When it comes to investing in silver bullion, the American Eagle Silver is a top choice for investors and collectors alike. This popular annual release from the US Mint is consistently among the best-selling bullion coins in the world, learn all about this iconic coin program right here at Provident Metals.
The Liberty Coin Act of 1985 authorized the production of an official silver bullion coin for the United States. By November of 1986, the American Eagle Silver was born and released. This coin was released in a BU version and a proof version. Just a 1 oz coin of each was released as a total of 6,839,783 were issued in 1986 across both versions.
The coin program has released coins in the series annually, ever since. Unlike its gold counterpart, the silver series just releases a 1 oz coin every year. In 2006, burnished coins made their debut. Notably, due to economic uncertainty, proof coins took a one-year hiatus in 2009 while burnished coins had a two-year break from 2009-2010.
Similar to the American Eagle Gold Coin, the American Eagle Silver Coin had the same designs on both the obverse and reverse from 1986 to the first half of 2021. From 1916 to 1947, the United States released a coin called the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. These coins featured a unique Walking Liberty design, created by Adolph A. Weinman. This design would serve as the basis for the American Eagle Silver Series.
The obverse of these coins features Liberty walking to her left, toward the sun. Liberty is seen draped in the American flag while also holding onto oak branches. This design has remained on the obverse of every issue in this series since 1986.
The reverse of the American Eagle Silver Coin from 1986 to 2021 was the heraldic eagle design of John Mercanti. This heraldic eagle was shown in front-facing relief, looking to its left. A shield is displayed on its chest and 13 five-pointed stars are shown above the eagle’s head.
For the latter half of 2021, the US Mint changed the design of the reverse. This design change is now seen on every post-2021 release. The heraldic eagle of John Mercanti was replaced by a flying eagle designed by Emily Damstra. Created in 2021, this design shows an eagle flying in left-profile relief, holding a branch in its talons, with its wings spread wide.
While BU coins in the series represent a large portion of the total mintage in the series, proof, and burnished coins are immensely popular as well. Like their BU counterpart, only a 1 oz coin is released for each variation every year.
Proof coins are more of a collector’s item. These coins have frosted design elements with a mirror-like background. These coins debuted in 1986 alongside the BU version. The first proof coin had a mintage of over 1 million. These coins have been released annually outside of 2009.
Burnished coins, also known as uncirculated coins, are struck using a special coining process similar to proof strikes. However, these coins look more like BU coins than Proofs. These coins were introduced in 2006 and have been released annually except for 2009 and 2010. Proof and Burnished coins feature the same designs as the BU coins in the series.
Certified coins are another popular option for people wanting to invest in American Eagle Silver Coins. A certified coin is a coin that was sent to either the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) for grading.
Each coin is graded on the Sheldon Scale of 1 to 70, with a 70 meaning a perfect specimen. BU, proof, and burnished coins can all be sent in for grading. Certified coins offer collectors and investors more value as they know exactly what they’re getting and what kind of condition the coin will be in.
Contact the Provident Metals customer service team at 1-800-313-3315 with any questions you may have about American Eagle Silver Coins. Our team can also be reached via email or through our online chat feature.