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The 1999 Anthony Proof

posted Sep 9, 2012, 10:36 PM by OC Coin Club   [ updated Sep 16, 2012, 12:38 PM ]
By David Schwager, September 2012

The 1999 Anthony proof, excluded from both regular and silver proof sets, was sold separately.

The box has a plastic flimsiness not usually seen in US Mint product.

The public rejected several US coin series, but none were treated with more distaste than the Susan B. Anthony one dollar coin.  Standing out as an orphan among orphans is the coda to this series, the 1999 Anthony proof, a coin with a story to tell.

Few people were disappointed when the mint ended Anthony production after a three-year run from 1979 to 1981.  If the public did not accept the coin, however, it found use in vending machines installed in nearly every post office.  The machines paid out change in Anthonies and so many were used that by the late 1990s the government’s stockpile of dollar coins was nearly exhausted.  After an 18-year break, the mint struck 41 million 1999 Anthony dollars to meet the Postal Service’s needs.  The coin, which used the same design as the ’79 – ’81 issues, lasted only one year before being replaced by the 2000 Sacagawea.

Proof sets from 1979, 1980, and 1981 each included an S-mintmark Anthony dollar, but this same coin posed a problem in 1999.  The law authorizing silver proof sets, which began in 1992, specified that silver sets have the same coins as standard sets, but with each coin ten cents or higher made of 90% silver.  Silver Eisenhowers followed, to some extent, the long tradition of US silver dollars, but the United States had never made a silver small dollar and the idea seemed a poor fit for the silver proof set.  The mint chose to exclude the Anthony from both clad and silver 1999 proof sets.  Instead, it sold a P-mintmarked proof coin separately, using the capsule and jewelry box packaging similar to that used for modern commemoratives. 

Congress amended the silver proof set act later in 1999, allowing the mint to include the brass Sacagawea, Native American, and Presidential dollars in silver and clad proof sets from 2000 to today.  Today the 1999 Anthony proof is one of the better dates in the series (not including varieties), with a value of about $20 in Proof-65.  The coin completes a set and tells one of the many stories of United States coinage.