American Silver Eagle Proof Coins
Buy American Silver Eagle Proof Coins from SD Bullion
The American Silver Eagle is one of the most sought out coins in the world and the most popular in America. Since its introduction, investors and coin collectors have craved each annual edition to expand their collections and boost their investment portfolios.
No matter the variant of the American Silver Eagle the US Mint produces, if silver bullion, proof, or burnished version, their acceptance in the international market is unquestionable.
Proof Eagles is a delight for those who appreciate the art engraved in the coins. With a brilliant luster, they reflect the US Mint’s excellence at minting high-quality pieces.
A Short History of Proof American Silver Eagles
The release of Proof American Silver Eagles happened in the same year of its silver bullion counterpart, in 1986. The United States Government authorized the program through the Liberty Coin Act the year before.
The program's immediate success contributed to maintaining both regular annual strikes.
However, due to the 2008 crisis, for the first and only time, the US Mint failed to produce Proof Eagles in 2009. The urgent need for silver supply strictly directed the available blanks to the production of bullion Silver Eagles.
The record mintage of Proof Eagles is still the premiere strike with 1.446 million coins, but other editions have impressive sales numbers. The anniversary editions, for instance. The 2006 edition, which celebrated its 20th anniversary, sold 1.092 million coins, while the 25th, 947,355 pieces.
The American Silver Eagle Standard Design
The United States Mint has kept the same motif since the first silver eagle. Bullion, Proof, and Burnished versions showcase the Walking Liberty on the obverse and the Bald Eagle on the reverse side. Unlike the bullion ones, Proof Eagles bear an identifying engraved mark of the branch which struck them. “P” for Philadelphia, “W” for West Point, and “S” for San Francisco.
The Obverse Design
The Walking Liberty, designed by Adolph P. Weinman, is the image displayed on the obverse side of Silver Eagles since its release. The celebration of the program’s 35th anniversary did not change it. Instead, it brought technological updates, allowing details from Weinman’s original creation that were not possible in the previous coinage processes.
In sum, Lady Liberty has a full-length profile. She walks towards the sun’s rays with laurel and oak branches in one arm and the right hand outstretched in a welcome sign. The word “LIBERTY” arches above her while “IN GOD WE TRUST” lies aside, near the mint mark. The year of issuance is on the bottom rim.
The Reverse Design
The original reverse design is a creation of Chief engraver John Mercanti. It showcases the Heraldic Eagle with open wings behind the National Seal. The Eagle holds the “E PLURIBUS UNUM” banner, arrows in one talon and olive branches in the other. This reverse features on the 1986 to 2021 issues.
2021 marked the 35th anniversary of the American Eagle Coin Program. The US Mint created a new reverse design to celebrate the date. The Silver Eagle's new reverse side still carries a Bald Eagle depiction but in a more natural environment. Through the eyes of artist Emily Damstra, the Bald Eagle has its wings outstretched for a landing with an olive branch.
Besides the Eagle, the inscriptions correspond to the coin’s monetary denomination, weight, metal content, and traditional mottos.
Proof Coins Outlines
The term proof refers to the kind of polishment applied to the coin.
To make proof coins, the blanks receive special treatment. The surfaces are hand-polished, cleaned, and burnished. And the chosen design is stamped multiple times to ensure sharp detailing.
A Proof American Silver Eagle Coin is a marvel of fine craftsmanship. Proof Silver Eagles have a frosted design contrasting with the mirror-like luster from the background. Each detail in Lady Liberty's and the Bald Eagle's depictions is even more perceptible in proof coins.
The demanding production process of proof coins affects their initial costs and premiums. Hence, Proof American Silver Eagles usually have higher premiums over the silver spot price than other versions.
Graded Proof Silver Eagles
As the mintage of Proof Silver Eagles dates back to its premiere with regular annual strikes, we count at least 37 strikes and millions of coins traded over the years for collectors and investors. It is possible to find uncountable Proof Eagles in different conditions and years of issuance.
Renowned third-party grading agencies, such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), play a fundamental role in this situation. These services are internationally recognized for their unbiased evaluation of coins and other collectibles, establishing a pattern for condition and authenticity based on the Sheldon Grading Scale.
The Scale uses codes and numbers to determine the coin’s status in the evaluation moment. For instance, PF-70. PF stands for “proof,” which means the evaluated coin is a proof sample. The number 70 is the highest on the scale, which ranges from 1 to 70, expressing that the coin is flawless, even under 5x magnification.
As TPGs agencies seal and certify the analyzed items, their condition remains protected and guaranteed. The security offered by this process reduces counterfeiting concerns and, consequently, increases the search for graded Silver Eagle coins in the precious metals market. Coin collectors and investors tend to trust more on graded coins when they want a specific specimen.
For those who prefer brand new Proof American Silver Eagles in original United States Mint Boxes, a certificate of authenticity accompanies the product, guaranteeing their authenticity.
What are Silver Eagle proofs worth?
Proof Silver Eagles bear a one-dollar face value and legal tender status like its bullion counterparts. But they contain one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver, which is worth more than a dollar based on the silver spot price. As these coins are proof, they have higher production costs and higher premiums as well. And, according to their condition and rarity, they may value a lot.
Are Silver Eagle Proofs a good investment?
Silver Eagles in bullion and proof versions are good investment options for collectors and investors. They are popular, hence liquid investments, hold legal tender status, and are eligible for IRAs. Silver Eagles are made of .999 pure silver, making it value at least their weight in silver. Besides, they can be an exciting coin collection because of their regular editions and variations. Especially the proof ones, which exhibit a stunning design.
What is the most valuable Silver Eagle Proof coin?
Condition and scarcity may be decisive factors when calculating a specific coin’s value. In the case of Proof Silver Eagles, a 1995 W Proof Silver Eagle may be the most valuable. That year, the West Point facility minted a limited series of 30,125 coins, only available as part of the 1995-W 10th anniversary Gold-Silver Proof Set edition. A good-condition graded sample of these coins may be worth thousands of dollars.
How can you tell if a Silver Eagle is a proof coin?
Besides the distinct mirror-like luster, a Proof Silver Eagle can be identified by the mint mark they carry. The San Francisco facility minted Proof Silver Eagles from 1986 to 1992. So these coins have the “S” engraved. The “P” of Philadelphia is on proof coins made from 1993 to 2000. And “W” for those made in West Point from 2001 to 2020. Bullion Silver Eagles do not carry mint marks.
Is a Silver Proof coin real silver?
Yes. Following the American Eagle standard for coins, Proof Silver Eagles are made of 99.9% fine silver, so they are real silver coins. Since the program's release, the US Mint has produced them weighing an entire troy ounce of pure silver. In fact, their weight in silver values more than the face value stamped on them. In addition, Proof American Silver Eagles are eligible for IRA - Individual Retirement Accounts, one of the few collectibles accepted for that purpose.