There are two varieties of the “S” mintmark used in 1979 for all proof coin denominations.  The type 1 mintmark has a dome shape with the center of the ridge higher, like a mountain peak [1].  It is very unclear, with the details significantly blended together and the center loops of the "S" being very faint [2]. This variety is therefore commonly referred to as "filled mintmark",  although this is not always a way to distinguish it.

The type 2 mintmark (often called "clear mintmark”) was used in the later part of 1979, all of 1980 and the first part of 1981 and is similar to the type 1 mintmark which was used in 1981. This mintmark has an obvious ridgeline which is of a uniform height [3] and the center loops of the “S” are usually more clear and distinct [4].

Note also that on the type two there is a chance that  the mint mark could be filled (see picture below) as the dies wear out.

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Below are more samples of type 1 and 2 mintmarks from each denomination.

Note the stages of die wear shown in the different pictures.

1979 S Type 1

Lincoln Penny

Roosevelt Dime

Washington Quarter

Kennedy Half Dollar

1979 S Type 2

1979 S Type 2

1979 S Type 1

Susan B. Anthony Dollar

1979 S Type 1

1979 S Type 1

1979 S Type 1

1979 S Type 2

Jefferson Nickel

1979 S Type 2

1979 S Type 1

1979 S Type 2

1979 S Type 2

How to Distinguish 1979 S Type 1 and 2 Proof Coins

Text Box: 1
Text Box: 2
Text Box: 3
Text Box: 4

Type 2 From Worn Dies

1979 Type 2

See our other guides :

                 1981 Proof Type 1 and 2 guide


                 1970 Cent Large and Small Date guide


                 1858 Large and Small Letters Flying Eagle cent


                 The Cents of the 1940’s


                 1982 Lincoln Memorial Penny 7 Varieties

Type 1

Type 2










1979 S Type 1 Nickel


1.         High center peak

2.          Faint loops










1979  S Type 2 Nickel


3.         Uniform ridgeline

4.         Clearer loops