Susan B Anthony Coin

Susan B Anthony Coin

In the realm of numismatics and American history, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin stands out as a symbol of women’s empowerment and a tribute to one of the leading figures in the suffrage movement. Issued in 1979, this distinctive coin not only commemorates the accomplishments of Susan B. Anthony but also represents a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for gender equality in the United States.

The Genesis of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar:

The Susan B. Anthony dollar was conceived as a tribute to the influential suffragist who played a pivotal role in securing voting rights for women. The idea gained momentum in the 1970s when the women’s liberation movement was at its peak. The United States Mint decided to honor Susan B. Anthony by featuring her image on the new dollar coin, making her the first woman to be depicted on a circulating U.S. coin.

Design and Features:

The design of the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is a testament to the historical significance it represents. The obverse features a profile of Susan B. Anthony, designed by Frank Gasparro, a renowned Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. The reverse of the coin showcases an eagle landing on the moon, a nod to the Apollo 11 lunar landing that occurred just a decade before the coin’s issuance. The combination of these images creates a unique and powerful representation of the advancements made in both women’s rights and space exploration.

However, the coin’s small size (similar to that of a quarter) and its similarity in appearance to the quarter led to confusion among the public, resulting in limited acceptance and use in everyday transactions. As a result, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin did not gain widespread popularity and faced challenges in circulation.

Susan B. Anthony: A Pioneer for Women’s Rights:

Susan B. Anthony’s life and legacy are intrinsically linked to the fight for women’s rights. Born in 1820, she dedicated her life to advocating for social reform, including women’s suffrage. Anthony, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, co-founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, a key organization in the suffrage movement. Their tireless efforts eventually led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote.

By featuring Anthony’s likeness on a circulating coin, the U.S. Mint aimed to immortalize her contributions to American society and inspire future generations to strive for equality and justice.

Challenges and Controversies:

Despite its noble intentions, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin faced several challenges that hindered its acceptance. The most significant issue was its size and similarity to the quarter, leading to confusion among the public and businesses alike. Vending machines, parking meters, and other coin-operated devices struggled to differentiate between the two coins, causing inconvenience for users.

Another point of contention was the depiction of Anthony on the coin. Some critics argued that the portrayal did not do justice to her historical importance, citing issues with the likeness and overall design. These challenges, coupled with the public’s resistance to adopting a new coin, contributed to the limited success of the Susan B. Anthony dollar in circulation.

Collectibility and Historical Significance:

While the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin faced challenges in everyday transactions, it found a niche in the numismatic community. Collectors appreciated its historical significance and the tribute it paid to a pioneering figure in the fight for women’s rights. The coin became a symbol of the progress made in the struggle for gender equality and a tangible link to an era of social change.

Over the years, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin has become a sought-after item among coin enthusiasts and collectors. Its limited circulation and unique place in history make it a distinctive addition to numismatic collections. Today, the coin serves as a reminder of the strides made towards gender equality and the ongoing journey to achieve full recognition of women’s contributions in society.

The Continued Pursuit of Gender Equality:

While the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin commemorates a significant victory in the battle for women’s rights, it also serves as a reminder that the fight for equality is ongoing. In the years since the coin’s issuance, progress has been made, but challenges persist. Women continue to advocate for equal representation, fair wages, and the dismantling of barriers that hinder their advancement.

In 2020, the U.S. Treasury announced plans to release a new series of $5, $10, and $20 bills featuring prominent women from American history. This initiative aims to highlight the contributions of women to the nation’s development and further promote gender equality. The decision to redesign currency reflects a continued commitment to acknowledging and celebrating the diverse voices that have shaped the United States.


The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin holds a special place in the tapestry of American history, representing both the progress made in the fight for women’s rights and the challenges faced in achieving full recognition. While its limited success in circulation may have been a setback, the coin’s collectibility and historical significance endure. As a tangible tribute to Susan B. Anthony and the suffrage movement, the coin encourages reflection on the strides made towards gender equality and the ongoing journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *