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Do you have a 1979 dollar coin and want to know how much it’s worth?
There are a few 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins that are worth more than face value. But most 1979 one dollar coins that you find in laying around are worth only their face value of $1.
So how do you know which 1979 silver dollar coins are worth keeping?
I’m going to show you!…
But before we find out how much your 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is worth, let’s clear up a common misconception about 1979 dollar coins…
1979 Silver Dollars Aren’t Really Silver
That’s right! They’re NOT silver — not at all.
In fact, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which was made from 1979 through 1981 and once more in 1999, is the only silver-colored United States dollar coin that wasn’t made in silver — not even as a proof coin for collectors.
Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are made from copper-nickel clad and have essentially no precious-metal value.
Why Are 1979 Dollar Coins So Popular?
1979 marks the first year of the Susan B. Anthony dollars and also the most common year for this dollar coin series.
Of the 4 years that Susan B. Anthony dollars were made, the 1979 dollar coins were the ones that circulated the most widely — therefore, they are ones that people are most likely to find.
Another reason that 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are commonly encountered these days is the fact that many were saved as souvenirs for being the first circulating United States coin to feature a real woman (instead of a female figure representative of Liberty).
Who was Susan B. Anthony?
She was a woman’s suffrage leader who lived 1820 through 1906 and whose pioneering efforts were instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment — which gave women the right to vote.
Many promoters sold 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollars attached to special cards with postage stamps known as first-day covers.
The 1979 one dollar coin is also commonly incorporated into frames, display cases, and coin collections.
More than 750 million 1979 dollar coins were made for circulation by the United States Mint at its facilities in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The mintage figures break down this way:
- 1979-P dollar coin (Philadelphia Mint) — 360,222,000
- 1979-D dollar coin (Denver Mint) — 288,015,744
- 1979-S dollar coin (San Francisco Mint) — 109,576,000
Add into these figures the 1979-S proof dollar coins, which number 3,677,175 pieces, and you’ll see that 1979 dollar coins aren’t really rare at all — or are they?
You see, there are some 1979 dollar coins that are definitely worth looking for!
So, which ones are they?
Let’s find out how much 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins are worth and which ones are the rarest and most valuable…
1979 Dollar Coin Values
Most 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollars you find with any wear at all are worth only face value — just one dollar. Even those that look nearly perfect to the unaided eye (no coin magnifying glass needed) are still worth between only $1 to $2.
In other words, most 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollars are safe to spend. And yes, you can spend them — because they’re still legal tender.
While virtually any 1979 dollar you’ve found is likely worth a buck, maybe just a tad more if it’s uncirculated (was never spent as money), there are some rare 1979 dollar coins worth looking for and saving!
So, which ones are they?…
The 1979-P Near Date / Wide Rim Dollar Coin
The 1979 Near Date dollar, also known as the 1979 Wide Rim dollar, shows the date on the front (obverse) of the coin much closer to the rim than normal.
This was caused by slight modifications to the coin during production of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollars and is known only to exist on the 1979-P dollar coins from the Philadelphia Mint.
While these coins are considerably scarce, there’s some good news if you’re hoping to find one. You can actually find one without paying more than face value — if you know what you’re looking for!
However, it can be a little hard to tell a 1979-P Near Date / Wide Rim dollar coin apart from a normal 1979-P Far Date/ Narrow Rim dollar that is generally worth only face value (if worn). So, use the tips in this video as a guide:
A 1979-P Near Date or 1979-P Wide Rim dollar coin is worth about $10 in circulated condition and $30 to $50 in uncirculated grades.
The 1979-S Proof Type II Dollar Coin
One of the most valuable 1979 dollar coins is the Type II proof.
Now, you won’t find this coin in your spare change — but if you’re lucky, you might be able to cherrypick one from a 1979 proof set at a coin dealer’s shop.
What is a 1979-S Type II proof Susan B. Anthony dollar?
When the United States Mint was making Susan B. Anthony dollars from 1979 through 1981 (but not in 1999), it included an S-mint example from the San Francisco Mint in each given year’s proof sets for coin collectors.
Most 1979-S proof dollars have a blobby-looking “S” mintmark that appears something like a rounded, bubbly rectangle whose sides are puckered in a bit on each long side near the middle. Not very “S”-like, one might say.
It seems U.S. Mint officials thought the same thing — because they ended up creating a new “S” mintmark punch, which shows a more clearly defined “S.”
The earlier, Filled “S” mintmark is known on 1979-S proof dollar coins as the Type I mintmark — while the later, Clear “S” mintmark is dubbed the Type II and is the most valuable.
The Mint didn’t begin using the Clear “S” Type II mintmark until later in 1979 — so far fewer of these were minted than the ones with the Filled “S” mintmark.
Of the 3.6+ million proof dollar coins struck in 1979, perhaps 500,000 to 700,000 are of the Clear “S” or Type II variety. Therefore, the 1979-S Type II proof dollars are much rarer than the 1979-S Type I proof dollars.
While a typical 1979-S Type I proof dollar is worth about $5, the 1979-S Type II proof dollar has a value of $40 and up.
The Most Valuable 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin
So, you’ve reached this point of the article and have likely found out your 1979 one dollar coin is worth only $1.
Or, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has a 1979 Near Date or Wide Rim dollar coin worth much more than face value.
Perhaps you’ve even got a 1979-S Type II proof dollar!
But what about the most valuable 1979 dollar coin? Which one is that?
That honor goes to a really weird and unique 1979 dollar coin error in which a normal 1979-P Susan B. Anthony dollar was struck on a 1978 Jefferson nickel! Crazy, huh?
Well, dig this…
That coin realized a whopping $15,275 in a 2014 auction!
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!