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The History of the American Silver Eagle Coin

American Silver Eagle Coin

Want to get your hands on a tangible piece of American history that shines brightly through time? In this article, we invite you along on a behind-the-scenes journey to see the process behind the creation of the American Silver Eagle coin. We’ll make stops at every step of production from sourcing the purest silver to the rigorous quality control measures that define this remarkable coin. Whether you are a collector, an investor, or simply enjoy the beauty of silver bullion coins, join us as we traverse the captivating path from mine to mint. Get ready to unlock the secrets behind this treasured piece of American heritage.

Interested in buying one of the brand new 2023 Silver Eagle coins? We have them available for purchase at Manhattan Gold & Silver for just $5 over the price of silver.

How It Came to Be: History of the American Silver Eagle Coin

The Liberty Coin Act was approved by the 99th US Congress in July of 1985. This came to fruition when the United States Mint began releasing Silver Eagle Coins in November 1986. The very first American Silver Eagle coin was struck on October 29, 1986 in San Francisco.

To truly appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the American Silver Eagle coin, we must delve into its main ingredient: the purest silver.

At the heart of the sourcing process lies a commitment to ensuring that only the highest quality silver is used. Meticulous attention is paid to the purity and integrity of the silver, with stringent measures in place to guarantee its authenticity. The U.S. Mint certifies the weight, quality, and purity of each 99.9% pure silver coin.

The Art of Minting: Transforming Precious Metal into a Masterpiece

The art of minting is a centuries-old craft that combines tradition, precision, and innovation to turn a mere disc of metal into a treasured keepsake. From the moment the silver arrives at the mint, it is handled with care and reverence.

First, the silver is carefully melted in a furnace, its temperature carefully controlled to ensure a uniform and precise consistency. Once molten, the liquid silver is poured into casts that give birth to blank planchets, the raw canvases awaiting their transformation. These blanks are then subjected to a meticulous pressing process, whereby they are transformed into perfectly round and smooth discs, ready to become American Silver Eagle coins.

front of Silver Eagle coin

A Design Loved by Coin Collectors and the Public

The front of Silver Eagle Coins features the “Walking Liberty” design which was originally used for the US Half Dollar Coin from 1916 to 1947. The popularity of this design made it a clear choice and so it was revived. The front of each silver coin has the year of issuance, as well as “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

In 2021 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the coin program, the back of the coin was updated with a new design which shows a bald eagle landing on a branch and features the phrases “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “ONE DOLLAR,” “1 OZ FINE SILVER,” as well as “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” in smaller font. This design created by Emily Damstra and engraved by Michael Gaudioso is known as the Type 2 American Eagle Silver Coin design.

“My inspiration for this design grew from a desire to show our national bird,” Damstra said, “With all of the values it embodies—in a unique way that could also convey traits such as diligence, cooperation, care, and protection. For that reason, nest-building came to mind. I also liked the idea of including an oak branch in my design, since the oak is America’s national tree and a symbol of strength.”

The Type 1 American Silver Eagle design was produced from 1986-2021. The back of that coin features a design by John Mercanti, the 12th Chief Engraver of the US Mint. This design is reminiscent of the Great Seal of the United States. The eagle is behind a shield and holds an olive branch in its right talon while the left talon is grasping arrows. Above the eagle are thirteen stars to represent each of the original thirteen colonies. This design is inscribed with the following phrases “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “1 OZ. FINE SILVER~ONE DOLLAR,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”

Back of Silver Eagle coin

Which Mint is the Silver Eagle Coin Produced At?

In a previous article, we went on a global tour of mints around the world. The American Silver Eagle coin has been produced at multiple locations of the US Mint. From 1986 to 2000 this bullion coin was produced at the San Francisco Mint. In 1999 and 2000, production shifted to the Philadelphia Mint and the West Point Mint. By 2018, production of the bullion Silver Eagle coins had moved solely to the West Point Mint.

However, in March 2020 the West Point mint was shut down due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. Concerned about coin production following multiple closings, the US Mint had 240,000 Silver Eagle coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint. These uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins are identical to the ones produced at West Point but are known as Emergency Issues by coin collectors.

How to Add the American Silver Eagle Coin to Your Collection

Join the ranks of those who appreciate the artistry, value, and symbolism of the American Silver Eagle coin. Start your collection today with one of the 2023 Silver Eagle coins by contacting Manhattan Gold & Silver and let the elegance and history of these coins become a part of your own story.

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