Are Dollar Coins Worth More Than You Think

Are Dollar Coins Worth More Than You Think
Posted on February 28, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

Have you heard about dollar coins that are worth millions? Despite being overlooked, some rare and historically significant coins are worth paying attention to, and if you own one, you might be holding onto a hidden fortune without even knowing it!

Let us share a story with you. As Henry explored his grandparent's attic, he stumbled upon a box that intrigued him. Inside the box was a collection of old dollar coins, each whispering stories of the past. Little did he know, within this unassuming collection lay the possibility of a hidden fortune, waiting to be uncovered. Fascinated, Henry couldn't help but wonder, "Are dollar coins worth more than you think?", “How much is a dollar coin worth?”

Being an enthusiast and investor of precious metal coins, Henry's curiosity didn't let him sit there. He immersed himself in research, seeking answers to the question: are one dollar coins worth anything today? It is hard to believe, but a dollar coin from 1893 was once sold at an auction for $550,000! Quite a hefty sum! This fact definitely changes the way you look at your spare change, doesn't it? The worth of a silver dollar cannot be justified by its face value but by its historical significance and rarity.

If you own rare dollar coins or are willing to own one but aren't sure of their value, don't worry; we've got you covered. So, let’s check out what exactly makes these coins so valuable? Let’s delve deeper into the history of dollar coins to find out. And know the answer to this popular question Are Dollar Coins Worth More Than You Think?

    Early Spanish Influence and the First U.S. Dollar Coins

World trade used a Spanish silver coin as the standard form of payment between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. After referring to it as the "Spanish dollar" in the American colonies, the English eventually claimed it as their own.

The dollar is one of many words that contain intriguing tales. Since its inception, it has expanded and changed to witness and reflect humanity's advancement. From the discovery of silver mines in Joachimsthal to the establishment of the first all-American dollar, the journey of the dollar is filled with twists and turns that shaped its value and significance over time.

With this, we know the historical base behind the US Dollar, and now is the time to explore the most valuable US dollar coins with their historical significance and determine are dollar coins worth more than you think?

    Noteworthy Dollar Coins That Made History

1. Flowing Hair Dollar (1794-1795):

Flowing Hair Dollar (1794-1795)

The United States was a developing and expanding country without an official currency in the late 17th century when the echoes of independence still hung heavy in the air. People were relying on exchanging different coins from other nations.

The US government issued the first Flowing Hair dollar in 1794-1795 according to the Spanish dollar pattern. The Bust of Liberty was prominently portrayed, her hair flowing in waves to symbolize the freedom of America. The small press size led to its abandonment in 1794. It is, therefore, rare. Production restarted in 1795 with a "new" design showing Liberty with the hair now loosely tied, which in this case, symbolizes the nation in transition.

Interesting Fact

CNN reported in 2013 that the Flowing Hair Dollar, which sold for $10 million at an auction, broke the record for the highest price ever paid for a rare coin.

Regardless of condition, the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is worth more because of its scarcity. In other words, a mid-circulated quality of F-12 (the "fine grade") is valued at $135,000. A low-end grade of G-4 (the "good grade") is worth $65,000.

According to the NGC Price Guide, the estimated value of a 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar in Mint State (MS) varies from $67,500 to over $1 million.

2. The Morgan Dollar (1878-1921):

The Morgan Dollar (1878-1921)

The Morgan Dollar represents the silver boom and America's economic growth. Its design and the "Wild West" legend have made it popular among collectors, making it a major point of interest.

The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most well-known and prized among all American coins. These big silver coins are prized for their worth, attractive design, flawless strike, and elegant appearance. Morgan Silver Dollars were struck between 1878 and 1904 and then again in 1921. The coin's introduction in 1878 contributed to a rise in silver prices. Following a silver strike 20 years prior, the Morgan Dollar was granted permission by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 to safeguard the US Treasury.

Interesting Fact

The Morgan silver dollar was branded by the US as "the King of American coins" because it played a big part in setting the path of industrialization, which was at the same time expanding the country's western frontier.

In 2015 a much in demand Morgan Dollar made an offer of nearly $40000/- for it. On the other hand, the price of a Morgan Silver Dollar can range from $10 to $100 and beyond depending on the quality and how many of them are still in circulation.

3. The Peace Dollar (1921-1935)

The Peace Dollar (1921-1935)

The United States Mint has produced many coins throughout its history. The Peace Dollar was a coin produced by the US Mint to represent the peace achieved after World War I. It was minted twice, from 1921 to 1928 and 1934 to 1935. It was the last silver-filled dollar coin produced for general use. This dollar coin is highly sought-after by collectors due to its limited mintage, history, and silver content. The Peace Dollar's age is another factor contributing to its popularity among coin collectors.

President Donald Trump signed legislation on January 5, 2021, authorizing the issuance of Morgan and Peace dollars that year in honor of the 100th anniversary of the switch between the two designs. In 2021, the Peace Dollar series was revived by the United States Mint using modern .999 fine silver coins. It weighs 0.858 troy ounces and costs 85 dollars.

The 1921 high relief peace dollar was sold at an auction for $329,000 in 2014.

4. The Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1978)

The Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1978)

The Eisenhower dollar was a one dollar coin the United States Mint issued from 1971 to 1978, depicting President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse and a stylized image honoring the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon mission on the reverse. It was the first circulating silver dollar coin since the Peace dollar series ended in 1935 and was created to celebrate Eisenhower's contributions and the successful moon landing in 1969.

The Eisenhower dollar connects to the space race and the Cold War. Certain rare varieties of this coin can be worth a significant amount of money, especially in pristine conditions. For example, the 1972 Type 2 Eisenhower Dollar can be worth up to $800, and the 1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar can sell for $100 or more in uncirculated condition.

5. The Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979-1981, 1999)

The Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979-1981, 1999)

The US produced Susan B. Anthony dollars thrice, in 1979 and 1981, and again in 1999. It was meant to take the place of the larger Eisenhower dollar.

The obverse of the smaller dollar coin's original design featured a symbolic personification of Liberty; however, groups and individuals in Congress demanded that the coin feature a real woman.

To honor the American social reformer and women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony, the US Congress approved the creation of the dollar in 1978. With Susan B. Anthony at the forefront, it marked the beginning of a new chapter for women in American society. For the new coin, the Eisenhower dollar's reverse design was kept.

1979-P On a 1978 Jefferson Nickel, Susan B. Anthony Dollar was overstruck, creating a special coin with Monticello beside Anthony's nose. Collectors prize this rare 1979 Susan B. Anthony coin, which brought $15,275 at auction in 2014. The wide rim, proof coins, and 1981 S proof coins are among the other rare varieties.

6. The Sacagawea/Native American Dollars (2000-present)

The Sacagawea/Native American Dollars (2000-present)

In 2000, the first Sacagawea/Native American dollar coins were introduced in remembrance of Sacagawea, a Shoshone lady who served as an important guide for Lewis and Clark during their 1804–1806 expedition. On the obverse of the coins are images of Sacagawea holding her infant son, Jean-Baptiste. The back side features an eagle in flight.

Sacagawea was a historical person connected to Lewis and Clark's expedition. Her familiarity with North American geography was invaluable to the explorers, and she also acted as the expedition's interpreter. Throughout the more than 8,000-mile journey, she carried her newborn son on her back. One way to pay tribute to Sacagawea's memory is to learn about the coin's history. Sacagawea's strength as an explorer, scholar, and mother is honored by this coin.

    Coin Market Overview: Highest Selling Prices

TypeMint YearAuction Sold PriceYear of Sale
1974 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar $1 (Special Strike)1974$10,016,8752013
MORGAN DOLLARS 1889 CC $1 MS COIN1889$881,2502013
Peace Dollar, 1921 Peace MS1921$132,0002018
EISENHOWER DOLLARS 1776-1976 TYPE 1 $1 MS COIN AUCTIONS1776-1976$28,2002014
1979-P Anthony Dollar--Overstruck on a 1978 Jefferson Nickel--MS-67 (NGC)1979$15,2752016
2000-P Sacagawea Dollar and Statehood Quarter Mule2000$144,0002022

Now you understand the historical significance of dollar coins and their value. However, one question may arise: what makes these coins more valuable than their face value? Let's unravel the mysteries behind the value of dollar coins and explore the factors that contribute to their worth.

    What Makes Some Dollar Coins More Valuable?

  • Rare Finds

    The correlation between a one dollar coin value and rarity is simple to understand, following the principle of supply and demand. Collectors from all corners of the globe compete to find the rarest specimens and store them safely to preserve them against the damaging effects of time and usage. But what makes a coin rare, and how can you identify one?

    Here’s an Example: the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar $1 (Special Strike) from 1794 is a coin of significant historical value in the United States. Many believe this prototype is the first Silver Dollar ever produced by the US Mint. Due to its limited mintage, collectors hold it in high esteem.

  • Historic Pieces

    For over 225 years, the US Mint has produced coins, with certain dollar coins being of historical value and sought after by collectors during their initial mint runs. Numerous dollar coins, like the 1976 Eisenhower Silver Dollar, feature two years on it - 1776 and 1976. These dates were significant as they represented the 200th anniversary of American independence. This coin is unique because it honors a crucial period in American history.

  • Collector Favorites

    Coin collectors place a great value on specific dollar coins. A favorite among collectors, the Peace Dollar, which is one of the most popular US dollar coins, was only minted during two periods - from 1921-1928 and from 1934-1935. The limited mintage of the coin adds to its appeal, as does its historical significance.

  • Unique Features

    A few dollar coins had some engraving errors that weren't discovered until it was too late. The survivors became instant collector's items, as most of the other runs were destroyed.

    It is known that some Sacagawea Dollars were struck using the incorrect planchets, which resulted in an off-metal transitional error and increased their value by thousands. Similarly, some Presidential Dollar coins with flaws, such as missing edge lettering, can command high prices.

    How much is a dollar coin worth is mainly depends on these key factors, and it can increase the value of your dollar more than you think! Here you must have got your answer to the question: are dollar coins worth more than you think?

  • Closing Thoughts on Dollar Coin Value

    As we wrap up our journey through the world of dollar coins, one thing is crystal clear: these are just a few coins that carry incredible tales. Those aren't just some pieces of metal; they are windows into the past, works of art, and a reminder of where we come from.

    So, are dollar coins worth more than you think? You bet. This is not about money alone; it’s about the history and the beauty it holds. As Henry finds treasures in his grandparents' attic, you may also have valuable coins that are not even known to you.

    Whether you have the elegant Flowing Hair Dollar, the popular Morgan Dollar, or the rare Peace Dollar, each has its own story! They, in fact, are multi-faceted, and their value is not only about being just old or rare. They're like the time capsules, which show us what life was about back then.

    Therefore, the next time you come across a dollar coin in your pocket or hidden somewhere in your home, inspect it more carefully or consult experts (NGC/PCGS) and join online communities of enthusiasts. It could be worth more than you realize, both in dollar digits and the memories it holds. We must keep these treasures protected and pass them on so future generations can enjoy them too.

    Embark on an exciting adventure to explore and collect the dollar coins and discover their concealed treasures. Initiate your coin collection today with BOLD and unlock the enigmatic stories behind these small yet significant pieces of the past.


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