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Time to like Ike again

Do you remember ordering the 40 percent silver collector version of the Eisenhower dollar when it was introduced in 1971?

If you do, you also probably remember the disappointing results the coins generally achieved on the secondary market.

Purchasers of the brilliant uncirculated silver version in the blue envelope paid all of $3 for the coin. It sounds cheap now, but not so much then.

The proof version in the brown box cost $10 and that seemed exorbitant.

But we collectors had so few new options that we ordered the coins in large numbers.

For the BU coin, collectors grabbed 6,868,530 million coins and for the proof version, we took 4,265,234.

The logical result was prices dropped dramatically from issue prices on the secondary market and we ordered far fewer coins from the Mint in 1972 and 1973, making the 1973 pieces winners on the secondary market for a time. Then the Ike dollars went to sleep for more than a generation as silver fell after 1980 and general collector interest moved on to create Morgan dollar mania in the 1980s.

Now is the time to look at those 1971 coins again if you still have them.
Thanks to the bounty of $40-an-ounce silver, those coins now contain a healthy $12.65 worth of the precious metal.

It is nice to be bailed out of what seemed like a mistake for so long, and if you happen to have pieces that will grade out at the high end of the grading scale at a major third-party grading service, you will do even better.

They say patience is a virtue. What’s 40 years’ worth?