1972 Silver Dollar Value

Posted - June 30, 2023
1972 Silver Dollar Value

Not all silver coins are made with silver. Strange as it sounds, the U.S. Mint actually stopped producing silver dollars with .90 silver content over fifty years ago. President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the 1965 Coinage Act, which required the U.S. Mint to stop producing circulated coins using pure silver. Instead, coins would be minted using other, less expensive materials and clad with a thin outer layer of silver bullion. 

The lack of silver content doesn’t make these coins worthless, however. Coins like the 1972 Silver Dollar can actually hold significant numismatic value, depending on the coin’s condition, rarity, and a few other important factors. In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at 1972 Silver Dollar values. 

To determine your 1972 Silver Dollar value, you’ll need to develop a solid understanding of market demand, coin condition and rarity, and proper storage protocols. We’ll explain all of these elements of pricing a 1972 Silver Dollar below. 

Factors Influencing 1972 Silver Dollar Values

Since 1972 Silver Dollars aren’t particularly valuable based on their precious metals content, determining 1972 Silver Dollar values requires collectors to understand their coin’s condition, variation, historical significance, and the current status of the silver market. We’ll cover all four valuation elements below. 

Condition of the Coin

File:One Dollar Eisenhower 1972 Beide Seiten.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
1972 Eisenhower Dollar

The condition of a 1972 Silver Dollar is the single most important factor in its value. The vast majority of these coins are in poor condition. Because the coins were minted in relatively high numbers and have been in circulation for over fifty years, very few consumers kept their 1972 Silver Dollars in peak condition. For the limited number of coins kept in exceptional condition, collectors can expect a windfall. High grade 1972 Silver Dollars are worth quite a lot of money.

Collectors who had the foresight to maintain their coins are in for a pleasant surprise. 1972 Silver Dollar values begin to climb considerably once you hit a MS condition of 66 or higher. Coins in a condition of 67 are worth thousands of dollars, while 67+ grade 1972 Silver Dollar values can be worth nearly $10,000. 

Mint Mark and Variations

1972 Silver Dollars fall into two main categories: silver and copper-nickel clad. Unlike dollar coins minted prior to 1965, these coins aren’t available in a .90 silver variation. Contrary to what some silver investors might think, 1972 Silver Dollars made with pure silver aren’t actually more valuable than their copper-nickel counterparts. Some of the highest 1972 Silver Dollar valued coins are of the copper-nickel variety. 

Mint marks aren’t very important in determining 1972 Silver Dollar values. Most of these coins were all manufactured at the San Francisco Mint, meaning that they carry the ‘S’ mint mark. This is good news for collectors who want to simplify their research process as they try to determine 1972 Silver Dollar values. Condition is the main factor in figuring out how much a 1972 Silver Dollar is worth. 

Around 92,000,000 Eisenhower Dollars were minted in the Denver Mint and carry the “D” mint mark. These coins are still not worth very much unless they are in excellent condition. The most valuable 1972-D Silver Dollars are valued at thousands of dollars and offer the highest grades possible. 

Historical and Numismatic Significance

1972 Silver Dollar values are primarily determined by their condition, but the historical significance of each Eisenhower Dollar is the main reason so many collectors love the look and feel of these coins. The coins celebrate President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse and feature a stylized artwork of the moon landing on the reverse. 

The reverse-side depiction itself was taken from the Apollo 11 mission insignia, created by astronaut Michael Collins and stylized to appear on the back of every Eisenhower Dollar. The coin’s place as a commemoration of American history certainly adds to the collectable 1972 Silver Dollar value; collectors love the reverse depiction, which shows an eagle landing on the moon with Earth in the distant background.

Silver Market Fluctuations

The good news for collectors is that 1972 Silver Dollar values are not particularly reliant on a strong silver market. The amount of silver in these coins is so small that it’s nearly negligible. While the .40 silver-clad coins are worth a bit of money for silver, most people who collect 1972 Silver Dollars buy the pieces based on their numismatic value alone. When the spot price of silver increases, silver-clad 1972 Silver Dollar values increase as well – but not by much. 

Researching 1972 Silver Dollar Values

Because 1972 Silver Dollar values are only high for the rarest coins in extremely fine condition, it takes a bit of research for collectors to figure out how much their Eisenhower Dollar is worth. We’ll outline three different ways to reliably check the price of your 1972 Silver Dollar: coin pricing guides, historical data, and expert consultations. 

Reputable Coin Pricing Guides

Coin pricing guides and databases can be exceptionally helpful tools for collectors who are unsure of the value of their collectable coins. We always like to issue a small cautionary note for consumers who judge coin values using this method. Don’t trust any random coin pricing guide you find online. Some guides use actual data – such as auction results and estate sales – to determine values. Other databases are just making estimates and might not be accurate. 

Put some research into the coin pricing guides you choose to visit before looking up 1972 Silver Dollar values. We tend to default to NGC’s price guide; they use actual auction results and public listings to help determine coin values listed on their website. 

Online Resources for Historical Data

Like we mentioned above, the best online databases for coin values use auctions and estate sales to determine estimates. When you work to determine your 1972 Silver Dollar values, you can use these same resources! Heritage Auctions is one solid resource; they deal primarily in rare coins, but they also list bullion and proof precious metals coins. Referencing these resources does more than just give you an estimate – it tells you what 1972 Silver Dollars are actually selling for on the open market. 

Expert Consultations

Don’t trust a coin worth thousands of dollars to an anonymous online pricing guide. If you think you have a high quality 1972 Silver Dollar worth quite a bit of money, we recommend a professional consultation. Some mints and bullion dealers will give you expert recommendations for the 1972 Silver Dollar value of your coin. Ask around and network with other rare coin sellers to figure out which consultations are the most valuable for rare coin sellers. 

Just like with online resources, only take value estimates seriously when they come from sources you trust. Some unscrupulous dealers might estimate your coin at a low price to try and make a quick buck. 

Value Range and Variations

1972 Silver Dollar values offer one of the biggest ranges of any coin on the market. The most common and heavily circulated coins are generally only worth a couple of bucks, but the rarest and highest-graded coins can be worth nearly $10,000 each. How do you know if your 1972 Silver Dollar is valuable? We’ll discuss some of the most valuable 1972 Silver Dollars below. 

Circulated 1972 Silver Dollar Value Range

File:Eisenhower Dollar Type II noBG 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Eisenhower Dollar Type II

When 1972 Eisenhower Dollars are heavily circulated, their values take a dive. High circulation coins with poor grading are generally worth very little money. Some are actually barely worth their face value, meaning that collectors might as well use them to purchase an item for one dollar.

The degree of circulation of your coin is the most important factor used to determine its 1972 Silver Dollar value. Coins that appear to be almost completely uncirculated might retain their original luster and remain relatively reflective. These coins are the only ones really worth getting professionally appraised. 

Premiums for Higher Grades or Special Packaging 

Very few 1972 Silver Dollars have been kept in their original proof packaging. These coins might sell for a hefty premium to the right collector. If you’ve come across a coin in perfect condition with original packaging – hold onto it! These coins are often extremely valuable. In fact, some auction sales have seen high grade 1972 Silver Dollars sell for $7,500 or more. 

Notable Variations or Errors

Some Eisenhower Dollars contain mistakes, which can be valuable. Coin collectors should already know that rare minting errors can be worth quite a bit of money. Errors are tough to predict on these coins, but 1972 Silver Dollar values skyrocket if they include special errors. One notable example is the 1972 overstruck Silver Dollar. Currently, it’s being listed at over $180,000 on one auction site

These errors are extremely rare. On this particular coin, the error is that two 1 cent coins were stamped on either side of Eisenhower’s head, creating an entirely unique design. Coins like this one may well be one-of-a-kind, which explains their exceptionally high value. 

Assessing Condition and Grading 

As we’ve explained a few times now, the most important factor in determining 1972 Silver Dollar values is the condition of your coin. Coin experts use a process called ‘grading’ to standardize coin conditions. The grading system can be a bit difficult for new coin collectors to understand, so we’ve included a short guide on how to understand grading terminology below. 

Understanding Grading Terminology 

File:One Dollar.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Eisenhower Silver Dollar Reverse

The most common coin grading system used is the Sheldon coin grading system, first pioneered in 1949 by coin collector Dr. William H. Sheldon. The system offers eighteen different grades for circulated coins. The lowest possible grade is ‘Poor,” also known as PO. Coins obtain higher grades by demonstrating a lower degree of visible circulation. If a coin is rated AU58, it has retained almost all its original mint luster.

For 1972 Silver Dollars, value spikes around the MS-65 level. This is also referred to as “gem uncirculated.” These coins are so perfect that they appear to have never been circulated at all. They contain all of the mint’s original luster and no noticeable scuffs or marks. If you find a 1972 Silver Dollar that might fit this bill, make sure to consult a collectable coin expert to have the coin professionally graded. It could be worth thousands of dollars! 

Evaluating the Coin’s Condition

For coins in relatively poor condition, it’s pretty easy to grade your coins at home. Your grading won’t be the same as a professional service can provide, but using online guides can still give you a pretty good idea of what condition your coin is in. To gauge the base quality of a collectable coin, look for clear signs of damage and circulation. A coin that has been heavily circulated has been exposed to the elements, so it’ll show signs of rust or tarnish around the outer surface. 

On the other hand, collectors who have nearly perfect 1972 Silver Dollars might choose to go with a professional coin grading service. If you go with a professional coin grading service, they’ll provide you with a case and seal to ensure that potential buyers know the condition of the coin they’re purchasing. This is generally standard if you choose to buy and sell expensive silver coins. 

Selling and Buying 1972 Silver Dollars

After you know the condition of the coin you want to buy, there’s a few things you need to do to make sure you get the best 1972 Silver Dollar value for your sale or purchase. We’ll cover two main considerations below: dealer reputation and key selling strategies. 

Reputable Dealers and Online Marketplaces

Only try to do business with reputable dealers and marketplaces. Unreputable dealers might try to rip you off and buy your coin for less than it’s worth. Check out online reviews and forums to get a feel for the reputation of leading bullion and collectable coin dealers. Take reviews with a grain of salt; we recommend getting a large sample size of verified customers before making a decision about how reputable a given dealer might be. 

Strategies for Selling or Purchasing

Always keep any grading certifications on hand before making your sale. Ideally, near-perfect 1972 Silver Dollars should be bought and sold with an official grading certificate. These certificates guarantee both the condition and the authenticity of a coin, which can protect you from accidentally buying a counterfeit or cull 1972 Silver Dollar. 

Remember: 1972 Silver Dollar values are almost entirely determined by their condition or grade. Low grade coins sell for nearly nothing, while near-perfect editions can be worth thousands of dollars. Doing research on the topic now can save you quite a bit of money when it’s time to buy or sell your 1972 Silver Dollar. 

Preservation and Storage

Because coin condition is such an important part of 1972 Silver Dollar values, it’s important that you store and handle your coins using the best practices possible. Your coin could quickly deteriorate in value if you choose to store it improperly. We’ll outline some of the best ways to store rare silver coins below. 

Proper Handling and Care

If you’ve purchased a rare 1972 Silver Dollar and received a clear package, keep your coin in the package. New investors sometimes feel like they should take the coin out of the packaging to verify its legitimacy. As long as you’ve purchased your coin from a reputable dealer, you shouldn’t have to worry about receiving a fake. And taking your coin out of the package can expose it to the elements, leading to a lower value. 

Carefully read up on strategies for properly cleaning and maintaining your coins, especially if you plan to take the rare collectable piece out of its original case. In addition to proper handling and care, we recommend taking steps to protect your coins by practicing good bullion storage methods. 

Storage Options for Protection

You have several options for storing silver coins. Coins can be stored at home in a vault, and most collectors with little investment value might consider this the best option. If your coin is worth thousands of dollars, you should think about obtaining additional insurance to cover your investment. Remember: most home insurance policies cap out at a certain amount of coverage for collectables. In the case of robbery or disaster, collectors without extra insurance might not recover the value of their portfolio. 

Investors whose portfolios become worth $10,000 or more should look into professional storage options. Some mints and bullion dealers will sell you space in their vaults. Always make sure you have access to your coins in case you need them. Many professional storage options on the market will send you pictures of your silver or gold in their vault to verify that your investment remains safe and present. 

Final Thoughts: 1972 Silver Dollar Value

We’re happy to bring you this guide on the value of Eisenhower Dollars. 1972 Silver Dollar values are extremely volatile. On the low end, these coins are really only worth a bit more over their face value. But the rarest coins in excellent condition might sell for $10,000, and the historical errors featured on certain 1972 Silver Dollars can be worth hundreds of thousands. 

Because 1972 Silver Dollar values are so highly variable, we recommend doing quite a bit of research before you buy or sell one of these culturally significant coins. Hero Bullion is happy to answer any questions you may still have about the value of a 1972 Silver Dollar. Our dedicated team of experts is here to help you stack silver coins with confidence! 

About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.