1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Value (Type I & II, Errors & More)

With its bold design featuring the pioneering activist Susan B. Anthony, the 1979 SBA $1 coin became the first US circulation coin to feature an image of a female citizen. This makes this coin historic in itself, despite its high mintage and clad composition!

So why do collectors still love to fetch this dollar coin and pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for it? Is the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar coin worth that much? Dig into this value guide to find the dollar coin’s best resale price!

Key Takeaways

  • The 1979 SBA $1 coin is the first American coin that depicts a woman. 
  • A regular 1979 dollar won’t cost more than its face value unless it has minting anomalies like wrong planchet error, off-center striking, clipped planchet, etc. 
  • The unique feature of the 1979 SBA dollar is its 11-sided inner rim on both sides. The Wide Rim variation of the coin is more valuable than the regular or narrow ones. 
  • Based on the clarity of the mintmark “S,” the 1979-S SBA Type II proof coins are more valuable than the Type I. 

Historical Journey of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar

From its initiation in 1978 till its final replacement in 2000, here’s a quick overview of the 1979 SBA $1 coin’s journey:

  • 1978: Initiated by Congress as a tribute to social reformer Susan B. Anthony and to introduce a smaller coin than the previous Eisenhower Dollar coins to save material and production costs.
  • 1979: The first SBA dollars featuring Susan’s profile on the obverse and a heraldic flying eagle on the reverse were minted at all three mints and circulated.
  • 1980: The popularity & usage of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar declined as it was often confused with the quarter coin due to its size. 
  • 1981: Production of circulating SBA dollars ceased due to very low acceptance. 
  • 1999: The US Mint resumed minting the Susan B. Anthony dollar for one year as a stopgap until the Sacagawea dollar was introduced in 2000. 
1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar Key Facts
Material (Composition)Copper (75%), Nickel (25% clad) to pure copper core 
Minting Location Philadelphia, Denver, & San Francisco
Year of Minting 1979
Weight8.1 grams 
Diameter26.5 mm
Thickness2.00 mm
Edge150 reeds
DesignerFrank Gasparro
Face Value$1
Mint MarksP (Philadelphia)
S (San Francisco)
D (Denver)
Total Mintage 757,813,744 (All three mints)
1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar History

Design Features on the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar

Designed by the tenth Chief Engraver of the US Mint, Frank Gasparro, the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar is the first US coin that features a female citizen. Below are other design features of this coin:

1. 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Obverse

You can spot a 1979 dollar with the following front design on the coin:

  • Right-facing bust-size profile of renowned social reformer Susan B. Anthony
  • The word “LIBERTY” inscribed above Anthony’s profile
  • The mint date “1979” etched below the profile’s truncation line
  • The phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” written on the very right side of the obverse, in front of Susan’s face
  • Thirteen five-pointed starts relief carved around the profile, along the edge

2. 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Reverse

The back of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar will have the following design:

  • A heraldic eagle in-flight landing on the moon with sprawling wings and an olive branch in its talons (Apollo 11 mission insignia)
  • Denomination “ONE DOLLAR” inscribed below the eagle’s motif
  • The globe/earth motif relief-carved right above the eagle’s head
  • The country’s name, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” written along the upper half edge of the coin
  • Thirteen small five-pointed stars etched around the eagle
  • The US motto, “E. PLURIBUS UNUM,” written above the eagle’s motif below the upper three stars

3. Composition & Dimensions of 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar

1979 Dollar Coin Composition

The composition of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar is similar to that of the former Eisenhower Dollar coins, i.e75% copper and 25% nickel clad with a core made of pure copper. The core and clad layering bring the total copper content to 91.67%.

The 1979 dollar has a reeded edge with its inner rim molded as an 11-sided polygon, a distinguishing feature for the series! Besides, it measures 26.5 mm in diameter and 2.00 mm in thickness and weighs 8.1 grams.

4. 1979 Dollar Mint Marks

Starting from 1979, the Susan Dollar was struck at all three mints: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. So, you can find the following mint marks on the 1979 Susan Dollar.

2. 1979-P Susan B. Anthony Dollar: These 1979 dollar coins were struck at Philadelphia and bear a tiny “P” mark on the left side of the obverse.

1. 1979-D Susan B. Anthony Dollar: Minted at the Denver Mint, the 1979-D dollars can be spotted by their tiny “D” mintmark etched on the left side of the profile, above Susan’s shoulder line. 

2. 1979-S Susan B. Anthony Dollar: The 1979 dollar struck at the San Francisco Mint will display a small “S” mintmark above the lady’s shoulder. 

5 Factors That Impact the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Value

Apart from its rarity and historical significance, the value of a 1979 dollar depends largely on its condition, grades, errors, proofs, etc. Let’s understand those factors:

1. 1979 Anthony Dollar Mintage and Rarity

The total mintage of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar is 757,813,744. Even the dollars struck at Denver and Philadelphia have high mintage.

This means all 1979 dollars are readily available in even mint states and aren’t really rare or sought-after unless they bear any minting error.

1979 Dollars Mintage
1979 Susan B. Anthony (P Mintmark)360,222,000
1979-D Susan B. Anthony (D Mintmark)288,015,744
1979-S Susan B. Anthony (S Mintmark)109,576,000

2. Condition & Grading of 1979 Dollar

Due to its easy accessibility and less demand for the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollars, only coins with very high mint state grades or special errors will be worth more than the coin’s face value.

Here’s how you can value an old 1979 dollar in accordance with its condition:

Coin’s Condition Grades1979-P Susan B. Anthony dollar Value1979-D Susan B. Anthony dollar Value1979-S Susan B. Anthony dollar Value
Good to Very Fine (VF20+) 50 cents to $1 or more50 cents to $1More or less $1
Extremely Fine (XF40) – Almost Uncirculated (AU50+)$1 – $8Below $5 $1 – $15
Mint State (MS60 – 65)$5 – $30$5 – $25$5 – $35
Mint State (MS66 – 68) $1,500+ $15 – $1,600$15- $5,000

A 1979 SBA dollar certified by third-party grading services, like PCGS, NGC, etc., is considered more valuable than ungraded and uncertified ones.

3. 1979-P Susan B. Anthony Dollar Variations

To improve the aesthetics of the 1979 SBA dollar coin, the Philadelphia mint struck two variations of the coin with different rim widths: narrow rim & wide rim.

1. 1979-P SBA Dollar Wide Rim (Near Date): This variety can be spotted by the broader rim than the original 11-sided inner rim of the 1979 dollar.  

1979 Susan B. Anthony Value

2. 1979-P SBA Dollar Narrow Rim (Far Date): Opposite the wide rim dollar, this 1979 dollar variety will have a narrow 11-side inner rim, so the mint date appears farther from the rim.

You can identify such varieties of coins by comparing the space between the inner rim and the mint date from the regular 1979 SBA dollar.

Then, check your coin value from this price chart based on detailed research of sites like eBay and other auctions:

Coin grades1979-P SBA Dollar Wide Rim (Near Date)1979-P SBA Dollar Narrow Rim (Far Date)
Almost Uncirculated (AU50+)$5 – $15Lower than $5 
Mint State (MS60-65)$15 – $35$5 – $10
Mint State (MS66 or Higher)$40 – $1,700$10 – $160 

4. 1979 Susan B. Anthony Proof Sets

Apart from the 1979 SBA circulating dollars, the San Francisco Mint struck 3,677,175 proof sets for coin collectors, which were sold as proof sets.

Based on the mintmark “S,” the 1979-S SBA dollar has two proof variations:

  • 1979-S SBA $1 Type II Proof: This 1979 dollar proof variety has an unclear, blobbed, or filled “S” mintmark on the obverse. These proof sets aren’t worth more than $100, even with the highest (PR70) mint state grades. 
  • 1979-S SBA $1 Type II Proof: A rarer 1979-S proof variation, the Type II proof coin will bear a clear and crisp “S” mintmark near the lady’s profile. This coin is costlier than the Type I proof, costing up to $140 in the PR70 state. 

5. 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Errors

1. Struck on a Cent or Quarter Planchet: When the 1979 dollar is struck on a cent or quarter planchet, the result is a rare 1979-P Susan B. Anthony Dollar error coin that can cost up to $3,800 or more for MS65+ grade.

2. Overstruck on a 1978 Nickel Coin: As the name suggests, this error happens when a 1979 SBA dollar is struck on a 1978 nickel coin, causing overlapping designs of both coins. 

This 1979 error coin is extremely scarce and costs up to $15,000 for high mint grades. Another rare 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Struck on a 1978-D Dime error coin, which is equally rare and precious.

3. Off-Center Strike: When a 1979 dollar coin planchet is displaced in a die, it results in an off-center strike. The more off-center the design or strike is, the higher the price, ranging up to $800 or more as per condition. 

4. Clipped Planchet: When a coin planchet gets clipped off due to a sharp mint die, you get a clipped coin. A high-grade mint state 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar with clip error can be worth up to $1,200 or more (for MS65+ grades). 

5. Multistruck 1979-S Proof Coin: If you see an overlapping 1979-S dollar proof coin design on the same side, it’s likely a 1979 SBA Multistruck error coin. This flaw happens when the die collar can’t eject the coin after striking, and it gets struck by the die multiple times. Such a rare proof coin can cost up to $4,800 for high-proof grades like PR69 or higher. 

Is Your 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Fake?

If you’re going to buy or sell an old 1979 SBA $1 coin, verify whether it’s a real coin or a counterfeit using these forged features:

  • Modified or tooled features like eyes, stars, hair, earth motif, etc.
  • Made from transfer dies (a real coin is used to make a die, which is then used to strike fake coins)
  • Varied weight than 8.1 grams
  • Varied number of sides on the inner rim (originally 11 sides)
  • Modified or glued “S” mintmark on proof coins

The huge production of the 1979 SBA $1 coin surely makes it common in the market, but its historical value is the reason for it being a strong attraction for collectors. This coin replaces the earlier 1976 Eisenhower Dollar, which has also had a thrilling journey in American Coinage! 

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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