Ron Guth: In 1970, Congress passed legislation authorizing a new one dollar coin to commemorate both the death of General Dwight David Eisenhower and man's first landing on the moon (on July 20, 1969). The obverse features a bust of Eisenhower facing left; the reverse copies the insignia of the Apollo 11 mission, minus the name of the mission. "Ike" dollars made for circulation were of a cupro-nickel composition. Special Uncirculated and Proof versions containing 40% silver were struck and sold at a premium to collectors. A new design was created to celebrate the 1976 Bicentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
For convenience, PCGS categorizes Eisenhower Dollars by types according to their metal content and design, as shown at right.
The 1976 Bicentennial coins can be found in two different variations. Variety 1 features a low relief design with thick, bold, non-serifed lettering. Variety 2 features a stronger design, with lettering that has serifs, is thinner and more delicate, yet higher in relief. The most obvious difference can be seen on the second S of STATES, where on Variety 1, the bottom tail of the S is considerably higher than the lowest bar of the E. On Variety 1, the peaks of the M in AMERICA come to sharp points.
Lee Lydston: Eisenhower Dollars may be further categorized by Reverse Die Varieties (RDVs), as follows:
RDV-001 = 1971, 1971D, 1971S Silver, 1972, 1972D
RDV-002 = 1972, 1972S Silver
RDV-003 = 1972, 1973, 1973D, 1973S Silver, 1974, 1974D, 1974S Silver, 1977, 1977D, 1978, 1978D
RDV-004 = 1976 Variety 1, 1976D Variety 1
RDV-005 = 1976 Variety 2, 1976D Variety 2
RDV-006 = 1971D Only
RDV-002 = 1971S Silver, 1972S Silver
RDV-003 = 1973S Clad & Silver, 1974S Clad & Silver, 1977S Clad, 1978S Clad
RDV-004 = 1976S Variety 1 Clad & Silver
RDV-005 = 1976S Variety 2 Clad