A collector paid a record-setting $86,654.70 on March 31 to acquire a Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 70 Deep Cameo 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar in an online auction conducted by GreatCollections.
Ian Russell, president and founder of GreatCollections, said April 1 that the unnamed collector who purchased the coin was not seeking to complete a collection of Proof silver American Eagles. The collector had waited years to find a premium example of the key date for the entire Proof American Eagle silver series and was willing to pay what it would take, Russell said.
“This is what happens when you have an extremely popular series,” Russell said. “This collector was determined to win it.”
The winning bidder was one of 21 bidders who placed a combined 104 bids during the auction. The final closing bid was $78,777. The addition of the 10 percent buyer’s fee brought the final purchase price to $86,654.70.
“The 1995-W is the ultimate key to the series with the lowest mintage and is notorious for imperfections, explaining the low percentage graded at the perfect Proof-70 DCAM grade,” Russell said. “In addition to the technical points about the coin itself, the general market for silver Eagles continues to grow at a fast pace ... probably faster than any other coin series at the moment.”
Eight coins have been assigned the grade Proof 70 Deep Cameo by PCGS, with another almost 1,600 coins graded Proof 69 Deep Cameo by PCGS. The Proof 69 Deep Cameo coins regularly sell for between $3,500 and $4,000 each, Russell said.
The previous record for any silver American Eagle, also a Proof 1995-W coin, according to Russell, was $40,000 paid for a PCGS Proof 70 Deep Cameo coin offered in a Teletrade auction that closed March 15, 2010.
Part of a set
The Proof 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar was available only in a five-coin 10th Anniversary set. The set also included Proof 1995-W 1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce gold American Eagles.
The five-coin set was offered at the same price, $999, that was being charged by the Mint for the four-coin gold Proof American Eagle set. Mint marketers promoted the silver dollar as a bonus to collectors who had previously purchased gold Proof American Eagles.