Collectors Likely to Welcome Changes from New Silver Provisions
language is rather open-ended, in practice it is likely to mean that these
silver coins will in the future be made of 99.9% pure silver with no alloys,
which is both the world standard and has been the purity of American Silver
Eagles since they began in 1986.
several reasons why this is likely.
First, it is expensive and counterproductive to use alloys when making
silver coins. It also complicates the
process of procuring silver planchets, which has been an issue since 2008. It is much easier to obtain planchets made of
for using copper alloy in silver coinage that was issued through 1964 was to
make it more durable so that the coins would circulate longer and fewer coins
would need to be issued over time. Pure
silver is much softer and prone to being damaged.
the U.S. Mint has been interested in switching the silver content of
commemoratives and the coins in proof sets for years, and it has asked buyers
about this issue in several surveys. The
response tended to be positive to the idea of using pure silver.
If things do
end up proceeding in this manner, I believe collectors will welcome the change,
especially if it allows the Mint to reduce the retail price of these products,
which is possible.
reason the new provisions are important is the language calling for American
Silver Eagles issued in 2016 to have smoother rather than reeded edges and that
they bear incused edge inscriptions designating the coins as 30th
I think most
collectors will welcome this too as it will make the 2016 coins one-year type
issues, and that may boost demand even higher than the record-breaking level of
sales seen in 2015, which is headed for well over 45 million coins sold.
collectors and numismatic writers have argued that anniversary products are
basically hype simply designed to sell more coins.
addition to the fact that the Mint is supposed to try to sell more coins, the
fact is that collectors tend to like anniversary products, which is why they
most eagle buyers are hoping for and expecting more than incused edge lettering
to mark the 30th anniversary.
The most popular idea as expressed in Mint surveys and in comments in
the blogosphere is for the issuance of the first high or ultra-high relief
Silver Eagle either by itself or as part of a special 30th
2016 is also
the 30th anniversary of the American Gold Eagle, and I anticipate
the Mint will do something special for that as well.
Next year is
going to be a good one for eagle enthusiasts.