When the 2017 silver Proof American Eagle debuts
- Published: Mar 3, 2017, 3 AM
Customers will be able to place orders with the U.S. Mint beginning at noon ET March 23 for the Proof 2017-W American Eagle silver dollar.
The numismatic product is priced at $53.95 each, with no product limit or household order restriction.
The Proof 1-ounce .999 fine silver coin will see a return of the pre-2016 reeded edge applied with a close collar die. The close collar, bearing the reeded edge design, rises from the platform and surrounds the obverse hammer and reverse anvil dies during the striking process, acting to contain the flow of the metal in the planchet and apply the reeding as the planchet is struck.
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By law, the Proof 2016-W American Eagle silver dollar forsook its edge reeding for one year to instead bear an inscription marking the 30th anniversary of the American Eagle silver coin series. The Uncirculated 2016-W American Eagle silver dollar was also mandated to carry the 30th anniversary edge inscription.
The incuse 30TH ANNIVERSARY was imparted by one segment of a three-piece collar. On both the Proof and Uncirculated 2016-W coins, the inscription was oriented right side up at the 6 o’clock position, relative to the obverse. The other two sections of the three-piece collar had a smooth finish. Use of three segments allowed them to separate and avoid destroying the just impressed edge inscription as the coin was ejected from the striking chamber.
A more normal release date
The release of the Proof 2017-W American Eagle silver dollar is a reversion to the Mint’s practice of offering the coin early in the calendar year. In 2016, the requirement to place an inscribed edge on the coin — which Congress ordered in December 2015 — caused a delay in the release of the 2016 edition. While the annual (nearly) release of the coin often occurred in January of the new year, in 2016 the coin was not offered by the Mint until September. Mint technicians had to test and refine a system for inscribing the edge, thus causing the later than usual release of the coin.
The Proof American Eagle silver dollar is usually one of the most popular products of the Mint, though the program has gone through changes, some of which did not please collectors.
In 1995, for example, the Mint offered a very limited edition struck at the West Point Mint, the first for the coin (previously, all of the coins had been struck at the San Francisco Mint or the Philadelphia Mint), released only with a Proof set of the four Proof American Eagle gold coins, priced at nearly $1,000. The 1995-W coin immediately became the series key, and its low mintage of 30,125 pieces has ensured that the coin is among the most expensive in the series, around $4,500 in Proof 69 Deep Cameo.
In 2009, Mint officials chose to strike no Proof versions of the coin in order to meet the then-unprecedented demand for the American Eagle silver bullion coin. The decision again angered many collectors, since it created a one-year gap in the series.
The 2017 edition can be purchased at www.usmint.gov or by telephone at 800-872-6468.
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