AoC Market Report: Coins To Collect – Eisenhower Dollars

The Eisenhower Dollar series has a lot to offer. In fact, it’s second only to Morgan Dollars as perhaps the best set of U.S. dollar coins to collect. Don’t believe me? We didn’t believe it, either. But read on – you might be surprised.

1976-S Proof Bicentennial Eisnehower Dollar, Obverse
1976-S Proof Bicentennial Eisnehower Dollar, Obverse

Academy of Coins Set Collectibility Ranking – Eisenhower Dollars: #2, U.S. Dollar Types (6.8/10)

About the AoC Coin Collectibility Ranking

We have everyone here score coin types on five factors. Then we take the average of those scores and come up with our Set Collectibility Ranking. Those factors are: Type Coin Cost, Set Cost, Design Appeal, Numismatic Appeal, and Historical Appeal. Our scoring is based on years of experience, yet still subjective.
1) Type Coin Cost – the cost of a single coin compared to other series,
2) Set Cost – the cost to complete an entire set, whether it be by year, year and mint, or year, mint and major variety,
3) Design Appeal – each of our personal opinions coupled with our experience with numismatists and their opinions of the design in question,
4) Numismatic Appeal – subjective based on number of varieties, rarity, and other aspects interesting to numismatists, and
5) Historical Appeal – either historic events that took place during the minting of the type, or historical events reflected well in the design.

So, a Flowing Hair Dollar is going to score low on type or set cost, but it will score out of this world for historical appeal. A Sacagawea Dollar will score low on historical appeal based on historical events during mintage, but might score high for design. And so on… You get the picture.

We weight each of these factors evenly, and give each factor a score of one to ten. Here is our scoring, so you can make your own assessment.

The most expensive non-error Eisenhower Dollar ever sold was a 1976-S Type 1 Proof which sold for over $25k in 2011.

Academy of Coins© Staff

Type Coin Cost: 10

This is actually a quantitative scale for us. And it pegs it. You can buy a circulated Ike for close to $1. For that kind of weight in your hand, this design, that’s fantastic. The most expensive non-error Eisenhower Dollar ever sold was a 1976-S Type 1 Proof which sold for over $25k in 2011. That’s a lot, but it’s not anywhere near as much as many other vintage coin types. You can’t even get hardly any decent straight-graded 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar for as little as $25,000.

In general, if you spend $200 on an Ike, you’re going to get one just a couple of points off the finest known. And spending $200 for an Ike is a lot. You can spend $10k each to get most of the finest-known pieces for your award-winning registry set, but you can also spend $20 and get a beautiful coin. And the fact is, most people can’t tell the difference between a $20 Ike and a $2,000 Ike. So the Ike Dollar pegs the Type Coin Cost meter for us – it’s one of the least expensive in all grades. You can buy a beautiful coin for almost nothing, and potentially pick a nice coin for almost face.

Eisenhower Dollar coins were only made for seven years!

Academy of Coins© Staff

Set Cost: 10

Seeing as each coin is inexpensive, you can assemble a complete set of Ikes for less than most dollar series. That includes the 40% silver coins, the proofs, and the silver proofs. Eisenhower Dollar coins were only made for seven years! That makes it an easy set to collect. Set your budget for the whole set, whether it be $300,000 for the entire set of finest-knowns or $3,000 for an incredible set or $300 for an entire nice set. Again, this series pegs our scale as being one of the least expensive, no matter how you cut it.

Nice Eisenhower Dollars are extremely pleasing, if tough to find.

Academy of Coins© Staff

Design Appeal: 7

We rate the design of this set a 7. And of course, that’s highly subjective. You might only think it’s a 5. Or, you, like us, might love it and count it close to 10. Nice Eisenhower Dollars are extremely pleasing, if tough to find. But the reverse in particular is gorgeous, and the whole coin is still a nice big hunk of metal in your paw.

1972-S Eisenhower Silver Dollar, Reverse
1972-S Eisenhower Silver Dollar, Reverse

…pickers love Ikes because they’re so overlooked and grading them is highly misunderstood.

Academy of Coins© Staff

Numismatic Appeal: 5

Whether you’re a picker or a sticker, Ikes have a lot to offer. There are some beautiful varieties, and there are some great varieties even for Red Book collectors. In such a short set of coins, it’s great to have so much to look at: design adjustments, the bicentennial variation, alloy variants, and attainable proofs. You can have it all! And pickers love Ikes because they’re so overlooked and grading them is highly misunderstood.

Maybe you miss bell bottoms and Tricky Dick. If you do, you’ll disagree with our score.

Academy of Coins© Staff

Historical Appeal: 2

Maybe you loved the 1970s. Maybe you miss bell bottoms and Tricky Dick. If do, you’ll disagree with our score. The reason this coin gets a two instead of a one is that the coin has the Apollo 11 mission patch as its reverse. That’s a great celebration of a great American event. Otherwise, there’s not a lot we want to remember about the historical implications that came from the time this coin was minted.

…we all agree around here – get them while they’re cheap.

Academy of Coins© Staff

Overall Score: 6.8

And that’s a helluva score. Go ahead and give the series your own score. And then go ahead and score the other dollar types and see what you think!

Eisenhowers are a bit like Kennedies in that they’re too new to be interesting, and its an easy set to put off. But we all agree around here – get them while they’re cheap. This isn’t necessarily an investment set, though the finest coins have seen massive returns in just a few short years.

The Registry Sets powered these coins through massive inflation, and it’s hard to imagine that will continue. But you never know. As always, don’t collect because you want return on investment, collect them because you love them. The future of the Ike is fuzzy, but they’re cheap so why not? Eventually, they will be worth more. Is “eventually” 10 years from now or 100 years from now? That’s harder to know.

How Other Dollar Series Rank on the AoC Coin Collectibility Ranking:

Flowing Hair Dollars – 5.6

Draped Bust Dollars – 6.4

Seated Liberty Dollars – 4.8

Trade Dollars – 4.6

Morgan Dollars – 7.2 (#1)

Peace Dollars – 6.2

Eisenhower Dollars – 6.8 (Tie #2)

SBA Dollars – 5.4

Sacagawea Dollars – 6.6 (#3)

Presidential Dollars – 6.8 (Tie #2)

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