge of the obverse
  • The mint year “1972” written on the bottom side of the obverse, right below the profile
  • The phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” carved on the bottom-left of the obverse

2. 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Reverse Design:

The back or reverse of the 1972 dollar features a more intricate design as follows:

  • An eagle landing on the moon with its wing spread wide open (symbol of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon mission)
  • An olive branch in eagle’s claws
  • The face value “ONE DOLLAR” inscribed along the bottom edge of the reverse
  • Thirteen stars encircling the eagle, representing thirteen states
  • “E. PLURIBUS UNUM” written in a small font right above the eagle
  • A small earth/globe motif inscribed (on the left) above the eagle’s head 
  • Words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” inscribed along the upper-half edge of the reverse

3. Coin Composition & Measurements:

1972 Silver Dollar Coin Composition

Interestingly, the 1972 Eisenhower dollar coins were minted with different compositions for different purposes.

Because of expensive silver bullion, the US Mint produced copper-nickel-clad 1972 Eisenhower dollars for circulation strike. This coin had its outer layer of 75% copper and 25% nickel clad and a 100% copper core, weighing around 22.68 grams.

The San Francisco Mint minted millions of 1972 Silver Dollars (non-proof coins) with a silver-clad composition of 60% copper and 40% silver, especially for collectors. These coins weighed around 24.62 grams.

Besides, a 1972 Eisenhower dollar has a diameter of 38.1 mm, a thickness of 2.58 mm, and a reeded edge.

4. Special Identifying Mint Marks:

Uncirculated 1972 S Silver Dollar Coins

Apart from the Philadelphia Mint, the San Francisco and Denver Mints also minted millions of 1972 Silver dollar coins with their special marks:

  • 1972 D Eisenhower Dollars: These 1972 Eisenhower copper-nickel-clad coins were minted by the Denver Mint for general use and circulation. You can spot them with a special “D” mint mark below the truncation line. 
  • 1972 S Silver Dollars or Blue Ikes: These are the special 1972 Eisenhower Silver dollars minted at the San Francisco Mint. These include the collectors’ special uncirculated 1972-S Silver Dollars, which were sold in a blue envelope wrapped in pliofilm, popular as “Blue Ikes” and the official proof coins or “Brown Ikes.”

5 Factors to Value a Vintage 1972 Silver Dollar Coin

Now, let’s check out the four crucial factors that affect the final value of an old 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar:

1. Condition and Grades

The condition of a coin is the most important visual clue to guess if it’s valuable or not. For instance, if your 1972 Eisenhower dollar is in a decent state with its luster and designs clearly visible, it can be worth a few hundred dollars or even more.

The best way to appraise an old 1972 Silver dollar appropriately is to get it certified or graded by a third-party grading service.

Once graded, you can find the best prices from the price table below:

Coin’s Condition/Coin’s NameFeatures1972 Eisenhower Dollar1972-D Eisenhower Dollar1972-S Silver Dollar (Uncirculated Strike)
Poor to Very Good (VG)Soft & blurry reliefs, kneaded details, slightly visible designs$0 – $5$0 – $15$1 – $8
Fine to Extremely Fine (XF)Partially worn-out details on eagle’s feathers, globe motif, Eisenhower’s hair, etc. $2 – $10$1 – $20$30 – $40
Mint State (MS 50 – MS 65)Less wear on the higher reliefs, 50-60% luster on the background, visible die lines, less contact marks$20 – $80$15 – $130$20 – $60
MS 65+ Graded or UncirculatedNew-like luster, no contact marks, intact high reliefs$180 – $1,300$100 – $4,000$30 – $3,600

2. The 1972 Eisenhower Dollar Variations

1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Varities

The US Mint produced three variations of the 1972 Eisenhower dollars: Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3, based on types of globe/earth motifs on the reverse.

Among these, the US Mint continued the third type, making the Type 1 and Type 2 1972 Eisenhower Dollars rarer!

Here’s how you can identify these three 1972 dollar types and their estimated values:

1972 Eisenhower Coin VariationsFeaturesGood to Extremely Fine (XF) GradeAlmost Uncirculated (AU) to Mint State (50 – 65+)
1972 No Mint or D Eisenhower Dollar Type 1 Lower & softer relief carving, less detailed design on the reverse, the Cuba island is carved as a soft-edged water drop, unlike its crescent shape$15 or less$30 – $2,000 or more
1972 No Mint or D Eisenhower Coin Type 2 Rounder earth motif (on reverse), low relief, soft & unclear carving of the Caribbean islands, triangular Florida map$15 or less$80 – $1,800
1972 No Mint or D Eisenhower Dollar Type 3High relief carving, most defined globe with geographically correct island lines $10 or less$10- $250

3. 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Proof Coins – Brown Ikes

Apart from the 1972-S Silver dollars, the US Mint also minted 1,811,631 proof coins at the San Francisco Mint facility. All these silver-clad 1972 silver dollar proof coins were distributed in a sleek brown box with a golden eagle seal at the corner, and hence, are called “Brown Ikes”.

A fine quality 1972 Silver Dollar Proof with PR 68 or higher grades can cost anywhere from $450 to $4,000.

You can verify a 1972 Proof Eisenhower Dollar with the following features:

  • “S” mint mark below the truncation line on the obverse
  • Silver-clad composition of 60% copper and 40% silver
  • Clean die and polish lines
  • Deep contrast cameo on the obverse and reverse
  • The mint-state luster on the surface
1972 Silver Dollar Brown Ikes & Blue Ikes

4. 1972 Eisenhower Dollar Errors & Defects

The common copper-nickel-clad 1972 Eisenhower Dollar coins may not be that valuable. But when these same coins bear some errors, they become collectors’ favorites.

Check out the two most common anomalies in the 1972 Silver Dollar:

  • Clipped Planchet Error: This error happens when the coin planchet gets overlapped by another planchet, resulting in an odd, clipped coin shape. Based on the coin’s condition and the degree of clipping, the 1972 Eisenhower dollar with this error can range from $40 – $400.
  • Double Die Error: If you notice a doubled image on the obverse or reverse of your old 1972 Silver dollar coin, it’s likely a double die error coin. Based on the degree of double die (due to misplacement of the planchet during striking), this error can hike the value of your dollar coin. 

5. 1972 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Coin Mintage & Rarity

Due to their very high mintage, collectors don’t generally see the 1972 Eisenhower Dollar coins as rare and precious. Especially due to their basic composition, the No mint and “D” mint copper-nickel clad coins fetch quite less.

1972 Eisenhower Dollars Mintage
1972 Eisenhower Dollar (Copper-nickel clad, No mint mark)75,890,000
1972-D Eisenhower Dollar (Copper-nickel clad, D mint mark)92,548,511
1972-S Uncirculated Silver Dollar (Silver-clad. S mint mark)2,193,056

How to Spot a Real 1972 Silver Dollar?

I’m sure you won’t want a clad 1972 Silver Dollar for your collection, right? So, make sure to verify the following features to get a real 1972 Silver Dollar:

  • “S” mint mark (since the 40% silver dollar coins were all minted by the San Francisco Mint)
  • Accurate weight (24.62 grams) of silver-clad coins
  • A silver strip/edge around the coin 
  • No clad lines on the edge

Are all 1972 Silver Dollars made of silver?

No, only the 1972 Proof Silver Dollars and 1972 S Mint Eisenhower dollars have 40% (or more) silver content. The rest of the 1972 No Mint and D Mint dollars are all copper-silver-clad coins.

Which 1972 Eisenhower dollars are most valuable? 

The 1972 Eisenhower Dollars with silver-clad composition or minting errors like clipped planchet errors and double die errors are the most valuable.

Although new, the exciting history of the 1972 silver dollars makes them a good attraction for coin collectors. And this guide is your best bet to appraise the dollar easily. Similarly, the 1921 silver dollars are also precious because of their sudden revival in the year! Want to know more about their values and origin? Join me now!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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