Few coins remain as sought after as the American Eagle Silver Dollar, which is also known as the world’s best-selling silver coin. Its design is based on Adolph A. Weinman’s 1916 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, one of the most stunning American coins ever struck.
The obverse depicts Lady Liberty striding confidently in a flowing gown while draped in the American flag. Her right arm is stretching towards a sunrise and her left arm is carrying branches of oak and laurel. The inscription LIBERTY surrounds the top half of her body and IN GOD WE TRUST is displayed beside her right leg. Below her left foot is the year of minting.
On the reverse is an eagle image created by sculptor, John Mercanti. The eagle has open wings and is situated behind a shield, just below thirteen stars. In the eagle’s beak is a banner with the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. The engravings surrounding the bird include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 1 OZ. FINE SILVER – ONE DOLLAR.
The American Eagle Silver Dollar program was signed into law by President Reagan in July 1985 and authorized by the Title II of Public Law 99-61. Initially released on November 24, 1986, the American Eagle Silver Dollar is composed of a minimum of one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver. The very first coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint in October 1986.
American Eagle Silver Dollars have been minted every year since the first coin was produced in 1986; however, annual mintages have varied over the years. Along with the different mintages of bullion, proof and burnished American Eagle Silver Dollars, anniversary collections and special commemoratives have also been struck. The bullion coins are quite common, whereas the proof coins are much rarer. Proof Silver Eagles also carry a much higher price and tend to be more popular among collectors.
You should also know that Bullion American Eagle Silver Dollars do not have mintmarks but we can tell you that they were minted in San Francisco, Philadelphia and West Point. The proof coins do have mintmarks and will either bear a P (Philadelphia), S (San Francisco) or W (West Point) mintmark as their place of production.
In 2006, the United States Mint decided to release its first ever Burnished American Eagle Silver Dollar. This coin was considered a special anniversary piece and was created to celebrate the coin’s 20th year on the production lines. Burnished coins have been released annually since their inception, with the exception of 2009. All of these coins have been produced at the West Point Mint and have a W mintmark.
Certain years of issue from the American Eagle Silver Dollar series are much harder to come by then the common dates, making it hard for collectors to acquire a complete set. This is because there are some years with significantly lower mintages. Most American Eagle Silver Dollars minted prior to 1999 are in demand, with the most important key dates being 1986, 1994 and 1996.
It comes as no surprise that everybody wants to own a 1986 coin but finding a first-year issue can be a real challenge. The other two key dates of 1994 (second lowest mintage year) and 1996 (lowest mintage year of all) are also extremely sought after and will be more costly. When it comes to proof American Eagle Silver Dollars, the coin to look out for is the 1995-W, which has a total mintage of only 30,125.
American Eagle Silver Dollars not only make attractive additions to any collection but they’re also ideal for diversifying an investment portfolio. With their weight, silver content and purity guaranteed by the U.S. Government, bullion enthusiasts are keen to get their hands on a piece from every year of issue.
By being so popular in the collecting and investment communities, these coins are very liquid and can be easily sold at any time. In addition to being beautiful collectibles and tangible investments, standard and special issue American Eagle Silver Dollars also make wonderful gifts. Just remember, the value of the coin depends on both the quality and mintage year, and it will require a little more work to hunt down the key dates.
When it comes to purchasing American Eagle Silver Dollars, you can always turn to Capital Gold Group for professional assistance. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about any United States Mint Coin, please feel free to call us or use the online form on our Contact page.