Honoring both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the first landing of man on the moon, this design is the work of Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro, whose initials are on the truncation and below the eagle. The reverse is an adaptation of the official Apollo 11 insignia. Collectors’ coins were struck in 40% silver composition, and the circulation issue in copper-nickel.
After 1971, the dies for the Eisenhower dollar were modified several times by changing the relief, strengthening the design, and making Earth above the eagle more clearly defined. Low-relief (Variety I) dies, with flattened Earth and three islands off Florida, were used for all copper-nickel issues of 1971, Uncirculated silver coins of 1971, and most copper-nickel coins of 1972. High-relief (Variety II) dies, with round Earth and weak or indistinct islands, were used for most Proofs of 1971, all silver issues of 1972, and the reverse of some scarce Philadelphia copper-nickel coins of 1972. Improved high-relief reverse dies (Variety III) were used for late 1972 Philadelphia copper-nickel coins and for all subsequent issues. Modified high-relief dies were also used on all issues beginning in 1973.
A few 1974-D and 1977-D dollars in silver clad composition were made in error.
The national significance of the Bicentennial of the United States was highlighted with the adoption of new reverse designs for the quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Nearly a thousand entries were submitted after the Treasury announced in October 1973 that an open contest was to be held for the selection of the new designs. After the field was narrowed down to 12 semifinalists, the judges chose the rendition of the Liberty Bell superimposed on the moon to appear on the dollar coins. This design is the work of Dennis R. Williams.
The obverse remained unchanged except for the dual date “1776–1976,” which appeared on these dollars made during 1975 and 1976. These dual-dated coins were included in the various offerings of Proof and Uncirculated coins made by the Mint. They were also struck for general circulation. The lettering was modified early in 1975 to produce a more attractive design.