jsheng's Blog

23 Mar 2019

American Silver Eagles

| jsheng

The American Silver Eagle is the silver coin of the United States, similar to how the Canadian Maple Leaf is the bullion coin of Canada. It's weight is one troy ounce, which is composed of 99.9% silver and 0.07% copper for reinforcement. It's face value is $1.00, and it can be used as legal tender. It was first relased onNovember 24, 1986, and was struck at the San Fransisco Mint on October 29, 1986. Today, it is struck at the Philadelphia, San Fransisco, and West Point mints.These coins come in bullion, proof, and uncirculated. The years that they have been minted are a bit confusing.Bullion coins have been produced at the San Fransisco Mint from 1986 to 1998. From 1999 to 2000, they were produced at both the Philadelphia Mint and the West Point Mint. In 2001, the San Fransisco Mint also produced American Eagles, contributing to the production rate of the West Point Mint.Proof coins have been produced at the San Fransisco Mint from 1986 to 1992. From 1993 to 2000, they were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. And from 2001 to 2008, they were struck at the West Point Mint. All of these coins bear their respective mintmarks. Beginning in 2010, the West Point Mint continued minting proof ASEs. Starting in 2016, the San Fransisco Mint and Philadelphia Mint also produced a small number of ASEs.Uncirculated coins have been produced in 2006 to 2008, and also in 2010. These coins were struck on special burnished planchets, earning them the name "Burnished Uncirculated". These were produced at the West Point Mint, and contain the "W" mintmark.Bullion coins don't contain mintmarks, however proof and uncirculated do. In addition, coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint before 1980 don't contain a P mintmark, but those struck in 1980 or after do. The bullion coins usually cost around $20-$25, the proofs come at $60-$75, and the uncirculated prices around $25-$75.The obverse of the coin's design is taken from the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, designed byAdolph A. Weinmanin 1916. It also contains "LIBERTY" and "IN GOD WE TRUST". The reverse was designed byJohn Mercantiin 1986. It displays an eagle holding arrows and an olive branch behind a shield. If the coin contains a mintmark, it is also on the reverse. There are 13 stars representing the 13 colonies, along with standard inscriptions.This coin is recognized internationally by numismatists. It's design has become so popular that it is produced in gold, platinum, and in the future, palladium. This coin is the representation of the United States of America, bearing classic symbols like the Eagle and shield, and also figures such as walking liberty. The bullion coin of the United States is a classic piece every coin collector should have.

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