There is no single silver bullion specimen in the world more popular than the American Silver Eagle. Introduced by the United States Mint in 1986, the Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States of America and is now available in the modern era in three versions: BU, proof, and burnished. You will also find American Silver Eagles in gilded and colorized finishes, proof coin sets, and certified options. More recently, JM Bullion introduced its own MintSealed American Silver Eagles as yet another option for investors. Explore all of your American Silver Eagle options now!
The leading coin in the American Silver Eagle Series is the Brilliant Uncirculated version. The investment-grade option in the series, the BU American Silver Eagle is produced by the US Mint each year and the mint is legally mandated to strike the bullion coins to meet demand from the investing public. The BU version of the coin never features a mint mark, but is known to have been produced by the San Francisco Mint from 1986 to 1998, the Philadelphia Mint in 1999 and 2000, and the West Point Mint since 2001. During the Great Recession, the San Francisco Mint was pressed back into service coining the American Silver Eagle starting in 2011 to help meet the intense demand for silver as markets stammered and the price of silver skyrocketed to an all-time high.
The Great Recession proved to be a catalyst for some of the largest mintage figures any silver bullion coin series has ever seen. Prior to 2008, the US Mint had seen mintages exceed 10 million coins in a single year just three times dating back to 1986:
With the onset of the Great Recession and the intense demand for silver it drove for the next eight years, the US Mint would go on to sell more Silver Eagles between 2008 and 2015 than it did in the 22 years prior. From 1986 to 2008, the US Mint sold roughly 156.1 million Silver Eagles. From 2008 to 2015, the US Mint sold more than 293 million Silver Eagles. The top mintage records in the series were all set during this period:
BU American Silver Eagle coins from the United States Mint are available to purchase at JM Bullion with individual plastic flips, mint tubes of 20 coins, or Monster Boxes of 500 coins.
Introduced in the same year as the BU American Silver Eagle, the Proof American Silver Eagle coin has been available to collectors since 1986. The mintage of these proof silver coins is enough to make some other BU coin collections blush. The Proof American Silver Eagle is, in the 21st century, available without mintage caps on production. When the series was initially available it did feature mintage caps in certain years, but the US Mint of failed to reach those rather high mintage caps. As is traditional with proof coinage, the highest mintage figure in the history of this version remains the 1986 release at 1.446 million coins. However, other mintage years have posted impressive sales, including:
It’s important to note that anniversary date marks drove some of these high mintage figures. For example, the next two highest mintages in 2006 and 2011 also represented the 20th and 25th-anniversary dates, respectively, in the series.
Proof American Silver Eagle coins have frosted design elements overlaying mirrored fields. The coins are only available from the US Mint in a presentation box and come with a Certificate of Authenticity from the mint as well. The Proof American Silver Eagle does have one missing date mark. No coins were issued in this version in 2009 as the US Mint diverted all available silver blanks to coining the BU version of the coin.
Introduced in 2006, the Burnished American Silver Eagle made its debut as the United States Mint celebrated the 20th anniversary of the collection. The Burnished American Silver Eagle is an alternative collectible piece for buyers that offers its own distinctive visuals. Each coin has matte visual elements on the blank and ships, like the Proof American Silver Eagle, inside of individual presentation cases with a Certificate of Authenticity offered from the mint.
The Burnished American Silver Eagle is the lowest minted of the options in the series. It had respectable mintage figures from 2006 to 2008, peaking at 621,333 coins in 2007. Recent years have seen mintages settle at or below 250,000 annually on average.
Burnished American Silver Eagles are prepared before coining by spinning the blanks in a drum with a polishing medium. This gives the blank its matte visuals. The blanks are removed from the drum by gloved hands, struck in the coining press, and removed by gloved hands for immediate packaging to ensure the burnished visuals are never spoiled.
Like the Proof American Silver Eagle, the Burnished American Silver Eagle was suspended during the Great Recession. Unlike the Proof Eagle, the Burnished Eagle was suspended for two years and thus is missing the 2009 and 2010 date marks.
The United States Mint does not engage in colorization or gilded finishes on its American Silver Eagle Coins. However, you can find these coins from third-party authorized dealers such as Emporium Hamburg. These products are both BU versions of the American Silver Eagle purchased by the likes of Emporium Hamburg and enhanced with colorized lacquers on the obverse side, or the thin layer of 24-karat gold on the gilded version of the coin.
Each year, you will find that a full Proof American Silver Eagle Coin Set is available for purchase. Growing with each year, these sets offer one Proof American Silver Eagle Coin from each of the date marks that exist in the series to date. Each coin comes with its own box and Certificate of Authenticity in the set, and of course, lacks the 2009 date mark.
With every date mark in the series, you can also find Certified American Silver Eagles. This applies to all three versions of the coin with certification taking place at either the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation or the Professional Coin Grading Service. Certified Silver Eagles are assessed for the condition of the strike and mint luster, the presence or lack thereof of flaws, and, in the case of proofs, the visual brilliance of the fields.
Examples of the grades you will find include:
For those who want the utmost in security and condition for BU American Silver Eagles, JM Bullion offers our MintSealed American Silver Eagles. Our MintSealed American Silver Eagles are only available in the original US Mint tube of 20 coins. Each of these tubes comes from a Monster Box we received. Our vault team has inspected each individual tube to ensure it was never opened following the insertion of the coins and packaging at the US Mint. We then seal the coins with plastic wrap so you know nothing about these coins has changed from the moment each one entered the tube at the US Mint. Each individual tube holds 20 American Silver Eagle coins, each one in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
The American Silver Eagle coins have two of the most important coin designs in American history. On the obverse is Walking Liberty. Designed by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916 and used on the US Half Dollar from 1916 to 1947, Walking Liberty features the left-profile figure of Liberty walking toward the sun on the horizon as she wears the American flag over her shoulder and carries branches of oak and laurel in her left hand.
For the reverse field, the American Silver Eagle features the heraldic eagle of the United States of America. Introduced in 1792 by Robert Scot on the first American coins, the heraldic eagle has been updated constantly throughout American history and features on these coins in a 1986 design from John Mercanti. The design shows the American bald eagle in front-facing relief with its head looking toward the olive branch in one talon as the other talon clutches the arrows of war. The bird has the US national shield on its chest and a triangular cluster of 13 stars over its head.
The American Silver Eagle features 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver with a face value of $1 (USD). JM Bullion regularly carries this extremely popular coin and our customer service team is available to help answer any questions you have about this product. You can call us at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or email us directly.