By Tony Davis
In a previous article for Money.org, we highlighted several bullion and proof American silver eagle coins that sell at a premium over and above the standard rates for these coins. We also touched upon other types of American silver eagles, such as burnished silver eagles and reverse proof silver eagles. Today we’re going to delve a bit further into burnished silver eagles, including the coins’ origins, pricing information and why we believe that these coins make a great addition to any coin collector’s numismatic coin collection.
Burnished American silver eagles were first introduced by the U.S. Mint in 2006 specifically for coin collectors. They’re lower mintage coins that have a “burnished” patina, which is produced from burnished coin blanks. They can be identified by the coin’s matte-like finish as well as the presence of a “W” mint mark. All burnished silver eagles were produced at the West Point Mint and include a presentation box and a certificate of authenticity. Burnished silver eagles have been produced every year since their inception, with the exception of 2009 and 2010, and typically have mintages of less than 700,000 coins. The 2014 burnished silver eagle was released in early April and can be ordered directly from the U.S. Mint.
The limited mintage, accompanying government packaging and especially the price make burnished silver eagles attractive to coin collectors. In their inaugural year of production, the 2006 burnished silver eagle was released at an introductory price of $20. It subsequently skyrocketed to $100 before eventually settling in at its current price of approximately $70. Subsequent burnished silver eagles were all released at reasonable prices, with the exception of the 2011-S burnished silver eagle, which was only available as part of a 25th anniversary silver eagle set. This coin, along with the 2008-W, reverse of 2007, are currently valued in excess of $300; however, most other burnished silver eagles can be purchased for $50 or less. Pricing for 2004-W burnished silver eagles have followed suit, with an introductory selling price of $43.95.
One of the major hurdles for many coin collectors is having access to the coins that they desire. With the exception of the 2008-W, reverse of 2007 and the 2011-S burnished silver eagle, which were produced in quantities of 47,000 and 100,000 respectively, reasonable quantities of these coins were produced and are still available today at affordable prices. Not only are they accessible, but since they’ve only been produced since 2006, a complete set of burnished silver eagles can be acquired without too much effort or strain on the wallet. Very few complete sets of numismatic coins can be assembled for slightly over $1,000, making this an attractive option for coin collectors.
In summary, burnished silver eagles are an intriguing option for coin collectors due to their relatively low mintage, reasonable prices and accessibility. The mintage of these coins is on par with proof silver eagles; however, they can be acquired for up to 25 percent less than proof silver eagles. Since burnished silver eagles can be purchased directly from the Mint, coin collectors should be able to continue to add to their collection of burnished silver eagles on an annual basis, making this one of the more affordable and accessible coin options in the market today.