Susan B. Anthony Dollars were produced by the United States Mint from 1979 to 1981, and for one final year in 1999. Although unpopular in circulation, the series was important as the first small sized dollar coins. A number of notable varieties also exist for collectors, expanding the scope of the otherwise short set.
The new series began with high hopes that the smaller sized format would create a dollar coin more acceptable for circulation than the previous large sized Eisenhower Dollars. Initially, the Anthony Dollars were to struck with dendecagon (11 sided) shape to easily differentiate the coins from other denominations. However, following protests from the vending industry, a round shape with reeded edge was adopted, with an eleven sided border.
Leading up to the release of the coins, the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco produced more than 500 million coins, in anticipation of widespread national demand. The coins were launched on July 2, 1979 amidst promotional campaigns touting the benefits of the coins and potential savings to the government. Unfortunately, the public reaction was not favorable, as the size and shape of the coins led them to be confused with the quarter dollar.
Production would decline in 1980, and by 1981, coins were only produced for collector sets. The hoards of Susan B. Anthony Dollars from the first two years of production would last until the 1990's, when more widespread use in vending machines finally diminished the supply. After a gap of 18 years, the longest in the history of U.S. coinage, 1999 Susan B. Anthony Dollars were struck for circulation.
Noted varieties of the series include the 1979-P "wide rim" and "narrow rim" varieties. The "wide rim", which features a date farther away from the rim, is the scarcer variety. The 1979 and 1981 proof coins were struck with two different variations of the mint mark. In both cases the "Type 2" variety is scarcer.
Dates: 1979-1981, 1999
Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco (circulating coins), San Francisco, Philadelphia (proof coins)
Weight: 8.1 g
Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel
Diameter: 26.5 mm
Thickness: 2.0 mm
More Information: Susan B. Anthony Dollar Mintage