The 1977 silver dollar is one of the one-dollar coins nicknamed the Eisenhower dollar and produced by the United States Mint between 1971 and 1979. Some of these coins are valuable with prices at auctions sometimes reaching five figures. Why are some 1977 silver dollars so valuable and how do you recognize desirable specimens?
In this article, you will find a value chart for the 1977 silver dollar together with a description of the different mintages of this coin. We have also included a brief history of the 1977 silver dollar and a list of rare errors that can increase the coin’s value.
1977 Silver Dollar Value Chart
|MS60 – MS65
|1977 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
|$1.10 – $1.25
|$5 – $35
|$70 – $250
|$1,200 – $3,600
|1977 D Silver Dollar Value
|$1.10 – $1.25
|$5 – $35
|$70 – $250
|$1,200 – $7,600
|1977 S Silver Dollar Value (Proof)
|PR70 1977 can be bought for $400 – $700
1977 No Mint Mark Silver Dollar Value
The 1977 silver dollars were not only part of the series known as Eisenhower dollars, but they were also larger than the dollars produced after 1978. The idea behind the bigger size was to make the dollar more distinctive and easier to handle, but the larger coin was not popular with the public.
As a result, the mintage of the 1977 silver dollar was significantly lower than in the previous years. Only 12.6 million silver dollars were minted in Philadelphia in 1977. These coins can be identified by the missing mint mark on the obverse of the coins.
However, because they are a relatively recent coin, there are plenty of specimens found in circulated grades. These coins are not expensive to purchase with prices starting from $1.10, only just over the coin’s face value.
For coins that have not been in circulation but are in mint condition, the exact value depends on the coin’s overall value. Lower MS-graded coins are worth from $5 upwards, while MS67-graded coins are valuable upwards of $1,200. The auction record is held by an MS67-graded coin sold in 2021 for $3,600.
Obverse Design of the 1977 Silver Dollar
All silver dollars minted between 1971 and 1978 have the portrait of Eisenhower on the obverse designed by Frank Gasparro, who was the chief engraver at the US Mint at the time. Gasparro based the portrait on a sketch he had made in 1945 to celebrate the victory of the Allies in the Second World War.
The date the coin was minted is along the bottom edge of the coin and the word LIBERTY runs along the top edge. IN GOD WE TRUST is to the left of the portrait, just below the president’s chin. The mint mark for Denver and San Francisco-produced coins is below the neckline, above the sevens in the date.
Reverse Design of the 1977 Silver Dollar
The reverse design of the 1977 silver dollar is also by Gasparro. He made two images for the back of the coin, which both used an eagle. The chosen image showed an eagle as it lands on the moon to commemorate Apollo 11’s lunar mission. It is holding an olive branch in its talons.
There are stars surrounding the top half of the eagle and the Earth can be seen above its out-spread wings on the left. The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are struck along the top edge.
Above the image of the eagle, is the Latin phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM. It means ”from the many, one” and has been included on many American coins. The ONE DOLLAR denomination is along the bottom edge.
1977 D Silver Dollar Value
The 1977 D silver dollar is otherwise identical in design to the no-mint mark penny except for the small D struck just below Eisenhower’s portrait. There were almost 33 million silver dollars struck at the Denver Mint in 1977. While this may sound like a huge number of coins, in 1972, for example, 92.5 million coins were struck at the same minting facility.
There is very little difference in the value of the 1977 no-mint mark and D silver dollars at the lower grades. Both types of 1977 silver dollars are valued between $70 and $250 for grade MS66. However, MS67 graded 1977 D silver dollars can potentially command far higher figures than no-mint mark coins, up to around $7,600.
Since the valuations for high-grade D silver dollars from 1977 are higher, it is not surprising that the auction record for the 1977 D silver dollar is significantly higher, too. It is almost four times as high. In 2014, an MS63 graded 1977 D silver dollar sold for $12,925 at a Heritage Auctions sale.
1977 silver dollars were the penultimate Eisenhower dollars. The series was first launched in 1971 and the last mintage was produced in 1978. The Eisenhower dollars were bigger, similar in size to the dollars produced by the US Mint about 36 years previously.
In the 1960s, the price of silver was rising and this led to several changes in US coin production. The use of silver to produce coins was banned for five years in 1965, with a plan to review the ban in 1970.
As the review date approached, there were calls to renew the silver dollar coins. Most of the requests for a new silver dollar came from the American gaming industry. By this time, tokens had largely replaced silver dollars in the casinos. However, the punters did not take to the tokens and preferred to use real silver dollars.
New Design to Honor President Eisenhower
When the 34th President of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower, died in March 1969, there were calls to honor him. The Republican from Kansas had been a popular president since his landslide victory in 1952 over Adlai Stevenson from the Democratic party.
The calls to honor the former president combined with the calls for a new silver dollar and the result was the Eisenhower silver dollar. While the new dollar was popular among collectors, it wasn’t popular in everyday use as many found the new, larger dollar too heavy.
As a result, most Eisenhower silver dollars that were released to circulation were used in just one transaction. In addition, approximately 70% of the silver dollars in circulation were used in casinos only.
Because the larger coins were not actively used in circulation, the US Mint decided to replace them with a new, lighter, and smaller dollar coin in 1979. At the same time, Eisenhower’s portrait on the obverse was replaced by the image of Susan B. Anthony, a campaigner for women’s rights.
1977 S Silver Dollar Value (Proof)
In 1977, the San Francisco Mint only produced proof silver dollars. These are coins that were produced for collectors only and were not intended for circulation. Therefore, proof coins are generally in good condition and valued using a grading reserved for proof coins.
The value of 1977-proof coins depends on their overall quality. While most specimens are in better condition than coins that have been in circulation, not all have retained their qualities as well. PR60 to PR63 graded coins usually sell from $5 to $20. Coins graded at PR64 or PR65 are worth around $28 and $35, respectively.
The price goes up again for coins graded MS66 where you can expect to pay between $70 and $250 for a proof 1977 silver dollar. For coins graded MS67, the price can be in the region of $700. The most valuable 1977 S silver dollar, graded PR70 DCAM, sold for $7,015 in 2008.
Other Features of the 1977 Silver Dollar
The name of the 1977 silver dollar is misleading as there is no silver in the regular struck coins. They were made with an outer layer of 75% copper and 25% nickel bonded to an inner core of pure copper. These coins are commonly referred to as clad coins.
However, there was a version of the 1977 silver dollar, produced purely for collectors, that had silver instead of copper and nickel cladding. These coins contain 40% of their weight in silver.
The regular strike Eisenhower silver dollars have a diameter of 38.1 millimeters (1.5 inches) and they weigh 22.68 grams (0.8 ounces). In comparison, the modern dollar weighs 8.1 grams (0.29 ounces) and has a diameter of 26.5 millimeters (1.04 inches). They are the only coins that size the US Mint ever produced in any other material than silver.
Considering the size of the coin, the mint marks on the Denver and San Francisco minted coins are very small. They are similar in size to the mint marks on a dime.
1977 Silver Dollar Grading
Old coins are graded using a system called the Sheldon scale. This scale ranges from 1 to 70 and the lower grades, up to 59, are for coins that are in various circulated conditions. Grades from 60 to 70 are for mint state coins and the grade is preceded by the letters MS.
It is these mint state coins that collectors are after. For most old coins, including the 1977 silver dollar, it is rare to find coins intended for circulation in the higher grades. This makes them desirable for collectors and raises their monetary value.
Rare 1977 Silver Dollar Error Lists
1977 D Silver Dollar Planchet Error
Sometimes coins are accidentally struck on the wrong planchet. In this case, some 1977 D silver dollars were struck on 40% silver planchet that was left over from the previous year. These coins are rare and therefore highly collectible.
One example of a 1977 D silver dollar on a 40% silver planchet sold from $17,625 in 2017. It was graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Company as MS63. The same coin had been sold three years earlier for $12,925.so that is a significant increase in such a short time.
1977 Silver Dollar Brockage Error
Sometimes a coin that has been struck once already gets attached to the moving die and the next coin is struck by the previous coin rather than the die. As a result, a mirror image of the design is imprinted on the new coin.
Coin collectors refer to these errors as brockage. The severity of these errors ranges from the whole surface to just part of the surface on one side of the coin having a mirror image. An example of a 1977 silver dollar with a brockage error has a small ellipse above Eisenhower’s head. It is graded as MS60 and valued at $1,200.
1977 Silver Dollar Die Cap Error
A die cap error happen when a planchet gets stuck to the die and repeatedly strikes blanks. As a result, the coin has a domed appearance and a higher-than-normal rim, making the coin resemble a bottle top.
An example of a die cap error among the 1977 silver dollars was presented at a 2006 auction. It was in excellent condition and graded as MS67. It sold to a collector for $29,900.
1977 Silver Dollar Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a 1977 silver dollar worth now?
There is no simple answer to this question as there are various factors that determine how much a silver dollar from 1977 is worth now. While some coins that have been in circulation and have a lot of wear and tear are not worth more than their face value, others have sold for thousands at auctions.
Coins graded at MS60 to MS65 are worth from $5 to $35, and MS66 coins are valued between $70 and $250. The value of 1977 silver dollars jumps up at the next grade, which is MS67. These coins are valued at $1,200 upwards.
What makes a 1977 silver dollar rare?
While the regular struck silver dollars from 1977 are not rare in circulated conditions, it is not common to find them in mint state conditions. 1977 silver dollars that have remained in mint condition are rare and can be worth thousands.
1977 silver dollars with certain errors, such as the coins struck on 40% silver planchet are rare and therefore highly valuable.