The United States Mint reported first-day sales Sept. 16 for the Proof 2016-W American Eagle 30th Anniversary silver
dollar totaled 262,816 coins.
The total, at $53.95 per coin, combines orders placed beginning at
noon Eastern Time and orders placed through the Mint's Enrollment or
subscription program. The latter program allows customers to place
orders ahead of time for annual products, which are filled when the
product is officially released.
Mint officials indicate the first-day sales represent orders from
80,883 individual customers.
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The 30th Anniversary coins bear an otherwise plain edge marked
incuse with the inscription 30TH ANNIVERSARY.
The required 30TH ANNIVERSARY edge device is to appear only on the
edge of the Proof and Uncirculated coins, and only for the two 2016
issues. The anniversary edge device does not appear on the 2016 American Eagle silver bullion coins. The
bullion strikes retain the standard reeded edge.
In addition to being offered individually, the Proof version is also
to be included in the 2016 Congratulations set. That coin, too, will
have the anniversary edge.
An edge device marking the program's 30th anniversary was required
under provisions of The
Bullion and Collectible Coin Production and Efficiency and Cost
Savings Act, signed into law Dec. 4.
Introduced by Rep. William P. Huizenga, R-Mich., chairman of the
House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade,
the measure also grants the Treasury some discretion in changing the
composition of 90 percent silver coins.
The mandate for the edge design required special edge collar dies
and tooling to be fabricated at the Philadelphia Mint to impart the
Coin World traveled to the West Point Mint to document
production June 9 of Proof versions. The details of that visit that
follow were embargoed by U.S. Mint officials until a release date for
the coin could be announced.
The edge inscription marking the 30th anniversary says just that —
30th ANNIVERSARY — and with a lowercase "th." The lettering
is raised in the collar die, making it incuse on the coin. The
inscription is imparted on the plain edge during the striking process,
from one section of a tripartite, or three-piece, segmented collar.
The three pieces of the collar engage together at the same time that
the obverse and reverse dies come together with a blank planchet
already fed between. The metal flows from the striking pressure into
the edge collar, where the edge of the coin receives the imprint of
the edge design, before the dies and edge collar retract.
West Point Mint press operator Jumel Alston said the die alignment
is such that the celebratory wording will appear in the same location
on each coin struck — at the 6 o’clock position, relative to the date
viewed on the coin's obverse. The other two segments impart a plain edge.
The obverse and reverse dies are oriented with the obverse, or
Walking Liberty side, as the upper or hammer die, and the reverse, the
Heraldic Eagle side, as the lower, or anvil die. Alston randomly pulls
struck coins after production for further examination, to ensure the
dies are aligned properly and there is no rotation.
The tripartite collar has the inscription centered in the edge
segment on which it appears. The edge on a struck coin also exhibits
three single vertical lines of raised metal, from where the silver in
the planchet was forced into the minuscule gap between the collar segments.
The Proof and Uncirculated versions both are struck three times on
a Gräbener GMP
360 press under 225 tons of pressure per strike.
The die faces are periodically wiped to remove any built up grime or debris.