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August, 2002
Year 9, Issue 8

Award Winning Newsletter

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, August, 7
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW, 1601 Weld Road, Elgin, IL

Not a member? Come and join us anyway!

Give your spouse a break and bring your children to the club.

August Program

Mike Metras will give a talk on the coins of Sicily.

Also, remember to bring in all sold and unsold super raffle tickets for the drawing. We will be having the drawing at this meeting.


July Minutes

ECC Meeting 534 - July 3, 2002
Opened:   7:30     Beginning balance:   $484.87
Closed:   8:22     Income:   $211.00
Members:   13     Expenses:   $37.00
YNs:   0     Current balance:   $658.87
Guests:   0         

President Mike Metras called the meeting to order at 7:30.

We had no visitors; there was no one who wanted to give their history.

Jim gave his talk on the Eisenhower dollar coin. The text of the talk is at the end of this Newsletter.

We took a break to sell raffle tickets.

We had our customary show and tell.

Secretary's Report

As printed in July's newsletter. The only change was that Marty M donated the advertisements for the 12th and 15th Annual Elgin Coin Shows.

Treasurer's Report

Not discussed due to our vacationing treasurer.

Old Business

Jerry saw Jack and asked him about the status of the new advertisement page for the newsletter. He stated that it was not quite ready.

New Business



We had our customary raffle and membership drawings. The winners were:

The meeting closed around 8:22 P.M.

Submitted by Frank Schlapinski, Secretary.

Board Meeting

Don, Jim and I, got together at Don's Wednesday night at 7pm July 17th. Among other things we discussed the following.

We decided on monthly raffle and member prizes.

Again, it's not too early to apply for a table at our annual show on October 27th.

Jim entered this challenge to members to answer the following question (all members with all correct will receive a mystery coin):

Submitted by Frank Schlapinski, Secretary.

Future Meeting Programs

Show and Tell

Doug N. Brought in an investment portfolio someone had put together that the buyer had marked with what he paid for them. Plus two 1000 gulden from Surinam notes that someone paid $395 each sold to dealers for $2 today.

Roger B. Copy of telegram about the Elgin Half Dollar and a copy of an Elgin bank note.

Don D. Brought in a set of 5 cent Euros he received for renewing a subscription.

Steve H. Brought in a set of Euros from Greece.

Marty K. Brought in the Morgan's and Peace dollars he had collected from circulation. He was only 6 short on the Morgan set and only missing the 1928 from the Peace dollar set.

Eisenhower Dollars

By Jim Davis

The numismatic tapestry we know as the Eisenhower dollar series was first woven from threads spun from four separate and distinct spinning wheels of fate.

The first thread is the coinage act of 1965 later amended by the coinage act of 1969. The coinage act of 1965 called for the removal of all silver from dimes and quarters and reducing the silver content of half dollars. The act also placed a moratorium on the striking of dollar coins for a five year period. In 1969 this legislation was amended to remove the remaining silver from the half dollar starting in 1971 and to authorize the resumption of the striking of dollar coins. This leads to the second thread which is the western states desire for silver dollars. Nevada was in the forefront in the lobbying for these coins. Since the mint needed less silver for coinage, the silver mines lost a lot of sales to one of their biggest customers. Another factor is the casinos in Las Vegas and Reno wanted dollar coins for their slot machines and other gambling games. In the early l96Ots collectors began removing silver dollars won from slot machines and keeping them for their own collections. Things got so bad for the casinos they started grinding off the dates off silver dollars so collectors would not want them and reuse them in the slot machines. In 1965 after clad coin production began the Denver mint on the request of the gaming industry struck 316,000 silver dollars with the Peace dollar design dated 1964. These coins were melted down before they were officially released. Some people have claimed some did escape the mint but none have officially been seen.

After the coinage act of 1969 was passed the first question was what kind of dollar would be struck. This leads to the third and fourth threads. The third thread is the death of President Eisenhower and the fourth thread is the Apollo 11 moon landing. Soon after Ike passed away several commemorative bills were proposed in congress. One bill suggested Ike be placed on the quarter. It was also suggested placing Ike on the dollar bill but for one year only with the Washington design resumed in 1971. After much discussion in congress it was decided to place Ike's portrait on the dollar coin. This left the question on what to put on the reverse. The most popular suggestion was to tie it into the moon landing which was the highlight of the space program that began during Ike's second term. The task of designing the Ike Dollar fell upon the shoulders of the mints chief engraver Frank Gasparro. Gasparro who is best known for his designs for the reverse of the Lincoln cent beginning in 1959 and the reverse of the Kennedy half. His portrait of Eisenhower was well received as being a very realistic image of the former President. The reverse design he came up with was an adaptation of the patch worn by the astronauts of Apollo 11. Once the designs were decided the next question was what metal alloy would be used. The Senate once again being heavily lobbied by the silver mining interests pushed for a silver alloy coin similar to the silver clad half dollar. At the same time the House of Representatives wanted the dollar struck in a copper nickel alloy similar to that used for the dimes and quarters. After almost a year and a half of arguments a compromise was reached. The mint would strike both silver and clad versions of the Ike dollar. The silver version would be sold to collectors at premium prices and the clad version would be available through normal banking channels. The silver clad alloy version of the Ike dollar is net 40% silver consisting of two layers of 80% silver and 20% copper bound to a core of 21% silver and 79% copper. This coin has an actual silver weight of .316 oz.

The copper-nickel clad version of the Ike dollar is composed of two layers of 75% copper and 25% nickel bound to a core of 100% copper. As I previously stated the silver alloy Ikes were sold at premium prices to collectors. They were offered in two versions. The uncirculated version cost $3.00 and the proof version cost $10.00. The uncirculated version was packaged in a manner similar to mint sets, sealed in Mylar and placed in a blue envelope, hence the nickname Blue Ikes. The proof version was placed in a hard plastic case similar to the ones used for selling GSA silver dollars and placed in a brown wood grain pattern box, hence the nickname brown Ikes. For the first two years 1971 and 1972 clad Ikes were not offered by the mint directly to collectors. The only way to obtain these coins was either through a bank or a coin dealer. 1973 was a key year in the Ike series for several reasons. First the mint included the Ike dollar in the mint set for the first time, in fact the 1973 mint set was the only way to obtain P and D mint uncirculated Ike dollars. Second the mint added a proof version of the clad Ike dollar in the proof seta. And finally as public demand for the silver versions of the Ike dollar began to fall this created the key coin of the series, the 1973-S silver proof dollar.

In 1974 it was announced the reverses of the quarter, half and dollar would be changed to honor the nations bicentennial in 1976. After a nationwide competition it was announced that Dennis Williams design for the dollar coin had been selected. The design chosen was a close-up of the moon with the liberty bell superimposed on top. All three bicentennial coins were struck four ways with both the clad alloy and the silver alloy available in both proof and uncirculated versions. The clad versions were sold in the regular mint and proof set during the years 1975 and 1976. No quarters, halves or dollars were struck with the 1975 date and all bicentennial coins have the dual date of 1776 and 1976. The silver versions were sold in special three coin sets. Sales of the three coin sets began in 1974 and continued until 1986 with several changes in price based on the price of silver and public demand.

Collecting Ikes can be as easy or hard as the collector chooses to make it. The standard set of Ike dollars consists of 32 coins, 21 mint state and 11 proof coins. All 32 coins are common in grades up to MS63/64 and Proof 66/67. Some issues started becoming rare in grades of MS 65 and in grades of MS 67 can be very expensive. The early Cu-NI clad Ikes, especially the 1971 and 1972 Denver issues can sell for as much as $2,500 to $3,500 or more in grades of MS 67. The Proof issues are not as scarce in the ultra high grades. Some of the early silver issues in Proof 69 Ultra Cameo can sell for $200 and up.

Over the last 30 years the values of Ike dollars have had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. Back in 1971 coin dealers were paying the public $3 for blue Ikes and $10 for Brown Ikes. At the same time the same dealers were paying $2 to $3 for uncirculated Morgan and Peace Dollars. After the series ended in 1978 the price of the complete set started to rise. By 1982 a complete set of Ike dollars was selling for as much as $450 with the key coin, the 1973-S silver proof selling for $150. Soon after these market highs the price of the Ike dollar set started to fall. Over the span of 15 years the price had fallen to slightly over $100 for the complete set and the 1973-S silver proof's value fell to $15. From these lows in the late 1990's values for Ike dollars have slowly started to rise again. The complete set has gained an average of $15 to $20 per year for the last few years so that today a complete set now sells for on the average $200. The price of the 1973-S silver proof has also risen and now sells for about $25-$3O for an average specimen.

Collecting Ike dollar errors is a more expensive proposition. According to the Red Book all Ike Dollar error coins are valuable albeit some more valuable than others. Some less expensive errors are clipped planchets with up to 10-20% missing, lamination errors and blank planchets. These coins usually run in the $50 to $100 range. Some errors like multiple strikes and off center strikes can fetch $500 to $1000 or more. Since the Ike dollar was the largest coin produced by the Mint in the 1970's there are a lot of wrong planchet errors possible as the blank from any other coin could fall into the dollar press. The values for these wrong planchet errors can range from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the planchet and the dollar type, either regular or Bi-centennial. According to Breen the rarest Ike dollar errors are both the 1974-D and 1977-D Ikes struck on a 40% silver planchet.

All good things must come to an end and by 1977 discussion started in Congress to produce a smaller size dollar coin. Their intention was for the mini dollar to eventually replace the paper dollar. The main argument for using a dollar coin instead of paper money is a dollar coin would last 15 years or more while a paper dollar wears out after 18 months. While contemplating this change the mint struck some trial patterns using the Ike dollar design but as politicians are want to do they wanted to change the design of the dollar coin to further their own political agenda. Frank Gasparro who originally designed the lke dollar came up with a beautiful flowing hail liberty design similar to the dollar coins struck in the 1790's. Unfortunately some in congress pushed for a different woman to appear on the dollar coin. Their choice was the women's suffragette leader Susan B. Anthony. Because it's Congress that has the final say on all U.S. coinage the Anthony design was selected. Starting in 1979 with the assumption of the Anthony dollar the era of the Ike dollar came to a close. The public was curious in the beginning of the mini dollar era, but quickly tired of the new coin. The main complaint was the new dollar was too close in size and weight of the quarter. Eleven years later the mint struck Ike dollars again but as a one year only commemorative of the 100th anniversary of his birth. This coin had two images of Ike on the obverse, one image as a general and the other as the President. The reverse of this coin features an image of Ike's home in Gettysburg, PA. The obverse was designed by John Mercanti and the reverse was designed by Marcel Jovine. This coin was sold in both Uncirculated and Proof versions. The uncirculated version was struck at the West Point facility and the Proof version was struck at the Philadelphia Mint. This was the first proof coin struck a Philadelphia since 1964. With this coin the last knot of the tapestry has been tied.


The Standard Eisenhower Dollar Set
Philadelphia Denver San Francisco
C/N Clad
Mint State
C/N Clad
Mint State
C/N Clad
Mint State
Silver Clad
Mint State
Silver Clad
1976 T11976 T11976 T11976 T11976 T1
1976 T21976 T21976 T2N/AN/A

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