1995 American Eagle set

How many sets still intact?
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Published : 11/13/11
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Can you tell me how many of the Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver dollars have been submitted to grading services? As you know, these were only available in the American Eagle 10th anniversary sets from the U.S. Mint. If this number is known, is it possible to know how many of the 10th Anniversary sets remain intact? I have the 10th, 20th and 25th anniversary sets and wonder how many of these sets may be available.

Greg Weisner

Address withheld

Some background for the benefit of our readers: In Coin World’s November 2011 Special Edition, Paul Gilkes wrote a feature story on the American Eagle silver dollar program. Regarding the Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar, which was part of a five-coin set including four American Eagle gold coins, he wrote: “In 1995, Mint officials decided to celebrate the 10th year of production for the gold and silver bullion coin programs by offering a special Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar, the first Proof of the type to be struck at the West Point Mint. Until 1995, all of the Proof versions had been struck at either the San Francisco Mint or the Philadelphia Mint, with only one facility striking the Proof version each year.”

With only 30,125 strikes, the Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar is the key date of the series. As such, many were broken out of their sets for grading purposes.

By accessing the population reports of Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty Corp., ANACS and other third-party grading services, it is possible to tally the number of Proof 1995-W silver dollars those services graded and encapsulated, but an estimate of how many intact 10th anniversary sets survive based on that number would be inaccurate, primarily because it is not known how many coins among the recorded submissions were resubmitted and resubmitted again for third-party grading.

Not only do collectors resubmit coins to the same grading service, they will frequently submit coins from one service to another, in hopes of achieving a better grade.

As well, it is impossible to know whether any of the Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver coins have been lost or even stolen over the past 16 years.

Examining the marketplace to see how many of these sets are selling is probably as good a determiner as any for their current availability, though it still won’t provide a rock-solid number. Checking Internet auction websites such as eBay or contacting dealers who advertise in Coin World may provide some information.

Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins or other items for examination without prior permission from staff member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to emartin@coinworld.com or call 800-673-8311, Ext. 274.

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