The Eisenhower dollar, struck from 1971 through 1978, holds the distinction as America’s last circulating silver dollar. Even though the vast majority were made from copper-nickel clad, there were millions of 40% silver clad examples made for collectors. And to kick off this series was the 1971 Eisenhower dollar, a coin that marked the arrival of the first circulating silver dollars in more than a generation; it had been 36 years since the 1935 Peace dollar became the last circulating silver dollar of the classic era.
Most 1971 Eisenhower dollars are quite common, with the Philadelphia and Denver Mints striking 47,799,000 and 68,587,424 clad pieces, respectively. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Mint produced more than 11 million 40% silver dollars, including 6,868,530 uncirculated specimens and 4,265,234 proofs. While the 40% silver S-mint strikes were sold to collectors individually, none of the uncirculated clad pieces were included in mint sets.
All 1971 Eisenhower dollar are readily available in typical uncirculated and proof grades and can usually be bought for less than $10 each. However, the Philadelphia and Denver uncirculated clad issues are extraordinarily scarce in grades better than MS65. In fact, the auction record for the 1971 Philadelphia clad was the $10,281.25 paid for a specimen graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as MS66+ and stickered by the Certified Acceptance Corporation. Meanwhile, the 1971-D Eisenhower dollar has pulled in as much as $8,225 for an MS68 graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.