Me and Mary O' Grae. It also called for the elimination of silver from the half dollar, and for the transfer from the Treasury to the General Services Administration GSA of quantities of rare silver dollars, so they could be sold.
They look like the dollar bills currently being printed, except for the words "Silver Certificate" at the top and the legend at the bottom that reads, "One Dollar In Silver Payable to the Bearer on Demand. Even though silver certificates say they may be redeemed for silver upon demand, this is no longer true.
In , Congress passed legislation that allowed for silver certificate holders to redeem the bills for silver only until June 24, Some people collect silver certificates, and to these collectors, certain bills are worth more than their face value.
As with any collectible, the rarer an item, the more collectors are willing to pay for it. Items in pristine condition are worth more than those that are worn and dirty. In the case of silver certificates, most of those that are still in circulation today were printed by the millions and remain fairly common. Other dates are fairly common and unlikely to command high prices.
Uncirculated silver certificates will command higher prices than circulated bills, especially if the certificates are older ones not in circulation today. Certificates with stars in the serial numbers are rarer and may bring a few dollars more than other serial numbers. Beyond their financial worth, silver certificates are a reminder of a time in American history when paper money truly represented the amount of bullion on hand in the U. That makes them interesting artifacts, regardless of their face value.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management. Types of Silver Certificates According to Manning Garrett, an antique money dealer based in New York and South Carolina, the most common silver certificates still in circulation today were printed in or There are no dollars dated ; coins from that year and from bear a double date —, and a special reverse by Dennis R.
Williams in honor of the bicentennial of American independence. Beginning in , the Mint sought to replace the Eisenhower dollar with a smaller-sized piece.
Congress authorized the Susan B. Anthony dollar , struck beginning in , but that coin also failed to circulate. Given their modest cost and the short length of the series, complete sets of Eisenhower dollars are becoming more popular among coin collectors. The silver dollar had never been a popular coin, circulating little except in the West; it served as a means of monetizing metal and generally sat in bank vaults once struck.
The Peace dollar , the last circulating dollar made of silver, was not struck after , and in most years in the quarter century after that, the bullion value of a silver dollar did not exceed 70 cents. In the early s, though, silver prices rose, and the huge stocks of silver dollars in the hands of banks and the government were obtained by the public through the redemption of silver certificates.
This caused shortages of silver dollars in the western states where the pieces circulated, and interests there sought the issuance of more dollars. On August 3, , Congress passed legislation providing for the striking of 45 million silver dollars.
The new pieces were intended to be used at Nevada casinos and elsewhere in the West where "hard money" was popular. Numismatic periodicals complained that striking the dollars was a waste of resources. A public announcement of the new pieces was made on May 15, ,  only to be met with a storm of objections. Both the public and many congressmen saw the issue as a poor use of Mint resources at a time of severe coin shortages, which would only benefit coin dealers.
On May 24, one day before a hastily called congressional hearing, Adams announced that the pieces were deemed trial strikes, never intended for circulation.
The Mint later stated that , pieces had been struck; all were reported melted amid heavy security. To ensure that there would be no repetition, Congress inserted a provision in the Coinage Act of forbidding the coinage of silver dollars for five years.
By this time, rising bullion prices threatened the continued use of silver in the Kennedy half dollar , but Brooks hoped to maintain the dollar as a silver coin. Brooks' proposal for a new silver dollar was opposed by the chairman of the House Banking Committee , Wright Patman , who had been persuaded, against his better judgment, by Nixon's predecessor, Lyndon Johnson , to support the continued use of silver in the half dollar. Soon after, New Jersey Representative Florence Dwyer , like Eisenhower, a Republican, suggested that the proposed dollar coin bear his likeness.
She spoke to Democratic Missouri Representative Leonor Sullivan , who agreed that the dollar should bear a portrait of Eisenhower as "equal time" to the half dollar, which bore the likeness of Democratic president John F. Giaimo to authorize an Eisenhower dollar, to be struck without silver content. The Joint Commission on the Coinage , drawing members from the administration and from Congress, including Giaimo, recommended the dollar in spring It also called for the elimination of silver from the half dollar, and for the transfer from the Treasury to the General Services Administration GSA of quantities of rare silver dollars, so they could be sold.
Giaimo noted that the coin would be useful in casinos, which were striking their own tokens in the absence of circulating dollar coins, and in the vending industry, which was starting to sell higher-priced items. On October 3, , the House Banking Committee passed legislation for a silverless Eisenhower dollar, with Patman stating that he hoped to have it approved by the full House in time for the late president's birthday on October While some representatives spoke against the manner in which the legislation was to be considered, Iowa Congressman H.
Gross objected to the base-metal composition of the proposed coin: Instrumental in the passage of the Senate amendment was a letter from Mamie Eisenhower , recalling that her husband had liked to give silver dollars as mementoes, and had gone to some effort to obtain coins struck in the year of his birth, Casey introduced legislation to honor both Eisenhower and the recent Apollo 11 Moon landing.
These provisions would become part of the enacted bill authorizing the Eisenhower dollar. The circulating dollar, though, would have no silver and would be struck in larger quantities. The compromise was worked out by McClure and other congressional Republicans, with the aid of Brooks, an Idahoan. McClure described the deal as "a lot less than the country deserves, but a lot more than it appeared we would get.
Although the compromise passed the Senate in March ,  it was blocked in the House by Representative Patman, who was determined to end silver in the coinage. The Senate passed the bill again in September, this time attaching it as a rider to a bank holding company bill sought by Patman.
The bill, which also included provisions to eliminate silver from the half dollar and to transfer the rare silver dollars to the GSA, was approved by a conference committee and passed both houses. Nixon had intended to let the bill pass into law without his signature.
When aides realized that as Congress had adjourned, not signing the bill would pocket veto it, on December 31, , Nixon hastily signed it only minutes before the midnight deadline. For Mint Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro , the opportunity to put Eisenhower on a coin was the fulfillment of a longtime dream. On June 19, , Gasparro had been one of more than 4 million people who gathered in New York to watch a parade celebrating the Allied victory in Europe. Although Gasparro, then an assistant engraver at the Mint, only saw a glimpse of General Eisenhower, he stepped back from the crowd and drew the general's features.
That sketch served as the basis of his design for the obverse. Gasparro consulted with the late president's widow, Mamie Eisenhower , as to the designs of both sides of the coin; the former First Lady was presented with a galvano a metallic model used in the coin design process by Brooks and Gasparro on January 1, The chief engraver was not given full freedom of design; he was instructed to have the layout of the obverse resemble that of the Washington quarter.
Before the legislation passed, Gasparro had prepared two reverses, the one actually used, and a reverse with a more formal heraldic eagle , which numismatic historian and coin dealer Q. David Bowers finds reminiscent of pattern coins prepared in the s. At Congress's insistence, the chief engraver created a design in commemoration of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, based on the mission patch conceived by astronaut Michael Collins and others.
Bowers deems the choice of the lunar landing "a stroke of genius," allowing the dollar, which would be little-used in commerce, to be a commemorative both of Eisenhower and of the Moon mission. The use of Collins' mission patch design had initially been opposed by some government officials because of the fierce expression of the eagle; Gasparro's initial concept met similar objections.
The Mint Director recalled that Gasparro had gone to the Philadelphia Zoo to look at eagles, and on his return had prepared a design which she felt emphasized the eagle's predatory nature. Gasparro, who reportedly was unhappy at having to change the eagle,  described the final version as "pleasant looking.
Bowers deems the bust of Eisenhower "well modeled" by Gasparro, and notes that the fact that the eagle on the reverse holds only an olive branch, rather than arrows as well token of war , "meant that the public would like the design.
Sadly, it is a mediocre design that reveals his typically unnatural treatment of Ike's hair and the eagle's feathers. The chief engraver responded by clarifying the design.
Two prototype dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint on January 25, ; they were subsequently destroyed. The chief engraver altered the resulting master die directly to restore at least some of the detail which was lost as the relief was lowered. The proof coins struck at San Francisco, nevertheless, remained in high relief. Proof coins are struck slowly, and generally multiple times, to bring out the full detail.
The first coin struck was for presentation to Mamie Eisenhower; the second to David Eisenhower grandson of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and the third to David Eisenhower's father-in-law, President Nixon.
Order forms for the public were shipped to 44, post offices and 33, banks, with instructions not to hand them out until June The Mint returned some orders for being sent in too early. The first proof strikes, at San Francisco, took place in July. These were dubbed "brown Ikes" and "blue Ikes" and are still known by those terms. The circulation version of the Eisenhower dollar, the largest clad coin ever attempted by the Mint,  was released through banks on November 1, Many were obtained by collectors; there was sufficient demand that many banks imposed a limit of one coin per customer.
The clad pieces were struck from coinage strip purchased by the Mint from contractors. Many were not well-struck, causing collectors to search through rolls in search of better specimens. An oil film was found on a large number of specimens; this was removed by collectors.
From the start, the coin failed to circulate. In , a Treasury study done in conjunction with a private-sector firm found that the Eisenhower dollar had a near percent attrition rate, that is, almost always, a coin was used in only one transaction, and then stopped circulating by comparison, the attrition rate of the quarter was close to zero. This was because of the coin's large size, its weight, and the lack of potential uses for it.
The Mint struck over million of the Eisenhower dollars in , more than doubling its largest annual production for a dollar coin.
Despite an increased mintage in to over million, and despite what CoinAge magazine termed "near-heroic measures on the part of the Mint", the piece did not circulate. Bailey noted, "the circulation value of the coin has been nil". She ascribed the delay to the large public demand and to production difficulties which she indicated had been corrected.
Mint officials felt that reducing the price would anger those who had already purchased the pieces. The silver pieces were again struck at San Francisco. Sales dropped considerably, to just under 2. With ample supplies of Eisenhower dollars, the Federal Reserve had no need to order any in , and none were struck for circulation. Many and D are known in circulated condition, leading to speculation that the , pieces which were reported melted after the Mint failed to sell as many mint sets as anticipated, were in fact released into circulation.
Cahoon, which stated that all Eisenhower dollars from unsold mint sets were melted. Sales of the part-silver pieces dipped to a total of just under 2. The coin was struck again for circulation in , was included in mint sets and proof sets, and was available in proof and uncirculated silver clad from San Francisco.
The United States had issued commemorative coins between and , as a means for fundraising for organizations deemed worthy of federal support. A sponsoring organization would be designated in the authorizing legislation, and was permitted to buy up the issue at face value, selling it to the public at a premium, and pocketing the difference. Various problems with the issues, including mishandling of distributions and complaints that public coins should not be used for private profit, resulted in firm Treasury Department opposition to such issues, and none were struck after In , its coins and medals advisory committee recommended the issuance of a special half dollar, and subsequently the committee sought the temporary redesign of circulating American coins.
Brooks and the Mint initially opposed legislation to effect these proposals, but eventually Brooks supported legislation to redesign the reverses of the quarter, half dollar and dollar coins, and to issue special collector's sets in silver clad. Legislation to authorize this was signed by President Nixon on October 18, By the terms of this legislation, coins of these denomination minted for delivery after July 4, and before December 31, would bear special reverses, and also be dated —
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