Matthew T. writes: I have some Eisenhower dollars. How can I tell if they are silver? I have a 1976 D and 1974 D. I read your page on the dollar and I know the Denver mint minted some of these coins. How can I tell if there’s silver in one? Thanks
All Eisenhower dollars made for circulation were struck on copper-nickel planchets (blanks). There were special collector issues struck in 40% silver at the San Francisco Mint for 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1976 (dual dated 1776-1976). These issues were only available by subscription and now must be purchased from coin dealers or other collectors. Both the silver uncirculated and proof issues have an “S” mint mark.
The silver uncirculated Eisenhower dollars were originally packaged by the Mint in clear cellophane packages inside a blue envelope. These are often referred to by collectors and dealers as “Blue Ikes.” The silver proof coins were packaged in a hard plastic holder inside a brown box – hence the nickname “Brown Ikes.”