Established by the July 9, 1985 passage of the Liberty Coin Act, the uncirculated American Silver Eagle Coin is the official silver bullion product of the United States. These beautiful bullion coins are a beacon to investors around the globe, with each coin containing 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver backed by the United States government. The American Silver Eagle is arguably the most popular silver bullion coin available to investors today.
The American Silver Eagle coins from the United States Mint are available in three different versions. The two collectible versions of the Silver Eagle are known as the Proof Silver Eagle and Burnished Silver Eagle. Both coins have beautiful luster, matte finishes, and some mirrored elements with low mintage figures that collectors prefer. The uncirculated American Silver Eagle is the bullion version of the coin, an investment-grade silver coin that is ideal for diversifying any retirement portfolio.
The United States Mint released the American Silver Eagle for the first time in 1986, with the first coins available to purchase on November 24, 1986. The Silver Eagle is only issued 1 oz silver with a face value of $1 (USD) backed by the federal government. The uncirculated Silver Eagles arrive in BU condition from the US Mint. A brilliant uncirculated coin has no signs of wear and tear, but you may notice minor flaws such as contact marks, spotted surfaces, breaks in the luster.
Under the stipulations of the Liberty Coin Act, the United States Mint is legally obligated to produce the uncirculated American Silver Eagle each year to meet investor demand. In 2009, with silver prices surging higher and silver stores stretched, the US Mint suspended the production of its proof and burnished coins to redirect all silver bullion blanks to the production of uncirculated Silver Eagles. The uncirculated coin has been struck in every year since 1986, while the proof coin was suspended in 2009 and the burnished coin in 2009 and 2010.
All versions of the American Silver Eagle coin feature the same design elements. The obverse side carries one of the more iconic images ever to feature on an American coin. Adolph A. Weinman’s depiction of Walking Liberty from the nation’s half-dollar coin (1916-1947) is found on the Silver Eagle’s obverse. Here, Lady Liberty walks toward the sun on the horizon with the American flag over her shoulders and the oak and laurel branches in her left arm. Engravings on this face include the word “Liberty” above her figure, “In God We Trust” at her heel, and the year of issue along the bottom of the design field.
The reverse side of the American Silver Eagle coinage features the heraldic eagle of the United States. This particular design has been modified and modernized countless times over the course of American history. It was first issued in 1794 on the very first coins issued by the new United States Mint in Philadelphia. This 1986 version was modified by John Mercanti to feature a powerful bald eagle behind the national shield. The eagle clutches the olive branch of peace in its right talon and the arrows of war in its left. The ribbon in its beak reads “E Pluribus Unum,” and there is a cluster of 13 stars in a triangle above its head representing the original colonies of America.
For the 2021 release of the American Silver Eagle, the United States Mint unveils a new design on the reverse field of the Silver Eagle for the first time in the program’s history. The new American bald eagle depiction on the reverse field of the coins comes from Emily Damstra, an accomplished designer in the Artistic Infusion Program at the United States Mint. This new American bald eagle design replaces the heraldic eagle of the United States created by John Mercanti in 1986 and it features:
The new American Silver Eagle reverse design will debut by mid-2021. With the COVID-19 pandemic halting, at times, and delaying the production schedule at the US Mint, the new design was not chosen and ready for coining at the start of the 2021 Silver Eagle production schedule. As a result, the early 2021 silver coins will feature the current John Mercanti design until the US Mint is ready with new images.
One of the more distinctive options available to you at JM Bullion is our MintSealed program. The coins in the MintSealed program come from Monster Boxes from the respective mint. When the Monster Box arrives at our vault, our team members assess the condition of the tubes inside the Monster Box. Once we’ve verified that these tubes of 20 American Silver Eagles have not been handled or tampered with in any way, we seal each of the mint tubes in protective plastic and enclose the plastic seal with a MintSealed sticker that includes a QR code for greater details on the coins within.
Although the uncirculated American Silver Eagles do not feature a mint mark on either side like their proof and burnished counterparts, the US Mint does not hide the production site of the coins. From 1986 to 1998, the San Francisco Mint produced these silver bullion coins. In 1999 and 2000, the Philadelphia Mint location handled the production of uncirculated American Silver Eagles. Since 2001, the uncirculated American Silver Eagle has been struck by the West Point Mint. However, due to the immense demand for Silver Eagles during and after the Great Recession, the US Mint has been forced at times to offer supplemental striking back at the San Francisco Mint. This has taken place off and on since 2011 as demand necessitates.
As mentioned earlier, the mintage figures for the uncirculated American Silver Eagle are determined by demand for the coins. The debut 1986 coins had a mintage of 5.393 million, while the second year of issue saw demand skyrocket to 11.442 million. Since that time, demand for the coins has ebbed and flowed with economic conditions and the price of silver per ounce. The following is a full list of mintage figures for the American Silver Eagle bullion coins from the most recent year back to the debut release in 1986:
American Silver Eagle coins are packaged differently depending upon the version of the coin purchased. The Silver Eagle bullion coins are available in one of three types of packaging. Individual coins in the Silver Eagle bullion series are available inside of protective packaging. For multiples of 20 coins, the US Mint offers the Silver Eagles inside of protective plastic tubes. For multiples of 500 coins, the US Mint houses the coins inside of Monster Boxes that feature a US Mint strap seal around the box. The box itself contains a total of 25 tubes of 20 coins.
While the standard uncirculated American Silver Eagle coin is struck each year by the United States Mint for investors, there are also variations in the types of uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins available. Some of these may attract collectors in addition to investors. The United States Mint does not apply colorization or gilded finishes to any of its products, but third-party dealers will take the bullion version of the coin and apply these finishes for a unique look. Here’s a rundown of these variations on the uncirculated American Silver Eagle:
As you look to buy silver, you’ll find the uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins available in individual packaging or bulk options. Individual American Silver Eagle coins are available in protective plastic. Multiples of 20 are available inside of plastic tubes. Multiples of 500 are offered inside of a US Mint Monster Box. If you have any questions about uncirculated American Silver Eagles, please feel free to reach out to JM Bullion. You can call us at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or email us directly.