1.(In the instance, of certain Eisenhower dollars made primarily for collecting, the term "Uncirculated" may be more appropriate than business strike, as the latter Implies they were made for circulation, However, to maintain consistency, "business strike" is used.)
"Silver" dollars return: Beginning with the 1971 Eisenhower dollar, silver (albeit 40% silver) dollars were again a part of the American numismatic scene. Struck in Uncirculated and Proof formats, the 40% silver Ikes were made available to collectors through the U.S. Mint. The Uncirculated version was sold in a pliofilm package housed in a navy blue envelope, earning the nickname "blue" Ike. The Proof version of the coin was housed in a large, somewhat awkward plastic holder, and came in a brown box with a gold embossed eagle design on the front, giving rise to the nickname "brown" Ike. The "blue" and "brown" sobriquets have remained in use to this day.
Availability: Eisenhower dollar specialist Dave McHenry noted this:
1971-S: The 40% silver coins were issued as collectors' items, and as a result they are not difficult to locate. However, high-end grades such as MS-64 and MS-65 are very elusive. Proofs are fairly common in high levels such as Proof-64 and Proof-65, as they were handled with care at the San Francisco Mint, and were sold to collectors.
Certified coins: Many more collectors have sent specimens of this date to PCGS for third-party grad-ing, no doubt as a result of its 40% silver content.By January 1993, PCGS had certified 652 examples of this date at the MS"65 level, with 134 pieces graded MS-66, and one coin graded higher, an MS-67 speci-men. Many hundreds of this date are listed in the PCGS Population Report. Included in these figures are 403 Proof-66 coins, 401 Proof-67 coins, and 84 pieces at the Proof-68 level, with none higher. Of course, many millions of coins exist that have not been certified.
1. 1971-S silver dad Type 1. Lower relief than the following. Several Doubled Die obverses are known, with IN GOD WE TRUST doubled; the strength of the doubling varies.
1. 1971-S silver clad Type II. High relief, round Earth, weakly defined continents. Proofs only. Sold separately from the regular Proof sets. The "peg leg" variety (footless R in LIBERTY, from overpolished die), Breen-5746, has not shown up in any quantity.
Enabling legislation: Act of July 23, 1965 (clad metal), Act of December 31, 1970, and others.
Weight (silver clad): 379.512 grains (tolerance 4%);outer layers of .800 silver, .200 copper bonded to inner core of .209 silver, .791 copper.
Melt-down value in year minted: $.40.
Dies prepared (approximate): Obverse: 69; Reverse: 35.
Business strike mintage: 6,868,530.
Comment on availability, MS-65 or better: Very scarce at this level.
Comment on availability, MS-64: Scarce. Comment on availability, MS-63: Relatively available.
Comment on availability, MS-60 to 62: Most surviving coins are in this category and have many bagmarks. Very little care was taken at the Mint during the minting and packaging stage, leaving many coins marked and unattractive, a fact that did not sit well with the collectors who paid a premium for these pieces.
Comment on availability, VF-20 to AU-58: Very scarce. Because of their silver content, few were ever "spent."
Characteristics of striking: Often found weakly struck. In his book on Eisenhower dollars, Alan Hager calls the 1971-S 40% silver Ike "the worst strike of the entire series."(A Comprehensive Guide To Eisenhower Dollars In Accugrade: "Uncirculated, Prooflikes and Proofs, "by Alan Hager, 1986. Accugrade Inc., Greenwich, CT.)
Known hoards of Mint State coins: No hoards are known, although quantities are often available at major coin shows.
Dies prepared (approximate): Obverse: 1,706; Reverse: 1,219.
Proof mintage: 4,265,234.
Comment on availability, Proof-65 or better: Common.
Comment on availability, Proof-64: Common. Comment on availability, Proof-63: Common.
Comment on availability, Proof-60 to 62: Scarce. Comment on availability, less than Proof-60: Seldom seen, as most Proofs were preserved carefully.
High-grade Mint State coins are scarce; high grade Proofs are common.