1974 Large and Small Dates

At the beginning of 1974 the master die used was the Large Date (Type I) die.  This was not the same
master die used in 1973.  The mint created this new master die, perhaps in anticipation a change in metal
composition.  The mint decided, midway through production, to create a new master die again.   This
second master die was the Small Date (Type II) die.  The Small Date die has a lower relief with slightly less
detail.  The mint has changed obverse master die in 1916 (less relief), 1917 (placing the initials V.D.B. on
the base of the bust, 1969 (because the die spread), 1974 twice, and 1982 (due to the change in
composition).  

These varieties can be referred to as 1974 large and small dates, 1974 type I and type II, or as 1974
transitional varieties.  

Unlike some of the other large/small date varieties that exist, the 1974 varieties are not as popular.  The
lack of popularity stems from two reasons:  1.  Neither the large or small date varieties are difficult to
obtain.  Each variety can be obtained in circulation.  The small dates seem to be slightly less common than
the large dates.  2.  The large and small dates  do not differ significantly from each other.    The best way to
distinguish the two types is by looking at the cross bar of the 4.  In the large date, the cross bar extends
further to the left than the small date.  The small date also has a lower relief.
Small date left, Large date right.