The major grading services are grading and encapsulating 2011
American Eagle bullion silver coins struck at the San Francisco Mint
with special grading inserts designating the coins as having been
produced at the facility.
The grading services will be so designating only coins that are
delivered to them in the sealed 500-coin boxes, as originally received
by the U.S. Mint’s authorized purchasers, since labels on the shipping
boxes will be the only indication the coins were struck by the San
None of the coins struck at either facility bear the S or W Mint
mark designating the Mint of manufacture. U.S. Mint officials said the
strikes from the San Francisco Mint will be identical to those
produced at the West Point Mint, since they will be produced on
identical planchets, on identical presses and under the same
Special grading inserts
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (www.ngccoin.com) in Sarasota, Fla.,
is certifying coins from the sealed 500-coin boxes received during the
30-day period starting June 3 with grading inserts designating the
coins as “Early Releases,” according to Janell M. Armstrong, marketing
coordinator for NGC’s parent entity, Certified Collectibles Group. The
insert will also include the phrase “Struck at San Francisco Mint” and
the date reflected as 2011 (S), with the Mint mark in parentheses,
since the coins are struck sans Mint mark.
After the 30-day period, coins received by NGC in boxed
submissions will be encapsulated with a gold-banded label without
designation as Early Releases, but still carry the remaining
identifying information as a San Francisco Mint product.
Professional Coin Grading Service (www.pcgs.com) in Newport Beach, Calif.,
will be encapsulating the coins from the sealed 500-coin boxes it
receives during the 30-day period that began June 3 with grading
inserts designating each coin under its FirstStrike program.
After the 30 days, bulk coin submissions will be encapsulated with
the standard blue PCGS label, but still carry the designation “Struck
at San Francisco.” The date in both instances is recorded on the label
as 2011, without an S Mint mark in parentheses, according to Miles
Standish, PCGS vice president and senior grader.
Michael Fahey, senior numismatist at ANACS (www.anacs.com) in Denver, said June 7
that the grading service will encapsulate bulk submissions from the
sealed 500-coin boxes and designate the coins with grading inserts as
being San Francisco Mint strikes, although he did not have specifics
on what the insert will look like. Fahey said the insert will likely
also include the Mint mark with the date to appear as “2011 (S).”
Randy Campbell, senior grader at Independent Coin Graders (www.icgcoin.com) in Tampa, Fla.,
said June 7 that the firm will likely grade bulk submissions, but the
management of the grading service will have to make the final decision.
The grading services will not use grading inserts to identify
coins struck at the West Point Mint. The West Point facility’s
production will comprise the bulk of the U.S. Mint’s overall 2011
American Eagle silver bullion coin production. U.S. Mint officials
have not yet disclosed the number of 2011 American Eagle silver
bullion coins that the San Francisco Mint will strike.
The San Francisco Mint produced trial strikes of 2011 American
Eagle silver bullion coins in March and resumed full production in
May, after more than a decade of not producing any of the 1-ounce
coins. San Francisco Mint production was resumed in part to augment
the production executed at the West Point Mint to meet unprecedented
investment demand. The Mint began offering the San Francisco Mint
coins to authorized purchasers May 31.
From 1986 to 1988, American Eagle silver bullion coins were
produced exclusively at the San Francisco facility, which was
designated as an Assay Office until elevated by Congress to full Mint
status in March 1988 under the same legislation elevating the West
Point facility to a full Mint. Previously, the West Point facility had
been designated as the West Point Silver Bullion Depository.
From 1989 through 2000, the silver bullion coins were struck at
both the West Point and San Francisco facilities, with production
moved exclusively to the West Point Mint beginning in 2001. ■