How much is a 1973 Silver Dollar worth? May 20 2015
The Eisenhower dollar was the first dollar coin produced by the U.S. Mint since the end of the Peace silver dollar series in 1935. First struck in 1971, Ike dollars were created to commemorate President Dwight Eisenhower and the national space program. The obverse of the coin features a left-facing bust of Eisenhower, while the reverse side features a bald eagle landing on the moon (the insignia of the Apollo 11 mission). The U.S. Mint had stopped producing silver coins for general circulation in 1964, due to the rising price of silver, so circulating Eisenhower dollars were struck in a copper-nickel alloy. However, the Mint did produce special "S" mint (San Francisco mint) coins in a 40% silver alloy that were sold directly to collectors for a small premium.
The 1973 dollars produced for general circulation are still relatively common today, and are worth little more than $3-4 in mint condition. Silver "S" mint dollars are worth more due to the precious metal content - based on the current price of silver ($19 per ounce), 1973-S silver dollars are worth about $12 in mint condition. Circulated coins that show signs of wear and use are worth a few dollars less.
You may be wondering how to tell if your coin is silver or not. There are two ways to tell. First is by simply examining the edge of the coin - if the color is silver, then you have a 40% silver Eisenhower dollar. But if the color is red-brown, you are looking at the copper center of the less valuable copper-nickel Ikes. The other identifier is the mint mark, a small letter on the coin's surface that indicates which U.S. Mint facility produced that coin. Silver Ikes were produced at only the San Francisco mint, which means that any coin with an "S" mintmark is 40% silver. The mint mark for Eisenhower dollars can be located on the obverse side of the coin, directly underneath the bust of Eisenhower. 1973 Eisenhower dollars with a "D" mintmark (Denver mint) or no mint mark at all (Philadelphia mint), are copper-nickel.