In 1978, the US Mint stopped production of the Eisenhower Dollar after less than a decade in circulation. The primary reason was its size ... it was too large to carry around in pocket change. So in 1979 the US Mint introduced a bold initiative … a silver dollar that is a little larger than a quarter ... and smaller than the half dollar … welcome to the era of the Susan B Anthony Dollar.
An American First ... a Couple of Times
The SBA dollar was the first small sized “silver” dollar in US history. Prior issues have all been 38.1 mm or larger. The dollar was our highest regular issue coin in circulation, so it needed to be the largest in physical size. It was also the first time a woman graced her presence on a circulating coin. All earlier issues were a portrait or image of “Liberty.”
The Shortest Dollar Series
There are many thoughts on the quick exit of the SBA dollar in 1981 after only three years in circulation. There are those that will say it was too difficult to differentiate it from the quarter ... even the color was the same. Others will say it was the design. America wasn’t ready for a woman to be the main theme on a circulating coin. You can be the judge, but I shy to the simple theory people will carry what is convenient. And with paper money as an option why would we want to carry something so bulky and heavy? Now if we stop issuing paper, it will catch on rather quickly. With paper money lasting an average of 9 months in circulation and the current battle for tax payers dollar at a premium, it may be something we see sooner than later.
There were 12 basic SBA coins issued between 1979 and 1981. Nine of them were intended for circulation. These were struck at all three US Mints: Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. But after only 2 years the US Mint pulled the SBA from being struck for circulation, so the only issues made in 1981 were in official Mint Sets. None were released into circulation. There were also three San Francisco Mint Proof issues only found in Proof Sets.
Now you can own a Susan B. Anthony Dollar collection - 1979-1981 plus the 1999 (15 coins in all) presented in a Dansco Album. This collection includes all Uncirculated Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mint issues from the years 1979 through 1981, the Philadelphia and Denver issues from 1999, as well as the San Francisco Proofs.
Due to the weight of this item, an additional $12 will be added to the shipping cost at checkout.