US Coins

Will some American Eagle silver coins have low mintages in 2021?

Unless the U.S. Mint lifts production restrictions at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints for the 2021 American Eagle silver bullion coins bearing current obverse and reverse designs, the scheduled output of 495,000 Philadelphia Mint strikes will be the lowest mintage for the series.

The San Francisco Mint’s output is being limited to 1 million coins.

Because of a surge in investor demand, the San Francisco and Philadelphia Mints are producing American Eagle silver bullion coins to augment the primary output from the West Point Mint.

Labeling for 500-coin monster boxes of the silver American Eagles from the San Francisco Mint identify a maximum issue of 2,000 boxes, or 1 million coins.

The U.S. Mint confirmed Feb. 3 to Coin World that the serial number range for the 500-coin boxes from Philadelphia is 400001 to 400991, for 990 boxes or 495,000 coins.

The U.S. Mint has sold more than 6 million American Eagle silver bullion coins from Jan. 4 through Feb. 2 to its authorized purchasers.

The coins bear sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar design paired with John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle reverse, both of which were introduced on the silver American Eagles when the series debuted in October 1986.

In mid-2021, the Mint intends to introduce a silver American Eagle bearing a new Eagle reverse design.

Limited production

American Eagle silver bullion coins are packaged, for authorized purchaser pickup, in 500-coin monster boxes holding 25 nylon plastic tubes of 20 coins each.

The identification labels on the outside of the monster boxes containing silver American Eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint indicate that the facility’s production of 2021 coins bearing the original reverse, identified as Reverse Design A, will be limited to 2,000 of the 500-coin boxes, for a total of 1 million coins.

U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed whether the bureau will strike additional Reverse Design A American Eagles in 2021 at the San Francisco Mint and Philadelphia Mint, or how many coins with the new Reverse Design B may be struck and released from Philadelphia and San Francisco in support of the West Point Mint.

The introduction of the new reverse design in mid-2021 is in coordination with incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology in the production process.

San Francisco Mint labeling

Third-party grading services, including Numismatic Guaranty Corp., are grading and encapsulating the San Francisco Mint bullion coins with grading labels identifying them as emergency issues.

Identification of the coins as San Francisco Mint strikes is made by the grading services when monster boxes are submitted with the marked security straps still intact, since the bullion coins themselves do not bear a Mint mark of the production facility at which they are struck.

Ronnie Abbazio, NGC’s project manager for sales and marketing, confirmed to Coin World Feb. 3 the Philadelphia Mint’s role in production.

“We have received confirmation that there are Philadelphia strikes,” though NGC hadn’t yet received any, Abbazio said via email.

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