slybluenote's Blog

20 Feb 2021

A Piece of History

Coins-United States | slybluenote

Top O' the morning folks!

I wanted to briefly discuss American Silver Eagles today since I've recently acquired a couple. I don't have enough of them for a collection, but I did do a little research to find out about this great coin. It was designed by Adolph A. Weinman (obverse) and John Mercanti (reverse). It weighs in at 31.101 grams, is 40.6 mm in diameter, and is composed of .999 silver, and .001 copper, and has a reeded edge. It has been minted at the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point mints. The United States bullion-coin program was launched the year I completed my active duty service, 1986. The Mega Red book outlines the history of the American Silver Eagle (ASE) starting on pg. 1239 and ends on pg. 1271 and is very interesting.

I purchased my 3 ASE's for one reason: to own a piece of history. I bought the 2020 PCGS graded, MS70 first right after I heard on television that it was going to be the last year of the current design. As the slab indicates, it's a "First Strike" and I wanted to have a coin to inspect and compare other coins to for grading purposes. The next ASE I got was the 2019. Of the 3 ASE's I currently have, this one is the lowest cost one. I have a Collectible Coins of America collection that required a American Silver Eagle, so I used this one to fill that slot. The third one I received last weekend, and it's the 2021 ASE, type 1. I signed up to have the 2021 ASE, type 2 sent automatically when it is released in mid-July.

One of the dealers that I occasionally do business with had the following headline on their website:

"Update From the United States Mint 10/1/2020: New Silver Eagle Reverse Design Revealed"

On October 1, 2020, the United States Mint revealed the new reverse design that will appear on American Silver Eagles in mid-2021. The Mint will also release some 2021 Brilliant Uncirculated issues featuring John Mercanti's original reverse design, with the new reverse being released later in 2021.

The new reverse design offers a fresh perspective on a numismatic icon. The reverse still features a bald eagle, but this time, about to land from a flight. The eagle grasps an oak branch between its claws, perhaps to build its nest. This reverse design was crafted by Emily Damstra, a member of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP), and was sculpted by Mint artist Michael Gaudioso.

I collected these 4 American Silver Eagles to own a piece of history. It isn't every day that a coin's design is changed, and I'm not sure how the numismatic world will accept this new design, but I personally like it. I'm only starting out getting 4 coins due to the fact that like "Stumpy", I'm also frugal when it comes to my personal collection. It goes without saying that Mega Red don't have any mintage figures yet, so I guess you could say "the jury's still out". Recently I've expanded my collections and will soon be posting about the additions. It takes me a while to get pictures to go along with the post. As always, stay safe, HEALTHY, and coronavirus free and when available, get your vaccine! Talk to everyone again soon!

Charlie aka slybluenote



Level 5

ASE's are usually associated with bouillon, not history, but I am with you! Each ASE has a historical story to tell, just like any other coin! Cheers!


Level 5

That is neat. You may want to re-certify the ANACS cheap plastic "Happy Meal" holder in a NGC or PCGS holder.


Level 5

Excellent acquisition and blog! We in the Stumpy household loves us some "Pretty Ladies", keeping on keeping on my Pally!


Level 5

They all look very nice! I will be getting my first ASE soon, and it will be from the ANA. Thanks for the blog, stay safe!


Level 6

Really beautiful coins! Enjoyed reading your blog!


Level 5

Beautiful coins! nice blog!


Level 6

Beautiful coin. I have all the years in a Dansco album. I do not like the games the mint is playing with all the mint marks and all the finishes. That is just me. I would like someone to explain to me what the "Emergency" is in that release. One can still buy them from the mint so what is the deal?? Thanks Charlie, nice work.


Level 5

I think it's like MikeB said...it's a money making ploy to use the word "emergency" ! Like I said above, each of the ASEs that I have in my collection has a purpose, i.e. grading, spot filling, and historic meaning. Thanks John!


Level 6

Enjoyable blog. A nice coin design to have in ones collection.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I'm excited about the new design but was very displeased that they said that 2020 was the last year of the old design and then they extended the release of the old design into 2021. If I had known they were going to reverse course, I would not have bought as many 2020 ASE. So now I will buy a few with the old design in 2021 and also have to buy a quantity of the new design.

Long Beard

Level 5

I enjoy reading your insightful blogs. What I've noticed in the short time of "knowing" you is how your collection and habits have evolved. The passion you show for coinage shows in every blog.

Mr. B Coins

Level 4

Slybluenote, Absolutely, beautiful coins. I'm Jealous. The blog is filled with information. Keep up the good work and good luck on the collection. Mr. B


Level 5

I resemble ALL of the above remarks, which is WHY I only own 4 American Silver Eagles. As stated, I own them for a couple of reasons, and as stated, will not collect the complete set. I have annotated in my collecting journal these reasons. Thanks everyone for the kind words of wisdom!

It's Mokie

Level 6

The Walking Liberty design is magnificent on the ASE, one of the most beautiful designs in all of coindom (apologies to the equally beautiful Sower design). Thanks for sharing your research and growing collection. I can't wait to see the new design later this year.


Level 5

Beautiful coins. I have a few graded and a few bullion. Might need 1 of each of the 2021 dated. Maybe next coin show? The different gimmicks are a disappointment. Enhanced reverse etc. After all the mint makes these for collector's. Do the V75, enhanced reverse etc, make a complete set possible? I don't try for a set. I do like the low mintage gimmicks but making a few happy and a lot disappointed doesn't seem like a good business model. Leave the specialty items to commemorative coins or medals?


Level 7

Thanks my friend. I bought the last Eagle in the set in early February. The last one with that beautiful Eagle on the reverse. So that set started in 1986 and ends in 2021. Then the new set starts. I want nothing to do with it. They will play there games with them. It will run for decades. I'm to old to collect another set.. That's ok because I won't get upset with there games. And the prices. All the different reverses and proofs. Enhanced reverse and so on. Emergency coins. On and on. . The ones who are young should buy them. They can finish the set and enjoy that they did. I will by the first. Thanks my friend!!

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