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American Silver Eagles - A Coin Series for All Collectors
So how did the the American Silver Eagle become a reality? In 1985 The Liberty Coin Act was passed into law. This amended bill allowed silver bullion coins to be issued and minted. At the time, the US Government was trying to figure out a way to sell off stocked piles of silver, but didn't want to overwhelm the silver market price. The answer: minting and distributing silver-bearing coins. Then on October 29. 1986 the first American Silver Eagle was struck at the San Francisco Mint.
The obverse design of the Silver Eagle comes from Adolph A. Weinman's Walking Liberty Half Dollar. His design was used from 1916 to 1947 and made in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The Walking Liberty Half Dollar is a wildly popular coin design. It is known for it's great detail and beautiful overall design. It makes sense that the Mint would translate this design to the American Silver Eagle. The reverse designer is John Mercanti and it bears a heraldic eagle. The eagle has appeared on a great amount of United States coinage. It is as patriotic as our flag, Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty. Mercanti's eagle design is somewhat of a formal design compared to a flying eagle or a eagle looking right or left. His design compliments Weinman's obverse perfectly.
American Silver Eagles have been produced in the following formats over the past 28 years: Bullion, Proof, Reverse Proof, Burnished and Enhanced Mint State. The variety of formats have made it interesting and exciting for collectors. The 2006 20th Anniversary Set was the first time we saw the Reverse Proof design and again five years later for the 25th Anniversary Set. This special design has helped in the popularity of the series and the desire for the Mint to do new and interesting modern coins.
The 1995-W Proof American Silver has proven to be a challenge for most Silver Eagle lovers. It was a special release that was only able to be purchased through the 10th Anniversary Set and only 30,125 were minted. This has become the key coin in the American Silver Eagle Set. Recently, one sold at auction at GreatCollections in Proof 70 Deep Cameo by PCGS for $86,000.
There is no doubt the American Silver Eagle is a staple in modern coin collectors' collections." From its initial inception to its various anniversary releases, the American Silver Eagles has proven time and time again that it stays in high demand." But what will its future hold?" The US Mint is currently coming off three consecutive years of releasing some sort of American Silver Eagle Anniversary Set." Are they saturating the market?" Will collectors be overwhelmed if the US Mint continues to release special Silver Eagle releases?" In what direction will the US Mint take the American Silver Eagle program?" Collectors, investors and curious silver buyers eagerly await the US Mint's next move.
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