Which Susan B. Anthony Dollars Can Be Worth Up to $500?

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Susan B. Anthony might have remained an important but little-remembered figure in American history if not for the decision to put her image on a $1 coin beginning in the late 1970s. Today, certain rare varieties of that dollar coin are worth up to $500.

Anthony (1820-1906) was a women’s rights advocate, abolitionist and champion of fair labor laws whose work helped lead to the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, according to the National Women’s History Museum.

Although Anthony was known to historians and the women’s rights movement during the decades following her death, she was largely unknown to much of the U.S. population. That changed in 1979 when the U.S. Mint decided to put Anthony on a dollar coin to replace the larger Eisenhower Dollar.

The decision was partly driven by a shortage of silver dollars and partly by the desire to create a more practical alternative to the Eisenhower Dollar, Benzinga reported. The Anthony Dollar was designed by Frank Gasparro, chief engraver at the U.S. Mint. The front shows Susan B. Anthony’s portrait and the reverse displays an eagle above a rising sun.

As Benzinga noted, the Anthony Dollar “quickly gained popularity” among collectors because of its historical significance, being the first U.S. coin to depict a non-fictional woman. Collectors were also attracted by the coin’s “distinctive design” and limited mintage period (1979 to 1981 and 1999).

The coins were produced at three separate facilities: Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. The mint mark can be found on the front (or obverse) of the coin to the right of Anthony’s portrait. Coins from 1981 and 1999 tend to be scarcer.

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None of the Susan B. Anthony dollars contain silver, according to a blog on the U.S. Coins Guide website. Instead, all were made from copper-nickel clad compositions. Most you come across will only be worth face value — one dollar. However, if you come across certain error varieties, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in value.

Here’s a look at two varieties of the Susan B. Anthony dollar that might be worth anywhere from $100 to $500, according to U.S. Coins Guide:

  • 1980-S Proof Repunched Mintmark Dollar: This variety shows the “blotchy remnants” of another “S” to the lower left of the primary “S” mintmark.
  • 1981-S Proof Type II Dollar: These coins were produced in the last months of 1981 and number between 500,000 and 700,000. The 1981-S Type II proof dollar is distinctive from the Type I because of its clear “S” mintmark with bulbous serifs and is highly sought after by collectors.

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