American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins were first struck in the San Francisco US Mint in 1986 with a face value of one dollar and are often referred to as American Eagle Silver Dollars. They were only made in the 1 troy ounce size with a purity of 99.9% pure silver and the US government guarantees the weight and purity of each coin. The Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the USA and therefore it can be included in an Individual Retirement Account (Gold IRA). The American Silver Eagle Proof is also available for investors and collectors and is always ahead of the spot silver price per ounce.
Design Of The Silver Eagles.
The obverse design (face side) was taken from the Walking Liberty Half Dollar which is an all time favorite design of the US public. The original was designed by Adolf A. Weinman for the half dollar which was minted from 1916 to 1947. The face of the coin shows a very elegant walking Lady Liberty with the words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” along with the year of issue.
The heraldic design on the rear by John Mercanti shows an eagle clutching arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right. The eagle is grasping a standard in its beak with the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “One From Many”. Over the eagle there are the 13 stars representing the original colonies and above are the words “United States Of America” proudly displayed. Beneath the eagle is the inscription “1 oz. Fine Silver~One Dollar”.
The Silver American Eagle bullion coin does not bear a mint mark, only the proof version. They were originally only struck in San Francisco until 1998 and for 1999 and 2000 the minting changed to West Point, New York and Philadelphia. From 2001 onwards the American Silver Eagle was only struck at West Point.
American Silver Eagle Proof Coins
are also produced by the US Mint for the benefit of collectors. A special minting process is needed where the blanks are manually fed into specially produced dies for striking. This type of proof minting requires the blanks to be struck a number of times which creates a wonderful finish on the coin. After inspection the American Eagle silver proof coins are sealed in a special capsule and mounted in a velvet case along with their certificate of authenticity.
Proof American Silver Eagle coins
were made at all three locations at different times. San Francisco struck the proof with the “S” mint mark from 1986 to 1992. Philadelphia applied the “P” mint mark from 1993 to 2000 and the West Point Mint made the proof with the “W” mark from 2001 onwards with the exception of 2009 when there were no proofs minted. The mint mark can be located on the reverse of the coin between the olive branch and the word “Fine”.
American Eagle Silver Bullion coins first became available in November 1986 but because of the world wide economic recession the demand from investors far outweighed the supply of this much sought after coin. Many investors hedged their portfolios with precious metals and the Silver Eagle was very soon sold out. In February 2008 the US Mint was unable to continue supplying its authorized dealers with the quantities they were requesting and decided to suspend the sale of the silver American Eagle. In April 2008 the US Mint introduced rationing of the coin to its dealers on a week by week basis.