American Silver Eagle Coins

Coin Details
• Manufacturer: U.S. Mint
• Minting Location: U.S. Mint
• Denomination: $1
• Silver Content: 1 Troy oz
• Metal Purity: .999
• Thickness: 2.98 mm
• Diameter: 40.6 mm
• IRA-Eligibility: Eligible
Coin Design
  • Obverse: Lady Liberty walking forward before the rising sun, designed by Adolph A. Weinman
  • Reverse: Heraldic eagle surrounded by 13 stars that represent the United States original 13 colonies, also designed by Adolph Weinman
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History of the American Silver Eagle Coin

The American Silver Eagle Coin, the official silver bullion coin of the United States, has a fascinating history dating to November 24, 1986. The year commemorated the centennial of Adolph A Weinman’s Walking Liberty design, originally crafted in 1916 for the United States half-dollar coin.

Authorized by the Liberty Coin Act as part of the Coinage Act 1985, the precious metal has become a symbol of American heritage and a popular purchase.

Minting History

The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States, first released on November 24, 1986, by the United States Mint.

Unlike the American Palladium Eagle, the American Silver Eagle contains one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver, and its content, weight, and purity are guaranteed by the U.S. government.

Coinage Act of 1985

The creation of the American Silver Eagle was authorized by the Liberty Coin Act, which was part of the broader Coinage Act of 1985. This legislation allowed the Treasury to mint and issue silver bullion coins to dispose of the national stockpile of silver bars.

Various Mint Locations

The American Silver Eagle has been minted at various U.S. Mint locations, including the Philadelphia Mint, San Francisco Mint, and West Point Mint.

Different mint marks have been used to identify these locations, such as “S” for San Francisco, “P” for Philadelphia, and “W” for West Point.

Proof and Uncirculated Versions

In addition to the standard bullion version, proof and uncirculated coin versions of the Silver Eagle have also been produced for collectors. These versions often feature special finishes and may have limited mintages.

Obverse and Reverse Design

The coin features Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design on the obverse, originally used on the half-dollar coin from 1916 to 1947.

The reverse side showcases a heraldic eagle behind a shield designed by John Mercanti.


Primary Market

The American Silver Eagle is primarily sold to a network of authorized purchasers, who then distribute the coins to the secondary market, including dealers and collectors. This ensures that the coins are widely available.

Special Sets and Programs

Over the years, special sets and commemorative editions of the Silver Eagle have been produced, often in conjunction with other coins. These have included anniversary sets, monster boxes, reverse-proof coins, and other limited-edition releases.

International Distribution

The American Silver Eagle has found a global audience. Demand from collectors has driven distribution to markets in Europe, Asia, and other regions.

Market Impact

The American Silver Eagle has become one of the world’s most popular silver bullion coins. Its wide distribution, backed by the reliability of the U.S. government, has made it a preferred choice for coin collectors.

Value of American Silver Eagle Coins

The current value of a one-ounce American Silver Eagle coin is around $29.13, but keep in mind that spot prices change often.

The value of American Silver Eagle coins has fluctuated over the years, but it has generally trended upwards.

In 1986, when the coin was first minted, it had a value of around $5.00 USD. By 2011, its value had reached a peak of over $40.00 USD.

It has since declined somewhat but is still considered a good purchase for those looking to protect their wealth against inflation.


American Silver Eagle coins are 99.99% pure silver. They are also legal tender in the United States, but their face value of one dollar is insignificant compared to their intrinsic value. This makes them a popular choice for coin collectors.

Here is a chart showing the value of American Silver Eagle coins over the years, according to the NGC:

YearValue (USD)





202329.13, prices subject to change

It is also important to note whether the prospective American Silver Eagle coin is type 1 or type 2. According to PCGS, bids for various years of the American Silver Eagle range from $20 USD to $200 USD.

As you can see, the value of American Silver Eagle coins has fluctuated over the years, but it has generally trended upwards. This is due to several factors, including the increasing demand for silver and gold coins, the limited supply of American Silver Eagle coins, and the rising price of silver and gold.

If you are considering purchasing American Silver Eagle coins, it is important to research and understand the risks involved. Silver is a volatile commodity, and its price can fluctuate significantly.

However, American Silver Eagle coins may be a good option if you want a long-term purchase to protect your wealth against inflation.

Why Buy American Silver Eagle Coins?

For various reasons, here’s why buying silver coins, like the American Silver Eagle, can appeal to collectors:

Purity and Quality: The U.S. government guarantees American Silver Eagle coins contain one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. The U.S. Mint’s production quality control ensures a high standard of purity and craftsmanship.

Recognizability: As one of the most recognizable silver coins in the world, American Silver Eagles are easily bought and sold. Their widespread recognition can make transactions smoother.

Collectibility: The American Silver Eagle offers different designs and editions, such as proof and uncirculated versions for numismatists or coin collectors. Some may have unique features or limited mintage, making them appealing to collectors.

Legal Tender: While their face value is only one dollar, their actual value is tied to the current price of silver. However, being legal tender adds a layer of credibility and assurance to the coin.

Potential Tax Benefits: Depending on jurisdiction and specific circumstances, purchasing American Silver Eagle coins may have potential tax advantages. Consult with a tax professional to understand any specific benefits applicable to your situation.

Physical Ownership: Owning physical silver provides a sense of security that some find appealing compared to owning stocks or bonds. It’s a tangible asset that doesn’t rely on a company’s performance or government stability.

Patriotic Appeal: For American buyers, there may be a patriotic element to purchasing a coin produced by their own country’s mint.

Gift or Heirloom: Their beauty and symbolic significance make them popular choices for gifts, and they can be passed down as family heirlooms.

Accessibility: These coins are readily available from precious metals companies like American Hartford Gold.

As with any purchase, risks are involved, and individual preferences and circumstances should be considered.

Is It Worth It To Buy American Silver Eagle Coins?

Determining whether buying American Silver Eagle coins is worth depends on your goals, financial situation, and interests. Here are some factors to consider that may help you decide:

  • Collecting Interest: If you are a numismatist or simply enjoy collecting coins, American Silver Eagles offer various designs and versions that may appeal to you.
  • Market Conditions: Monitoring the current silver price and understanding the factors that influence it can help you decide when it might be a good time to buy Silver American Eagle Coins. Like all purchases, the price of silver can fluctuate, so it’s essential to understand the market conditions.
  • Premium Over Spot: American Silver Eagle coins usually carry a premium over the spot price of silver. Depending on where and how you buy them, this premium can vary. Understanding this markup is essential when determining whether it’s a worthwhile purchase.
  • Liquidity: These coins are widely recognized across the United States of America and are generally easy to buy and sell, offering liquidity that may appeal to some collectors.
  • Storage and Security: If you plan to buy a significant number of coins, consider the costs and logistics of storage. Secure storage can add an extra layer of expense but is crucial to protecting your purchase.
  • Tax Implications: Understanding the tax implications of buying, holding, and selling silver in your jurisdiction is essential. Consultation with a tax professional is recommended to ensure you are fully aware of potential tax liabilities or benefits.
  • Sentimental or Patriotic Value: For some, the appeal of owning American Silver Eagle coins may be more sentimental or patriotic, and this personal value might make the purchase worth it.

Learn More About Coin Purchasing

The American Silver Eagle coin, minted by the United States government, is one of the most recognized and trusted silver bullion coins globally. It’s not only valued for its purity and beautiful design but also offers a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty.

As tangible assets, these coins provide collectors with an excellent way to safeguard their finances. American Hartford Gold, a trusted leader in precious metals, is here to guide you through purchasing the American Silver Eagle coin and many other proof coins.


Learn about the American Silver Eagle – History & Value | Provident Metals

Silver Eagles (1986-Date) | Price Guide & Values | NGC

Silver Eagles (1986 to Date) Values | PCGS

Why the American Silver Eagle Coin Should Be in Your Collection | Coin Week

Call for pricing: 1-800-462-0071

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