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Bicentennial Quarters, Half Dollars and Dollars

All quarter, half dollar and dollars coins produced by the United States Mint during the years 1975 and 1976 bore special designs on their reverse, commemorating the 200th anniversary (Bicentennial) of the independence of the United States.

The designs were chosen in an open contest announced by the U.S. Treasury in 1973. The reverse of the quarter bore a Colonial drummer, contributed by Jack L. Ahr. That of the half dollar coin bore an image of Independence Hall, Philadelphia submitted by Seth Huntington, and that of the dollar coin showed the Liberty Bell superimposed over an image of the Moon, submitted by Dennis R. Williams.

Each denomination was minted on cupronickel-clad planchets composed of 8.33 percent nickel and 91.67 percent copper, the standard composition for all circulating U.S. quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins minted after 1965. As collectors' items, limited numbers of each denomination were also minted in clad and 40 percent silver proof versions, mounted in a cardboard backing encased in transparent polystyrene. The composition of the silver variant is identical to the Kennedy half dollars minted from 1966 to 1970.

Bicentennial Quarter

Bicentennial Washington Quarter

The Bicentennial dollar coin exists in two major varieties, the result of a die change midway through production. One type has thicker lettering for the motto and denomination; the other is noticably thinner. Neither variety is particularly scarce.

Bicentennial Half Dollar

Bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollar

Because very large quantities of the circulation-variety commemoratives were minted, the bicentennial coins are still often found in everyday commerce and carry no premium over face value. In particular, the half dollar and dollar can be found in almost uncirculated condition if asked for at a bank, since the denominations themselves are unpopular and have remained in vaults for years. In all many millions of the Bicentennial coins, including the collectors' issues mentioned above, remain in uncirculated condition, but the sheer volume of available specimens keeps prices low.

Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar

Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar

All of these coins bore the date "1776-1976" on the obverse (hence there were no quarters, half dollar or dollar coins minted with the date "1975"). In 1977, the original reverse designs and normal dates returned.

Bicentennial Quarters, Half Dollars and Dollars

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