Silver American Eagles
The Silver American Eagle was originally released by the United States Mint on November 24, 1986. The silver coin has a nominal face value of one dollar is struck in 1 Troy oz. of .999 fine silver. The content, weight, and purity of the coin are guaranteed by the United States Mint. Title II of Public Law 99-61, also known as, the Liberty Coin Act was approved on July 9, 1985 and authorized the Silver American Eagle. The United States Mint produces two other versions (proof and uncirculated) of the Silver American Eagle in addition to the bullion version. The bullion coin is currently eligible to be included in an IRA. The Philadelphia Mint, San Francisco Mint, and West Point Mint have all produced the Silver American Eagle.
The reverse of the coin is the depiction of an eagle with a shield covering its chest. The design is from John Mercanti. In addition to the shied, the eagle is grasping an olive branch in its right talon and arrows with its left. Thirteen stars are directly above the head of the eagle, representing the original thirteen colonies. The obverse of the Silver American Eagle is based on Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design that was used from 1916 to 1947 on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin. The Walking Liberty design quickly became a favorite of the general public, making it an iconic design in American coinage. The obverse also includes the word LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
The Silver American Eagle bullion program is the result of a concerted effort to sell off the silver from the Defense National Stockpile. Prior to the production of the coins, several presidential administrations had attempted to sell off the silver. This caused a severe reduction in the price of silver. To help balance the federal budget and to prevent depressing the price of silver a bill was introduced by Senator McClure in 1985 where the disposal of silver would be done through the issuance of silver coins. This was Senator McClure’s third attempt at introducing a bill involving silver coins.
The Silver American Eagle proof coins were originally minted in San Francisco. Beginning in 1993 and lasting until 2000 proof coins were minted in Philadelphia from 1993 to 2000. In 2001, the Silver American Eagle coins were minted at West Point and continue to be minted there. There we no proof Silver American Eagles minted in 2009.
The bullion version of the Silver American Eagle does not have mintmarks. The Silver American Eagle bullion coins are produced at the West Point Mint and the San Francisco Mint if supplemental production is needed.
In 2016, the United States Mint issued a 30th Anniversary edition of the coin. The coins were released in both a proof and uncirculated versions with a special rim design that had the inscription 30th ANNIVERSARY instead of the typical reeded edge.