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I have decided to embark on yet another collecting endeavor….these…



Yep, that’s right, Susan B. Anthony dollars. Why? Because they are so darned interesting. Consider:


They are, arguably, one of the “ugliest” US coins ever minted. Probably the least liked modern US coin – at least by the public. Confused with the US quarter due to similarity in size and color. The first small-size, copper-nickel, US dollar coins. Never minted in a silver version, unlike much modern coinage. First US coin to depict a real historical female, in contrast to allegorical figures or models. The reverse design was maintained from the previous series (Ike dollar). Minted for three consecutive years and then for a fourth year, eighteen years later. Third year of issue (1981) was not for circulation. First time a ‘P’ mintmark was used on a US dollar. Second time a ‘P’ mintmark appeared on a proof coin. Designer Frank Gasparro was rumored to prefer his own rendition of a Liberty Head design to the SBA. It is also rumored that the mint is storing hundreds of millions of SBA dollars [LINK]. Mintages range from a high of 360.3 M (1979-P) to a low of 3.0 M (1981-P) and 750K (1999-P proof). Not included in the 1999 mint set, but offered as a separate SBA uncirculated set. Not included (1979-S) in 1979 mint set. Was replaced by a mint token in the 1982 proof set. Not included in the 1999 proof set but offered as a separate proof coin.


A complete set can be assembled on nearly every budget. An MS set is in reach of most budgets. There is only one real variety, the 1979 wide rim, which was changed in late 1979. Lacking die varieties, the rarities for the series focus on two types of ‘S’ mintmarks for 1979 and for 1981 (proofs). Those, however, get surprisingly pricey [LINK].


Here is where my collection stands now. MS coins are denoted by ‘X’ and asterisks denote ones that I was able to get from circulation (i.e., the Post Office stamp machine). I think I will go for an all MS set – why not?



The 1999 issues do not appear in the regular mint sets. Instead, the mint decided to offer these as a separate product. The P and D coins were in cello and included a mint token like in some older proof sets.



The 1999 coin was also not included in the proof set. Instead it too was offered as a separate item. They even gave you a fancy case :ninja:.



It is, by far, my nicest SBA.



Grading these is not too easy, at least for me. The Aug05 issue of CoinValues had a grading insert with high points and pictures etc… Worth getting if you can find one – I kept mine. With my old 4mp camera, I can’t get too extensive, but these shots should give you an idea of how they wear. The hair is a key area to examine. The first coin, by the way, is from a mint set.



Consistent with full bands, full bell lines, full heads and full steps, some collectors will distinguish superior strikes with full talons [LINK]. Additionally, if you have any interest in the SBA series, definitely check out [LINK], they are the top web site on the subject, in my opinion.


I have seen all the usual errors such as off metal, off center, double struck, but I don’t own any. If anyone has any interesting SBA errors, please post pics! I did find this one that looks like it has some die fatigue or a bit of a small die crack.



If I make it up to the next Baltimore show, I am definitely going to look to fill those holes. If I spring for those pricey ‘S’ varieties, I will try to post some comparison pics.


Seems like there is always another collection to assemble ;)

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Somewhere in all of my collection I have a small handful of them that I bought at the bank on the first day they were released to the public back in 1979. I was just a kid, but I remember selling extras to my friends for $1.25 each because of the novelty of them.


If the government has hundreds of millions of these things sitting in vaults somewhere, why on earth did they need to mint the 29 Million or so back in 1999?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Although I'm not a fan of SBA's. I do have good memories of getting them while going to baseball games (thats what the RTA change machine gave back).


The 1999 proof is stunning though. :ninja:


Got a Dansco for them today (all of two pages ;). All I have left to get are the two Type IIs - may be a while.

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One day I'll get going on those. For some reason I'm like obsessed with Lincolns (all over again!).


Those Type II's are going to be tough. I'm going to a show tomorrow so I'll see if they even have any. Really don't see too many SBA's unless they are high grades in plastic.


Any clue what the '81 Type II costs in just the regular every day grade? I see PCGS lists it at $175 in PR67 (Cameo).

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Wow I must say the Type 2 is going to be hard!


Only one dealer today had a Type 2, $185 in raw PR66 Cameo. Have fun picking those two up. :ninja:


I have only begun to price them but it looks like the the 79 can be had for under $100 and the 81 for maybe $150 - slabbed - on the bay


Of course they are ideal cherrypicking material

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  • 4 weeks later...

Picked up a 1979-S type II. Only the 81-S T2 to go...think I'll wait until next year for that one...well unless a really good deal shows up (like a cherry pick).



The type II 'S' mint mark is very easy to distinguish from the blob mint mark on the type 1. I will photograph this one again after I liberate it from the plastic and maybe shoot a comparison with the type 1.


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  • 3 months later...

With this new acquisition, I have finished the set. All proofs and all buisness strikes (MS) and both Type II mint marks and narrow and wide 1979 rims.




This one actually looks much better than the pic (drat@slabs).





It's amazing what a difference this little type of 'S' makes :ninja:


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  • 1 month later...

Even though I have completed this set, this item caught my attention today and it was inexpensive, so I thought I would indulge myself (are collections ever really finished).




I don't ever remember hearing about these being offered by the mint and so my guess is that it was a private venture. Does anyone know?


The coin is a regular buisness strike and probably MS, but with the typical bruises that these show in MS.




I sure would like any information on these.

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Have to say what a great collection, I have a couple of them & actualy like them LOL, That 1st day issue envelope is great :ninja: Now you need to find out how many other's where produced LOL Have fun.




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