1978 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Value Guide

| |

What Makes A 1978 Eisenhower Dollar Valuable?

The 1978 Eisenhower dollar is valuable depending on its condition, preservation, rarity, and composition. Depending on the type of your Eisenhower dollar coin, you can sell it for as much as a few hundred dollars.

What Makes A 1978 Eisenhower Dollar Valuable
photo source: Pinterest

The obverse of the 1978 silver dollar features the left profile of Dwight Eisenhower, which was designed by Frank Gasparro. The inscriptions include the following:

  • 1978
  • Mint mark (if present)

On the reverse, you can see the bald eagle holding on its claw an olive branch, which represents peace. It is seen to be descending on the moon while at its far left is the earth. This design was made to commemorate the successful landing on the moon in 1969. There are 13 stars that encircle the eagle.

The inscriptions include the following:


The last time the dollar coin was produced was in 1935. After a few decades, legislators thought of producing a dollar coin once again. In 1965, Dwight Eisenhower died and a lot of people supported the idea of having his portrait on the new dollar coin.

However, the problem was that people weren’t in agreement on how the dollar coin should be made. Some people want it to be made in silver while others want it in copper nickel.

As a compromise, two versions were made. One was made of 75% copper and 25% nickel clad. The other was made of 40% silver. The base metal dollar was primarily made for circulation while the silver dollar was made for collectors and coin enthusiasts.

The silver coin was performing well with high demand from collectors. However, the nickel-copper dollar coins weren’t as popular. They were only widely used in Nevada casinos but not in the rest of the country.

In 1975, a bicentennial commemorative dollar coin was made. Its reverse was redesigned while its obverse remained the same. This dollar coin was marked with a double date, 1776-1976.

In 1978, the Eisenhower dollar coin was discontinued. It was then replaced by the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which eventually failed to circulate as well.

How Much Silver Is In A 1978 Eisenhower Dollar?

The 1978 Eisenhower dollar is made of 40% silver. The rest of the composition is 60% copper.

Another variety of the 1978 Eisenhower dollar exists as well. However, it doesn’t have silver in it. Rather, it uses a metal base of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

When determining the value of a 1978 Eisenhower dollar, you would need to know how to differentiate a silver coin from a metal-based coin. This is an important skill you need to have since some Eisenhower silver dollars made it to circulation.

The Denver and Philadelphia mints also produced silver dollars. However, they only have silver on the surface. This is different from what the San Francisco Mint produced, which is 40% silver.

To the untrained eye, the silver dollar and the copper-nickel dollar look the same. So, how can you know if you have a silver coin?

For the 1978 Eisenhower dollar, the first thing you should do is look at the date. Obviously, since you are looking for a 1978 coin, then your coin should bear this year.

Next, look for the mint mark “S.” You are looking for the 40% silver coin, which is only produced in San Francisco. Aside from that, look at the edge of the coin. If the coin comes with solid silver stripes, then it is more likely to be a 40% silver coin. Coins made of copper would only have copper stripes on their edge.

Finally, do the drop test. Copper-nickel coins have a heavier thud when dropped. Silver coins have a higher-pitched sound.

If you are still unsure or you want to fully establish that you have a silver coin, be sure to get in touch with a qualified and trusted coin trader. You can also seek the help of coin graders from legitimate service providers.

1978 Eisenhower Dollar Varieties

There are different types and varieties of the 1978 Eisenhower silver dollar coin. These include the following:

1978 P Silver dollar (No mint mark)

1978 P Silver dollar (No mint mark)
photo source: USA Coin Book

The 1978 silver dollar made in the Philadelphia Mint comes with no mint mark.

1978-D Silver dollar

1978-D Silver dollar
photo source: USA Coin Book

The 1978 silver dollar with a mint mark D was struck in the Denver Mint.

1978-S Clad proof Silver dollar

1978-S Clad proof Silver dollar
photo source: USA Coin Book

The 1978 S clad proof silver dollar is more beautiful and shinier compared to the other ordinary silver dollars. One reason is that each of these coins is manually shined and treated. Proof silver dollars are sold to collectors instead of including them in circulation.

1978-S Clad proof Cameo Silver dollar

1978-S Clad proof Cameo Silver dollar
photo source: eBay

The 1978 Clad proof cameo silver dollar was minted in the San Francisco Mint. What’s special about this coin is that the cameo on Eisenhower’s hair is more pronounced and detailed.

1978-S Clad proof Deep Cam Silver dollar

1978-S Clad proof Deep Cam Silver dollar
photo source: PCGS

The 1978 S clad proof deep cameo silver dollar is the most detailed silver dollar coin. You can see Eisenhower’s hair, ears, eyes, and other parts of the image look more pronounced than any other type of silver dollar coin.

List of errors

There are different errors made when minting the 1978 silver dollar. Some of the most common errors include doubled die, off-center strike, folded or blank planchet, and missing mint marks.

How Much Is A 1978 Eisenhower Silver Dollar Worth Today?

The ordinary 1978 Eisenhower silver dollar coin has the same worth as its face value, which is $1.00. However, the melt value is way higher at around $6.

If you have a 1978 silver dollar in great condition, with no flaws, and in perfect condition, your coin could dramatically increase in value. Some rare Eisenhower silver dollar coins were sold for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

How Does The Grading System Work?

The Sheldon Scale is used by numismatists to provide a numerical value to coins. The Sheldon Scale goes from poor (P-1) to perfect mint state (P-1) (MS-70). Coins were originally evaluated using words to reflect their condition (Good, Fair, Excellent, Etc.). Unfortunately, coin collectors and dealers had different ideas about what each of these terms represent.

Professional numismatists joined together in the 1970s and established CoinGrading standards. These numismatists now assign grades at key places on the seventy-point scale, using the most regularly utilized numeric points in conjunction with the original adjective grade. The following are the most common coin grades:

      • (P-1) Poor – Indistinguishable and probably damaged; if used, must have a date and mintmark; otherwise, rather battered.
      • (FR-2) Fair – Nearly smooth, but without the damage that a coin graded Poor often possesses. The coin must have enough detail to be identified.
      • (G-4) Fair – Inscriptions have merged into the rims in some areas, and important elements have been mostly erased.
      • (VG-8) Very Good- A little weathered, but all of the primary design elements are visible, albeit faintly. There is little if any, central detail left.
      • (F-12) Good – The item is very worn, yet the wear is even, and the overall design details stand out clearly. Rims are almost completely isolated from the field.
      • (VF-20) Very Fine – Moderately weathered, with some finer features still visible. The motto or all letters of LIBERTY are readable. Both sides of the coin have entire rims that are separated from the field.
      • (EF-40) Extremely Fine – Gently used; all gadgets are visible, and the most important ones are bold. The finer details are bold and clear, however, light wear may be seen.
      • (AU-50) Uncirculated – Slight evidence of wear on the coin’s design’s high points; may have contact marks; eye appeal should be adequate.
      • (AU-58) Uncirculated Choice – Slight traces of wear, no severe contact marks, almost full mint shine, and great eye appeal.
      • (MS-60) Mint State Basal – Strictly uncirculated; no indication of wear on the coin’s highest points, but an unsightly coin with reduced luster, visible contact marks, hairlines, and other flaws.
      • (MS-63) Mint State Acceptable – Uncirculated, but with contact scratches and nicks, little reduced shine, but otherwise appealing appearance. The strike is weak to average.
      • (MS-65) Mint State Choice – Uncirculated with great mint shine, very little contact blemishes, and exceptional eye appeal. The strike is unusually severe.
      • (MS-68) Mint State Premium Quality – Uncirculated with superb luster, no obvious contact marks to the naked eye, and exceptional eye appeal. The strike is quick and appealing.
      • (MS-69) Almost Perfect Mint State – Uncirculated with perfect brilliance, a sharp and appealing strike, and extremely good eye appeal. A near-perfect coin with minor imperfections in the planchet, strike, and contact markings (seen only under 8x magnification).
      • (MS-70) Mint State Perfect – Under 8x magnification, there are no tiny imperfections discernible; the strike is crisp, and the coin is perfectly centered on a beautiful planchet. Rarely seen on a coin, this coin is bright and whole, with original luster and exceptional eye appeal.

Where To Buy Or Sell 1978 Eisenhower Silver Dollar?

There are different places where you can buy 1978 Eisenhower silver dollar coins. For one, you can always go to the Internet and search for these coins. If available, you can quickly find rare coins that are being sold for a higher price.

Aside from that, you can visit specific websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. It’s a great place to both buy and sell coins.

There are also brick-and-mortar shops you can visit. For example, you can go to antique shops, pawnshops, coin shops, and auction shops. You can sell to them your silver coin or you can buy from them.


Where is the mint mark on a 1978 Eisenhower dollar?

You can find the mint mark on a 1978 Eisenhower dollar coin’s obverse, just beneath the bust of Eisenhower.

Is a 1978 Ike dollar silver?

Yes, there are 1978 Ike dollar coins made of silver. They are usually made of 40% silver. Other 1978 dollar coins, which are more common, are made of copper and nickel.

Is a 1978 dollar real silver?

Yes, there are 1978-dollar coins made of real silver.

What is the value of a 1978 Canadian silver dollar?

The value of the 1978 Canadian silver dollar is 1 CAD. However, if you have a pristine, flawless, and beautiful 1978 Canadian silver dollar, you might be able to sell it for more than a few more Canadian dollars.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


1992 Washington Quarter Value Guide

1976 Roosevelt Dime Value Guide


Leave a Comment