Silver Dollars for Commissioning
Naval Academy tradition dictates each newly commissioned Officer presents a Silver Dollar to the first person to render a salute to the new officer. Tradition dictates that the first salute should be rewarded with a full sized Silver Dollar coin. (No SBA's, Sacagawea's or Presidential, quarter sized alloy dollar coins).
It is usual that the Silver Dollar be one with some significance, usually minted in the year of Commissioning or an anniversary of the Officer's Birth Year or the 100th anniversary of the Commissioning, etc. Thus a Mid being Commissioned in 2008 might give out an older US Morgan Silver Dollar minted in 1886 (The 100th Anniversary of his birth year). There are several gaps in years of issue. There we no Silver Dollars minted in 1905 thru 1920 and 1936 thru 1971. (See coin info below...)
Silver Dollars may be purchased at any local coin shop and currently average about $12 to $18 on eBay. Restraint should be exercised in the purchase of a coin to be given away since prices of coins of this type vary greatly with quality and grade. You certainly don't want to give away a valuable collector coin. New American Eagle Silver Proof 1 oz Coins are also available directly from the US Mint at www.catalog.usmint.gov.
Less costly "Uncirculated" Silver Dollars are available in quantity from the US Mint and individually from local coin shops.
The two pics on this page are of the 2000 American Eagle that was presented to a Mid in May of 2000 to be given away in return for his first salute as a new Ensign.
For a larger view, click on each photo.
For a DOC file of these inserts with a gold image of Class of 2010 Crest that you can edit for your own personal use, Cick Here.
If your software asks for a User Name & Password, simply click on "Cancel" to proceed. Depending on the version of your browser, the DOC file may open in your browser (in which case you should "File | Save As" to save the file for editing in your word processor) OR it will open directly in MS Word so that you may edit the name and other information before printing it.
The 2" x 2" Vinyl Flips (Sleeves) may be obtained along with the coin at a Coin Shop in your local area.
If you are interested in silver coins for the first salute, you will be looking at one of the following:
Morgan Dollars - Minted from 1878 to 1904. These are considered the most beautiful of the silver dollars. While they were minted in 1904, and some like to give a 100 year old coin, they can be pricey. They were minted at three mints that year, in Philadelphia (no mint mark), New Orleans ('O" mint mark), and San Francisco ("S" mint mark). Of these, the most expensive is the S, the least the O. Morgans were not minted between 1905 and 1920, with the last Morgans minted in 1921. If you give one for your mid to keep as a keepsake, consider giving one that's either 100 years old, or better yet, how about one that's 100 years older than your mid? There are reasonably priced Morgans that were minted throughout the mid 1880's. As a keepsake you'd want to find one that is considered to be in uncirculated condition, and are typically priced from $40 and up. Otherwise, you can get a circulated Morgan for about $15.
Peace Dollars - Minted from 1921 to 1935. Many collectors do not consider this a pretty coin, so they are not as popular as the Morgans. There were a lot minted, and can be found in uncirculated condition for as little as $25. Circulated Peace dollars can be purchased for about $12.
Ike (Eisenhower) Dollars - Minted from 1971 to 1978. Not popular at all, and can be had for as little as $1.50 if you know where to look. Sometimes your bank may have them, and then they only cost $1. NOT considered a keepsake, obviously. However, the best way to give these as a keepsake is in the US Proof set, which contains all the S mint coins minted that year (penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half, and dollar).
Silver Eagles - Minted from 1986 to present. These are a throwback to the old silver dollars but contain a full ounce of pure silver. They are available in uncirculated condition as well as proof. Uncirculated coins are priced based on the silver market. These make a nice give away item and can be a keepsake as well.
Susan B Anthony Dollars - Minted from 1979 to 1981. They are not a full sized silver dollar, and were minted at the request of mass transit districts to assist in paying fees as they are more easily inserted into coin slots than paper bills. They are available for about $1.50 to $2 each, in uncirculated condition. You may find them at your bank for a $1. Again, best way to give as keepsake is in the proof set.
Sacagawea - Minted beginning in 2000 until the present. This is a SBA sized Clad Dollar coin made of copper core clad with a copper/zinc/manganese/nickel alloy. Sacagawea was the young Shoshone interpreter who from 1804 to 1806 assisted the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Northern Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean and back. Sacagawea contributed to the success of the expedition through her navigational, diplomatic, and translating skills.
Presidental Dollar Coins - Minted from 2005 to the present, these coins feature larger, more dramatic artwork, as well as edge-incused inscriptions of the year of minting or issuance, "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust" and the mint mark. The size, weight and metal composition of the new Presidential $1 Coin are identical to that of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar. These dollar coins are released into general circulation and may be obtained at any bank for $1 each.
USMC 230th Anniversary Proof Silver Dollar - Minted only in 2005 this coin was engraved by Norman E. Nemeth and struck from brilliant 90% silver. It features the raising of an American flag by the United States Marines atop Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima on its obverse and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, official emblem of the United States Marine Corps on the reverse. It would make a great mommento for the individual who receives a new Marine's first salute, especially if that individual is a relative or close family friend. It may not be available in anything less than Proof and Uncirculated condition. Only 600,000 were minted.
This is a lot of information, I know, but with it - you will know if you are paying a reasonable price for your silver dollar coin. Remember that coins offered on TV are generally priced way above retail - it's in the profit structure - and you can find your coins other places for more realistic prices.
One last thought: Other items you might want to consider as a keepsake:
- A proof set from the year your mid was born. Uncirculated proof sets are not only a good gift but may introduce a mid to coin collecting, which can be very profitable over time, even to a passive collector. If you are considering a proof set from the graduation year, they won't be available until mid year, so they can't be graduation gifts!
- Gold coins. The US Mint started producing gold bullion coins in 1986. Available in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 oz. and are priced based on gold market. More expensive than silver coins.
- Platinum coins. Same scenario as gold bullion coins above. More expensive than gold coins.
- Money clips made to hold silver dollars are also available. Can be purchased in stainless or sterling.
- Bezels are also available for coins. These are made to hold Morgans, Peace, gold and platinum bullion coins. These might make a nice gift for a female mid.