ZanzibarCoins's Blog

22 Jan 2020

The Silver Eagle Dollar Coin, Part One

Young Numismatists Exchange | ZanzibarCoins

Hey everyone! It's been a little while (School and the SAT sure do manage to keep you busy...), but I'm glad to be back!! I've decided to do a blog series to provide information about one of my new favorite coins, one that my dad and I have slowly started to collect together. The Silver Eagle Dollar Coin! (For those of you who have "known" me for a long time on here, they're definitely not replacing my Eisenhower Dollars, don't worry :), I just realized that I like the Eagles a lot too.) So here we go! :)
Some quickie facts first:

~Mintage began in 1986

~Total current mintage (excluding 2019 and 2020): 530,323,888!

~Contains 1 troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver

~Obverse (Walking Liberty) designed by: Adolph A. Weinman

~Reverse (Silver Eagle) designed by: John Mercanti

~Weighs 31.03 grams

~"Created" by the "Liberty Coin Act", an amendment to the "Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Commemorative Coin Act".

~The act was signed by President Ronald Reagan

~First silver eagle was struck in San Francisco on October 29th, 1986

The origination of the American Silver Eagle bullion program came from executive plansthrough the '70s and early '80s to sell off silver from the Defense National Stockpile. As the Wall Street Journal put it, "Several administrations had sought unsuccessfully to sell silver from the stockpile, arguing that domestic production of silver far exceeds strategic needs. But mining-state interests had opposed any sale, as had pro-military legislators who wanted assurances that the proceeds would be used to buy materials more urgently needed for the stockpile rather than merely to reduce the federal deficit."Throughout the period, such sales that did occur, as well as announcements of planned sales, caused immediate declines in the price of silver.TheWall Street Journalreported in September of 1976, "When the US government makes noises about selling silver from the federal stockpile, futures traders start unloading futures contracts in speculation that such a sale would depress prices." However, thanks toSenatorJames A. McClure, eventually a law was passed (or, rather, an amendment) that would lead to the authorization of the American Silver Eagle Bullion Program. On July 9th of 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed the Liberty Coin Act, making it official.
However, the authorizing legislation for the American Silver Eagle bullion program stated that the silver used to mint the coins would be taken from the Defense National Stockpile, with the intent to deplete the stockpile's silver holdings slowly over several years. By 2002, it became apparent that the stockpile would be depleted and that further legislation would be required for the program to continue. On June 6, 2002, Senator Harry Reid of Nevadaintroduced bill S. 2594, which was titled "Support of American Eagle Silver Bullion Program Act", "to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase silver on the open market when the silver stockpile is depleted." The Senate passed the bill on June 21 and the House passed it on June 27. It was signed into law byPresidentBushon July 23 of 2002. Thankfully for collectors, the series wouldcontinue.

The firstsilvereagle coin was minted in San Francisco, on the 29th of October, in 1986. Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III presided over the ceremony, and, according to a Chicage Sun-Times article on the event, as he"reached for the electronic button on press No. 105, he turned to the audience and said, 'I don't need a pick and shovel to start the San Francisco Silver Rush of 1986.'"

Bullion Silver Eagle coins, which have been minted from 1986tothe present day, do not have mintmarks. From 1986 to 1998, they were produced at the San Francisco Mint. Then, from 1999 to 2000, they were produced at the Philadelphia Mint, and the West Point Mint. In March of 2011, the San Francisco Mint conducted trial strikes of bullion Silver Eagle coins in preparation for the resumption of full production later in the spring. The added production capacity that was provided by the San Francisco Mint supplements the output of the West Point Mint.

For the proof coins, from 1986 to 1992, proof Silver Eagle coins were minted at San Francisco and these coins bear the "S" mintmark. Then, from 1993 to 2000, they were minted at Philadelphia and these coins bear the "P" mintmark. From 2001 to 2008, they were minted at West Point and these coins bear the "W" mintmark. In 2009,no proof versions were minted. Then, beginning again in 2010, the proof coins have been minted at West Point and bear the "W" mintmark.

And for the uncirculated coins, from 2006 to 2008, and then beginning again in 2011, the United States Mint has issued a collectible, uncirculated, Silver Eagle coin that has been produced at West Point ("W" mintmark). The coins are struck on specially burnishedblanks and are sometimes referred to as "W Uncirculated" or "Burnished Uncirculated".Aside from the standard-issue ("W") burnished Eagles, there has also been one burnished Eagle issue produced at the San Francisco Mint bearing the "S" mintmark, for the "American Eagle 25th Anniversary Silver Coin Set" that was released in 2011.

Well, that's it for now folks! Hopey'allenjoyed it, and the next part will coverspecialissues and varieties. :) Have anexcellentrest of the week!



Level 4

Silver Eagles are on of my favorites also. Great collection to have and investment in silver. Looking forward to buying some 2020 soon.


Level 6

Nice to see you again. You picked a good issue to collect. Great you and your dad are doing it together. Good luck..The mint says thanks for this choice..

Mike B

Level 6

I knew it would be a matter of time before I saw your name up there. Good to see it. Good blog keep up the good work. You do like Sun said like those big coins. Thanks I enjoyed it. Mike


Level 5

Nice to see you back. Your interests are with the "big" coins that are struck.


Level 5

Thanks DoubleZed, looking forward to your special issues summary.

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