Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by JeffC, Sep 14, 2019.
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1976 Proof Ikes were struck in both clad and silver.
The weight is the surest way to tell, but you can look at the edge of the coin - a silver coin will be the same color all the way through, the clad will have a copper layer in the middle. This isn't foolproof, but works most of the time.
I'm not sure what you mean by "a separate set of rules"?
Thanks! Oh, by "a separate set of rules," I meant if the guidelines you provided for me differ between 1976-S and 1976-S Proofs. And yeap, I'm going to get the 2020 Redbook this month for sure. I was looking at the Blue Book but realized the Red is better. Thanks again.
Here is the clad version.
And here is the 40% silver version.
Can't tell the difference? Neither could some collectors back in the '70s and '80s. Back when the 1973-S 40% silver Ike Dollar sold for a lot of money (It sold for over $200 in 1980), crooks would separate the government holders, take out the silver coin and replace it with the clad coin. Some people could see that the clad coin was not quite as bright, but many people couldn't.
Before I had researched a bit more about it, I was under the impression that ALL 1976-S proof Ike Dollars were 40% silver. Now I know that it's not the case, for sure.
Now you got my curiousity up. I'm going to check the prices of silver during that time.
If anyone has a copy of the book, "The Authoritative Reference on Eisenhower Dollars, Second Edition" by Wexler, Crawford & Flynn, there is an interesting story on page 190 by Tom DeLorey about the 1976 "No S" Proof Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar.
The silver prices were high, $55 an ounce at one point, but that didn't have much to do with it. With a silver Proof mintage of just over 1 million, the silver Proof 1973-S was the "king" of Ike Dollars.
In 1973 the mint system did not issue any Ike dollars for general circulation. The only way you could get them was in mint sets, Proof sets and as Uncirculated and Proof single coins, what collectors call the "blue" and "Brown Ikes." It had to do with the mint packaging. The Uncirculated Ike came in a blue envelope, and the Proof came in a brown box.
Coins were viewed as an "investment vehicle" then, and the Ike Dollars provided a way for the "poor folks" to get in the game.
If the "Brown Ikes" are what I think they are, I see them quite often on ebay and ebth.com. Are they rectangular, with a wood-grained finish top and a gold seal on the bottom? Today, prices for them aren't too bad ($10-$20). So, boy, if they paid $200+ back then, buyers really took a hit.
I don't have the book but if the article is short and "pdf-able," I'd like to see it. I really like to read up on "stories behind the coins," like the one about the 1926 Peace Dollar and bold "GOD" (whether true or yet unproven).
It's one page (8-1/2"x 11") but since I don't have permission to copy it, I'd rather not.
Easy to forget these days. But yes, our hobby has been taken advantage of by crooks since coin collecting was a hobby.
I know as a young collector, I was frothing at the mouth to get my hands on Ike dollars back in the 1970’s. I sure didn’t realize that proof Ike’s carried such a premium back then. Could it be attributed in part to collectors being excited about finally seeing something new by the US mint?
The 1971 Brown Ike sold for less than $10 (issue price) for a long time. Except for the 1973, the others sold for just over issue. The 1973 Brown Ike was special. I remember when it was on the Grey Sheet at $235. I took one to sell to a dealer to sell. He didn’t want it, but when I offered it to him for $175, he took it. I had no regrets.
Really it's more that a lot of people assumed the rarest Ike dollar (1973) would become very valuable, based on "keys" of other coin series seeing similar increases in value. But the reason that say, the 1909-S VDB cent is worth what it is, is because many collectors want it to finish a set. But collector interest in the Eisenhower dollars started to fizzle out at some point (about mid-1980's) so a mintage of about a million wasn't low enough if less than a million people wanted them, and the value of it fell back to earth. As I remember someone posting on this board, a coin with a mintage of 2 is still too high if only one person wants it.
Ironically a lot of rare coin issues are not worth huge amounts of money because so many people saved them, expecting the value to go up... but because so many people saved them, they are not hard to find, and supply is enough or too much to meet demand. That's why the 1950-D Jefferson nickel can easily be had for about $20 in uncirculated condition; so many people saved it expecting the value to go up that it's actually rarer in circulated condition now than in uncirculated. A similar thing eventually happened to the 1973 Ike dollars. Yes, it's the rarest one... but there's still enough to supply collector interest, and the price dived because of that. But in the 70's and early 80's people were convinced these were great investments, and well, for a little while they were right, but eventually the market corrected the price since supply exceeded demand.
Very well put. Thanks for that.
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