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What Are 1974 Silver Eisenhower Dollars Worth? (Updated 2024 Values)

If you‘ve come across a 1974-dated Eisenhower dollar, you may be wondering how much it‘s worth. While most 1974 Eisenhower dollars that you‘ll find in pocket change are made of a base metal composition and worth only face value, some special 1974 dollars containing silver can be quite valuable.

In this in-depth guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about 1974 silver dollars – their history and background, how to tell if you have a silver Ike dollar, a detailed look at values for each variety in different grades, key errors and varieties to look for, and some tips if you‘re interested in collecting these fascinating coins.

Whether you‘ve inherited some 1974 Eisenhower dollars or just want to learn more about them, by the end of this article you‘ll be an expert on these coins and know how much your 1974 silver dollar is worth. Let‘s get started!

History and Background of the 1974 Eisenhower Dollar

The Eisenhower dollar, or "Ike dollar" as it‘s often called, was a one dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978. It was the first dollar coin issued by the U.S. Mint since the Peace dollar series ended in 1935.

The obverse of the coin features a portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who the coin is named after. Eisenhower was a popular president and World War II general. The reverse depicts a stylized eagle and shield emblem based on the Apollo 11 mission patch, honoring the 1969 Moon landing.

The Eisenhower dollar was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1970 and first issued in 1971, the year after Eisenhower‘s death. It was struck at three mints – Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S). From 1971 to 1974, the San Francisco Mint struck special collector coins in 40% silver for inclusion in mint and proof sets.

In 1974, over 27 million Eisenhower dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint for circulation, with another 45 million struck in Denver, all in the base metal "clad" composition. The San Francisco Mint produced around 2 million 1974-S silver Eisenhower dollars for collectors – around 1.3 million uncirculated pieces included in "blue pack" and "brown pack" mint sets and 1,306,579 proof specimens that were sold individually.

Designed by Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro, the 1974 Ike dollar was the last regular issue 40% silver dollar struck by the U.S. Mint. By 1974, rising silver prices made it unprofitable for the Mint to continue making 40% silver coins for collectors, so the Ike dollar reverted to all copper-nickel clad beginning in 1975.

How to Tell if You Have a Silver 1974 Eisenhower Dollar

The easiest way to tell if your 1974 Eisenhower dollar is silver is to check the edge and look for a mintmark.

All 1974 Eisenhower dollars struck for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints are composed of outer layers of copper-nickel bonded to an inner core of pure copper. If you look at the edge of one of these coins, you‘ll see a "sandwich" of reddish-copper between two silver-colored copper-nickel layers. These are not silver and carry no precious metal value.

However, if your 1974 Eisenhower dollar has an "S" mintmark above the date on the obverse, it is a 40% silver coin struck at the San Francisco Mint. The edge of a 1974-S silver Eisenhower dollar will be a solid silver color, indicating its silver composition (60% copper, 40% silver).

A 1974-S 40% silver Eisenhower dollar contains .3161 troy ounce of pure silver. With silver around $25 per ounce as of 2024, the melt value alone of a silver 1974-S Ike dollar is close to $8. That means all 1974-S silver dollars are worth a significant premium over face value because of their silver content.

1974 Eisenhower Dollar Values by Variety

Now that you know how to identify a silver Eisenhower dollar, let‘s take a deeper look at each of the major varieties of 1974 Eisenhower dollar and their values in different grades and conditions.

Keep in mind that because of their large size and short lifespan, most Eisenhower dollars that you‘ll find won‘t be heavily worn. Even a circulated specimen will typically grade at least XF40 or higher. For that reason, we‘ll focus mostly on higher circulated and uncirculated grades. Values listed are averages based on recent auction data.

1974 (P) Eisenhower Dollar Value

Struck at the Philadelphia Mint, the 1974 Eisenhower dollar had a large mintage of over 27 million coins and is readily available in all grades including uncirculated condition. In an average circulated grade like XF40 or AU50, a 1974-P Eisenhower dollar is worth around $2-3.

Most mint state 1974 P Ike dollars grade MS63 to MS65. In MS63 a 1974-P lists for $20, while an MS65 example typically sells for around $40-50. Pristine MS67 examples, the finest known, have sold for over $7,000 in auction.

1974-D Eisenhower Dollar Value

Minted in Denver, the 1974-D had an even larger mintage of over 45 million coins. It‘s very common and most uncirculated pieces grade MS63 to MS65. In circulated grades like XF and AU, a 1974-D is worth $2-3. MS63 examples retail for around $15, with MS65s at $35-40. The finest known 1974-D Eisenhower dollars graded MS67 have realized up to $15,000 in auction, an indication of their conditional rarity in superb gem condition.

1974-S Silver Eisenhower Dollar Value (Uncirculated)

The 1974-S Eisenhower dollar with no mint mark was struck in 40% silver to the extent of around 1.3 million uncirculated pieces that were included in special mint sets. These are known as "blue Ikes" or "brown Ikes" for the color of the packaging in the mint sets.

Because of their silver content, even circulated 1974-S uncirculated dollars are worth at least their melt value of $8-10 or more. In mint state, they start around $20 for an MS63 up to $30-40 for MS65. The record auction price for a 1974-S uncirculated in MS68 is $15,863.

1974-S Silver Eisenhower Dollar Value (Proof)

The 1974-S proof Eisenhower dollar struck in 40% silver at the San Francisco Mint is the most common variety, with over 1.3 million pieces minted for individual sale to collectors. In a standard proof grade like PR65 or PR66, a 1974-S silver proof Ike lists for $15-20. In PR69 the value is $200 and up. The all-time record price for a 1974-S silver proof Eisenhower graded PR70 is $7,475.

Grading 1974 Silver Dollars

As you can tell from the wide range of values for 1974 Eisenhower dollars in different conditions, having your coin accurately graded is very important in determining its worth.

While you can often get a general sense of grade by comparing your coin to online images, if you have a 1974 Eisenhower dollar that you suspect may have value, it‘s best to have it graded by a professional third party grading service like PCGS or NGC. Here are some of the main grade levels and what to look for:

XF40 (Extremely Fine): Moderate to heavy wear on the high points of the design like Eisenhower‘s hair and cheek. The eagle‘s wings and legs on the reverse will show smoothness.

AU50 (About Uncirculated): Some light wear on the highpoints but most of the originalmint luster remains.

MS60 (Uncirculated): No wear from circulation but the surfaces are dull or spotted and there may be many large marks and abrasions in prime focal areas, especially on Ike‘s cheek.

MS63: Moderate number of blemishes or marks but coin still has an overall attractive appearance with some luster.

MS65: Only minor blemishes visible under closer inspection. The coin has a very pleasing appearance with original luster.

MS67/PR67 and up: As close to perfect as a coin can be, with full original luster, no distracting marks or blemishes even under magnification. Very rare.

Errors and Varieties on 1974 Silver Dollars

Certain errors and die varieties can significantly enhance the value of a 1974 Eisenhower dollar. Here are a few of the most notable to look for:

1974 Doubled Die Obverse: Moderate doubling is visible in the lettering and date, especially the words LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. In MS64 this variety lists for $300.

1974-D Doubled Die Reverse: Doubling visible on the reverse, particularly in the lettering UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR. Valued at $500 and up in uncirculated.

1974 Struck on a Copper-Nickel Clad Planchet: A rare transitional error. These weigh 22.68 grams instead of 24.59 grams for a normal 40% silver dollar. Extremely valuable, one sold for $4,887 in a 2021 auction.

While some varieties like the 1974 doubled dies can be seen with the naked eye, attributing die varieties often takes an expert eye and careful examination.

Tips on Collecting Eisenhower Dollars

If you‘re interested in collecting 1974 Eisenhower dollars or the series in general, here are a few tips:

• Get the best exemplars you can afford. Buying a high quality, independently certified example will cost more up-front but can pay off in the long run.

• Specialize your collection. Consider focusing on one mint or composition (clad vs. silver). A complete date/mintmark set of San Francisco silver issues makes an attractive collection.

• Consider key dates and varieties. Certain issues like the 1972 Type 2, 1973-S silver proof, and 1976-S silver uncirculated are better dates. Collecting die varieties can also be a fun pursuit.

• Look for original, attractive coins. Blast white coins are popular but attractively toned examples with nice eye appeal are also desirable and worth seeking out.

• Protect your coins. Use proper holders and don‘t clean or polish them. Improper storage or cleaning can damage coins.

The Future of 1974 Silver Dollar Values

With the rising price of silver in recent years, the melt value of 1974-S silver Eisenhower dollars continues to increase. However, most of their numismatic value is still tied to grade, eye appeal, and overall market demand for the series.

As a short-lived, large, and bulky coin, the Eisenhower dollar has never been as widely collected as some other modern series. However, it does have a dedicated base of collectors who appreciate it for its historical significance, silver issues, and attainable but challenging registry sets.

Like all collectible coins, values for 1974 silver dollars can go up or down with the market. But these fascinating coins are an important part of U.S. numismatic history and likely to remain popular with collectors for years to come.

Whether you own a single 1974 silver dollar or a whole collection, now you know how much your coin is worth and some of the factors that make it valuable. Enjoy your Eisenhower dollars!