Great Expectations: In 1979 expectations were great for the success of the Susan B. Anthony dollar as an economical long-lasting substitute for the paper one-dollar bill. The initial production at the Philadelphia Mint amounted to a prodigious 360,222,000 coins, a figure which challenged the entire total mintage of Morgan dollars 1878-1904-and we thought they were made in large numbers! In fact, the first 1979-P Anthony dollars were "pre-struck," beginning on December 13, 1978.
As events unfolded, the Anthony dollars repeated what happened a century earlier in 1878 with the Morgan dollars; dÃ©jÃ vu. Once their initial curiosity was satisfied, the public ignored the newcomers to the coinage system. Anthony dollars piled up in bank vaults.
Mintmark used: For the first time in the dollar denomination, the mintmark P was used on Anthony coins to signify pieces issued by the Philadelphia Mint. The P mintmark was continued through the end of the Anthony series.
Narrow Rim and Wide Rim: Business strikes of the 1979-P Anthony dollar exist in two noticeably different varieties, called by the Guide Book the Nar-row Rim and Wide Rim (called by some others the Far Date and Near Date) issues. It is believed that the vast majority of 1979-P dollars struck were of the Narrow Rim variety. David Sundman, president of Littleton Coin Company, commented as follows:
Apparently, the Near Date [Wide Rim] variety was only produced for a very short time in the Susan B. Anthony production. The border on the "Near Date" variety is much wider, causing the date, 1979, to be very close to the edge of the border. Since our company has sold over one million sets of 1979-P-D-S Susan B. Anthonys and only found 1,600 pieces of the "Near Date" variety, we assume the production of this variety was very small. Most of those were found early in the game-in recent years we have not found any significant quantities. In the past year, I have sold more than half of what we found at $30.00 a coin. You still can find good coins today, if you are lucky.
There is nothing remarkable about any of the other coins in the Susan Anthony dollar set from our point of view. I actually think that the "Near Date" variety is far more important and more noticeable than the Type II 1979-S Proof and the Type II 1981-S Proof. The "Near Date" variety was really a design change.
On the other hand, Alan Herbert, of Numismatic News, stated this:(Contribution to the present book.)"Die statistics from the Mint indicate that at least 35% to 45% are of the Near Date; these are probably still in government vaults."
Time alone will resolve how "rare" the Wide Rim issues are. Mint sets: 2,526,000 Uncirculated 1979-P An-thony dollars were included in Mint sets sold by the Treasury to collectors; these sets contained the 1979-P and D dollars only (not the S), plus other denominations cent through half dollar-total face value, $3.82; issue price of set: $8.00.
1. Narrow Rim: The variety usually seen. Date farther from rim than the following. Sometimes called Far Date.
2. Wide Rim: Very scarce variety, probably ac-counting for only a small percentage of the coins actually distributed, from a higher mintage. Rim wider than the preceding, and date closer to it as a result. Sometimes called Near Date.
($1.25 is the minimum retail value assigned to any Anthony dollar, with the extra 25Â¢ reflecting handling cost. In nearly all instances, bulk quantities of these coins are worth just face value.)