Why are Silver Eagle Coins so expensive?

The 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coin is and has been the most popular silver bullion product sold in the physical investment grade silver bullion industry for many decades now.

Above is an example of how the front or obverse of this classic silver bullion coin looks since launching in 1986.

Who makes Silver Eagle Coins?

The US Mint has made 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coins since 1986. You can find all the various year's American Silver Eagle mintages further below.

You can also take a quick tour of the US Mint’s Silver Eagle Coin operation below.


Often retail priced new at $2.50 oz USD to many more US dollars over the fluctuating silver spot price (depending on silver bullion market conditions), the 1 oz American Silver Eagle coin is often the most expensive of all the high volume minted and sold government guaranteed silver bullion coins being sold in the world.

In this article we explain a few reasons behind why Silver Eagle Coins are so expensive compared to other high-mintage government issued silver bullion coins.


Silver Eagle Coin Seigniorage Fee US Mint sells Silver Eagle Coins at $2 oz USD over spot new to Silver Dealers SD Bullion SDBullion.com Why are Silver Eagle Coins so expensive

US Mint sells Silver Eagle Coins at $2 oz USD over spot new to large Silver Dealers

The following is a brief definition of what seigniorage fees mean in the government mint issued silver bullion coin market.


Silver Coin Seigniorage Fee - (n) an additional premium over the fluctuating silver spot price charged by a government mint that issues silver bullion coins. The difference between the melt value of silver coins (essentially the spot price) and the government mint’s production costs and profits to be attained by selling their silver coins.


Silver Eagle Coin Value Inputs Whay are Silver Eagle Coins so Expensive SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Silver Eagle Coin Value Inputs: What affects Silver Eagle Coin prices?


Current Silver Spot Price in US dollars

The fluctuating  silver spot price is the representative price for silver exchanged on global commodity futures exchanges. Since we here at SD Bullion are in the USA we quote our prices in US dollars, yet there are silver spot prices in virtually any and all fiat currencies issued globally.


Government Mint Silver Coin Seigniorage Fee

A silver coin seigniorage fee is charged by government mints who produce government guaranteed physical silver bullion coins. This surcharge helps government silver mints recoup their silver coin production costs and perhaps make a profit as well.


Silver Coin Dealer Premiums

Silver bullion coin dealer supply chains also add a premium to their silver coin prices to recoup the costs associated with buying, inventorying, hedging, marketing, selling, and safely shipping purchased silver coins to their respective buyers.


Silver Eagle Coin Value Chart Why are Silver Eagle Coins so expensive SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Silver Eagle Coin Value Chart - Percentage over Silver Spot Price

Did you know about the history of Silver Eagle Coin Prices?

There have been times when the US Mint has sold out, postponed, or rationed Silver Eagle Coin sales and allocations.

The largest price premiums for 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coins was reached during the 2008 Financial Crisis in which Silver Eagle Coins sold as much as 75% over the then fluctuating silver spot price.

The following screenshot if from a now defunct bullion dealer, who for years sold hundred of millions of dollars in high-volume low price large allotments of bullion. On November 4, 2008 available 1 oz American Silver Eagle coins were selling at 65.8% price premium above the then US dollar silver spot price ($9.86 oz).


Why Are Silver Eagle Coins Prices so high? Fall 2008 SD Bullion SDBullion.com research

Source


Silver coin prices and premiums will also depend on other various fluid factors at play such as...


➤ The current Silver Eagle Coin market supply and demand factors.


➤ The volume of Silver Eagle Coins being purchased or sold.


➤ Global, national, and even local economic conditions.


➤ The quality of Silver Eagle Coin being sold (e.g. brand new, secondary market, or sometimes even damaged cull condition).


➤ The Silver Eagle Coin seller’s objectives: whether or not they are a low cost, high volume dealer or potentially a more pricey higher overhead local silver coin seller.


➤ Specific Year of Silver Eagle Coin Mintage


Certain key dates for 1 oz American Silver Eagle coins have much smaller mintages than other years.

For instance, most years following the 2008 global financial crisis had record mintage volumes of American Silver Eagle coins struck and sold to the investing public.

Below we have highlighted some of the lowest mintage years for Silver Eagle Coins with the mintage in 1996 being the most rare year of issuance, with less than four million struck and sold globally.


American Silver Eagle Coin Mintage

Year

1 oz Silver American Eagle Coins

1 oz Gold American Eagle Coins

1/2 oz Gold American Eagle Coins

1/4 oz Gold American Eagle Coins

1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Coins

1986

5,393,005

1,362,650

599,566

726,031

912,609

1987

11,442,335

1,045,500

131,255

269,255

580,266

1988

5,004,646

465,500

45,000

49,000

159,500

1989

5,203,327

415,790

44,829

81,789

264,790

1990

5,840,110

373,210

31,000

41,000

210,210

1991

7,191,066

243,100

24,100

36,100

165,200

1992

5,540,068

275,000

54,404

59,546

209,300

1993

6,763,762

480,192

73,324

71,864

210,709

1994

4,227,319

221,663

62,400

72,650

206,380

1995

4,672,051

200,636

53,474

83,752

223,025

1996

3,603,386

189,148

39,287

60,318

401,964

1997

4,295,004

664,508

79,605

108,805

528,515

1998

4,847,549

1,468,530

169,029

309,829

1,344,520

1999

7,408,640

1,505,026

263,013

564,232

2,750,338

2000

9,239,132

433,319

79,287

128,964

569,153

2001

9,001,711

143,605

48,047

71,280

269,147

2002

10,539,026

222,029

70,027

62,027

230,027

2003

8,495,008

416,032

79,029

74,029

245,029

2004

8,882,754

417,019

98,040

72,014

250,016

2005

8,891,025

356,555

80,023

72,015

300,043

2006

10,676,522

237,510

66,005

60,004

285,006

2007

9,028,036

140,016

47,002

34,004

190,010

2008

20,583,000

710,000

61,000

70,000

305,000

2009

30,459,000

1,493,000

110,000

110,000

270,000

2010

34,764,500

1,125,000

81,000

86,000

435,000

2011

40,020,000

857,000

70,000

80,000

350,000

2012

33,121,500

675,000

43,000

90,000

290,000

2013

42,675,000

758,500

57,000

114,500

555,000

2014

44,006,000

425,000

35,000

90,000

545,000

2015

47,000,000

626,500

75,000

158,000

980,000

2016

37,701,500

817,500

74,000

152,000

925,000

2017

18,065,500

228,500

37,000

64,000

395,000

MINTAGE NOTE: just because a bullion dealer is selling older Silver Eagle Coins at high premiums does not necessarily mean they are buying them at or near their inflated prices. If you simply get a bid price for these more limited ASE mintage coins, you will likely find the spreads (difference between buy and sell prices) to be much wider than newer higher year mintages.

US Mint Case monster box interior Mint Tubes Open Silver Eagle Coins SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Shop for your US Mint Silver Eagle Coin Monster Box here


Bulk silver bullion buyers often buy their 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coins in bulk quantities of 500 oz. Such volumes of 1 oz American Silver Eagles coins come in protective official US Mint cases and mint tubes (containing 20 pieces in each tube, with 25 tubes in each case nicknamed a 'monter box' due to their heavy 35 pound weight overall).

Bottom line is that 1 oz American Silver Eagle coins (ASEs) are still the most highly purchased and sold high-mintage silver bullion product in the world.

The fact that ASE premiums tend to increase the most during bullion shortages potentially allows some interesting arbitrage opportunities for American Silver Eagle coin holders during bullion shortage episodes.

For instance during high demand low supply timeframes, one could sell ASEs and immediately buy lower premium silver bullion products if available during demand spikes (e.g. sell ASEs and buy large silver bullion bars or rounds with the proceeds, in order to increase overall silver bullion ounces owned).

You can learn more about American Silver Eagle Coins, precious metals and bullion by visiting our 21st Century Gold Rush page and downloading our free PDF eBook available for free there.

Thanks for visiting us here at SD Bullion.


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