Most 1972 Eisenhower dollars were struck with a copper-nickel clad metallic base, as most large-denomination U.S. coins were beginning in 1971. However, with approval from the U.S. Treasury, the United States Mint struck around 4 million Eisenhower dollars with a 40 percent silver metal content. These silver Eisenhower dollars were all made at the San Francisco mint and were offered in both proof and uncirculated varieties.
Uncirculated Eisenhower dollars are commonly referred to as “blue pack” Eisenhower dollars while proof specimens usually go by the moniker “brown pack.” What’s up with those color-coded designations? The U.S. Mint offered both silver dollars in various types of packaging, with the “blue pack” referring to the blue envelope in which the Eisenhower dollar was packaged with a blue and silver plastic token. The “brown pack” refers to the brown (woodgrain-style) box that contains a hard plastic display case in which the proof Eisenhower dollar is held.
A breakdown of the mintages for these two types of Eisenhower dollars shows that 2,193,056 uncirculated 1972-S Eisenhower dollars were made while 1,811,631 proof 1972-S dollars were struck. Both varieties are highly sought after by coin collectors who assemble date-and-mintmark sets of Eisenhower dollars, and both coins are worth around $10 each when the silver spot price is at $20 per ounce.