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coinfodder's Blog

12 May 2021

THE BIG AND BOLD STORY OF THE EISENHOWER DOLLAR- That Unwanted Sequel to Part II

National Coin Week | coinfodder

Like any good movie series (Star Wars, The Godfather...) this is a part three that was added on to a completely complete story and did not do so well.


As the western United States and the Casinos pushed Congress for a new dollar coin, the pressure within Congress grew for a coin. Casinos lost money on making their own casino tokens for use within the casino. The Peace Dollar was to be coined, but a coin shortage and public backlash caused the Peace Dollars of 1964 to be scrapped and melted. By the time the shortage ended, and the mint was able to strike coins on a large magnitude again, silver prices made striking silver coins unprofitable. The mint planed to use the Copper-Nickel mix in use for the dime, quarter, and half dollar.


In 1969, Nixon Mint Director Mary Brooks sought a new dollar coin. She, despite the rising cost of silver, sought to keep the coin as a silver issue. The new dollars were opposed by the House Banking Committee.


Then Dwight D. Eisenhower, Leader of Allied troops during the War in Europe, died in 1969. Representative Florence Dwyer (R-NJ) suggest that a dollar coin bear his likeness. The coin was to be clad, which angered many politicians. In since, they thought that you would be putting a memory of Eisenhower on scrap metal (although you never know with politicians). In October of 1969, Texas Representative Robert R. Casey wanted the coin to honor Eisenhower and the Apollo 11 landing (RIP Michael Collins). When he was told that there was no room, Casey settled for the reverse having the design of the mission patch.


In 1970 Congress finally agreed on what to do. 150 million dollars would be struck in silver alloy for collectors. In even larger quantities, would be the cupro-nickel dollar, which would circulate. The mint would require 47.4 million ounces of silver. This, even though it was supported by most sides, a representative succeeded in stalling the bill until one hour before the midnight deadline, on December 31st, 1970, when the bill reached the desk of Richard Nixon and was signed.


In 1945 a young man named Frank Gasparro saw Eisenhower during a victory parade in New York. He quickly sketched the general's face and placed the drawing in a notebook. In 1964, he became chief engraver of the US Mint. In November 1970, with the prospect of the dollar becoming a reality, he pulled out his drawing of Eisenhower and began sculpting his coin based on the sketch, a life-long dream of his. Gasparro had prepared two reverses, a heraldic eagle, and the one based off of Michael Collins's design for the Apollo 11 moon patch. The committee chose the patch. However, many complained the eagle looked too aggressive. Gasparro soon added several pounds of weight to the bird's girth, lightened the face, and the design was approved.


Once production began, the mint found that striking the large and tough copper-nickel pieces with a die was breaking the dies, which forced Gasparro to lower the relief of the design. On February 3rd, 1971, the under-rated dollar first rolled off the press at the Denver Mint. Collector silver coins would be placed in GSE Morgan sale-like cases. Interest was strong, but the coin failed to circulate despite goads of coins being pushed off the press. In 1975, the Apollo back was temporarily shelved for the Centennial back, with the Liberty Bell superimposed over the moon.


By 1975, the Treasury was concerned that the Eisenhower was not circulating. They realized that Americans saw the coins as too heavy for commerce. They went about this problem by creating the disaster known as the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, which looked a bit too much like the quarter to be successful.


And the trilogy ends here.



Please ask Numimaster (Preston) for link. I have been providing the editing Link.



Link to TheNumisMaster's website and Centsearchers Newsletter. On his behalf, I am asking for subscribers. It is completely free. -www.numismastery.weebly.com



Guess the Song Lyrics-Last Time- Mr. Roboto- Styx



Superhighways, coast to coast, easy takin' anywhere -
On the transcontinental overload
just slide behind the wheel.
How does it feel when there's no destination that's too far
And somewhere on the way
you might find out who you are.
Living in America, eye to eye, station to station.
Living in America, hand in hand, across the nation.
Living in America, got to have a celebration, rock my soul!



Comments

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 4

Ike deserved a much better coin and tribute!

Long Beard

Level 5

I just read somewhere, within the past few weeks, of proof like proto-types of the 1971. PCGS has three confirmed, which are designated as proof-like and having originated in the blue-pack. There are some who believe others exist out there waiting to be found.

Kepi

Level 6

Beautiful coin and photos! Interesting blog! Thanks for the research ; )

Golfer

Level 5

Very nice coin and information. Thanks

I would have liked to see an Ike dollar in full blown 90% silver, instead of the measly 40% that they did at the time. He deserved it.

Longstrider

Level 6

James Brown--Living in America Very good job on this Ike blog. I am a big fan! Thanks. Now a song for you: a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot, or a baby's arm holding an apple?

Mike

Level 7

There a wonderful coin. Hard to get without it turning white. It's the packaging they used. It's a type of plastic that causes it. Some make it. Great blog I have the brown and blue.no white. When I got them I took them out of the plastic and put them in air tites.. They shine. Very underrated coin for all it tells . Thanks for sharing your information. I enjoyed it.

slybluenote

Level 5

Thanks for a great post. I too own a set of brown Ikes and a set of blue Ikes. I purchased them a while back during the building of my Kennedy half dollar collection. My thinking is that no coin collection would be complete without these sets. Nice pictures to go along with your post!

Mokie

Level 6

A great blog for an even greater coin. I think it was the right coin at the wrong time. Eisenhower has appeared on four different U.S. coins by my count, a well deserved honor.

Eriknation

Level 4

Nice photos!

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