The coin: American Eagle silver bullion coin
Struck by: U.S. Mint
Available sizes: 1 ounce
First issue: 1986
Design: Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes described the obverse and reverse
designs in an article from the April 23, 2007, issue of Coin World:
"The obverse of the American Eagle silver dollar bears an
adaptation of sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design; it
appeared on the obverse of the half dollar from 1916 through 1947. The
reverse depicts a Heraldic Eagle design created by U.S. Mint
Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti. Mercanti, who has been a member of
the Mint’s engraving staff since 1974, is currently serving as the
Mint’s supervisory design and master tooling development specialist."
How to buy them: More from Gilkes:
"The Mint does not sell the regular Uncirculated bullion coins
directly to the public. Instead it sells the bullion coins to a
network of authorized purchasers, who acquire the coins from the Mint
for the spot price of the precious metal on a given day on the metals
market plus a small premium. The authorized purchasers may then sell
the bullion American Eagles to dealers and the public."
The U.S. Mint provides a web page collectors and investors can
use to find dealers who sell the bullion coins.
Fun fact: More ounces of American Eagle silver bullion coins
were sold in 2014 than any year since the program began in 1986. In
all, 44,006,000 ounces were sold.