Susan B. Anthony Dollars (1979-1999)
By 1979, half dollars were rarely seen in circulation. The proliferation of vending machines, arcade machines and other coin-operated devices, most of which dispensed goods or services worth more than a quarter dollar (the highest denomination coin in general circulation at the time) prompted a call for a convenient coin of high value, while a Treasury-sponsored study showed that a metallic dollar had a useful life in circulation of 16 years or more, as compared to only 18 months for a paper dollar. Thus, the new small-diameter dollar was conceived. Frank Gasparro produced the designs.