On October 10, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin Act into law (Public Law 95-447). Susan B. Anthony was the first woman ever to be honored by having her likeness appear on a circulating United States coin. Additionally, the coin also has the honors of being the first small dollar coin (previous dollar coins were 38.1 mm).
Designed by Frank Gasparro, the small dollar coin was produced from 1979 to 1981 but, due to a lack of popularity, coinage was temporarily ceased. During 1998 vending outfits, post offices, and tolls required a new supply of small dollar coins. With the mint stockpiles of small dollars eliminated and with no authority to produce a new coin the U.S. mint choose to mint Susan B yet once again for the year of 1999, the final year before the Sacagawea dollar was issued.
On the obverse is a portrait of Susan B. Anthony with the word LIBERTY above and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to the right. Just below the portrait to the right are the designers initials FG. To the left of the portrait the mint mark can be found (P, D, or S). Finally, encircling the entire design are 13 stars that represent the original 13 colonies or first union states.
The reverse depicts the eagle on the moon design, identical to the reverse of the Eisenhower Dollar (also designed by Gasparro). The design comes from the patch of the Apollo 11 mission, and was chosen to commemorate the moon landing.
During 1979, two varieties exist. The first is known as "far date & narrow rim" (variety 1) and second is known as "near date & wide rim" (variety 2).
General Market Notes
There is only one coin type for the entire series and thanks to a combination of large mintage figures and little collector interest costs are very reasonable as there are no rarities in the series.
If you are interested in proofs this is the only area where cost may be an issue. Proofs were minted at the San Francisco mint and the mint marks came in two flavors; clear "S" or filled "S". Of the two varieties, the clear "S" carries a significant price over the standard filled "S" version.