US Coins

Reverse of 2007 silver Eagles

The style of the u in united is one distinct difference between Reverse of 2007, left, and Reverse of 2008, right, American Eagle silver coins. Some Uncirculated 2008-W coins were struck using older reverse dies, creating a variation.

Images courtesy of John Nanney and Harlan J. Berk Ltd.

This is a question regarding the American Eagle silver dollars of 2008, 2009 and 2010 and the reverse side of the coin at the legend united states of america. The u in united has a different shape, unlike the u on the other silver American Eagles.

Is this an error? I would appreciate knowing the next step in having my coins verified.

Frank Seminara

Citrus Springs, Fla.

Beginning with 2008 strikes, the U.S. Mint began using a slightly modified design on American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins, Uncirculated (with W Mint mark) silver coins and Proof (with W Mint mark) silver coins.

However, some of the Uncirculated (often termed as “Burnished Uncirculated” by collectors) 2008-W strikes featured the older font style on the reverse, used on 2007 and prior strikes. The difference was most noticeable on the u in united states of america.

The United States Mint admitted that it released 47,000 Uncirculated 2008-W American Eagle silver coins struck with the older reverse dies. These are referred to in collecting circles as “Reverse of 2007” strikes.

In early January 2008, Mint officials confirmed that style changes, primarily in the lettering for better metal fill, were intentionally made on the obverse and reverse of the Proof, Uncirculated and bullion 2008 American Eagle silver coins. No one outside the Mint was aware of the change until the 2008-W Reverse of 2007 coins began to turn up in the marketplace side by side with coins bearing the updated reverse.

Mint spokesman Michael White said the Mint made the “artistic design changes” while moving from hand-engraving to digital engraving.

American Eagle silver coins struck in 2008 to the present feature the newer style lettering on their reverse legends.

While use of the older style was an unintended “error” on the part of the Mint, the 2008-W Reverse of 2007 coin is more or less considered a variety rather than an error.

Other than the aforementioned 47,000 pieces, Coin World is currently unaware of any other American Eagle coins exhibiting the Reverse of 2007.

Before sending a suspected 2008-W American Eagle, Reverse of 2007 silver coin to a third-party grading service, the collector should determine if the coin is indeed a Reverse of 2007 variation. Here is a quick tutorial:

? The u on the normal reverse (Reverse of 2008) has a spur on the right side of the letter.

? The Reverse of 2007 has a simple bowl-shaped u, without a spur or downstroke.

Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins or other items for examination without prior permission from staff member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to or call (800) 673-8311, Ext. 274.

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