The First Silver Eagle
The 1986 Silver Eagle—the inaugural year of the series—is a great place to start a collection! First struck in October ’86 at the San Francisco Mint, these coins were available for only two months! Certified coin collectors will have a difficult time locating this year in perfect MS70 grade.
Major Mint Milestone
1993 marked the 200th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Mint and in celebration this is the first year that Proof Silver Eagles were minted in Philadelphia. Each one carries the “P” mint mark. This is one of the scarcest regular Proof coins to find in PF70 Ultra Cameo or PR70 DCAM.
West Point Minting
1995 marked the tenth year of the Silver Eagle. In celebration, collectors could choose from two different coins: The first was P-Mint Proof. The second, and considerably rarer coin, is the W-Mint Proof. The W-Mint coin was only available as part of the 10th Anniversary Gold Eagle Proof Set and its final mintage was a mere 30,125!
1996 was the lowest mintage for the Silver Eagle bullion series (only 3,603,386 coins), and the entire mintage sold out! This represented the first sell out since the U.S. Mint established a maximum authorized mintage for Silver Eagles in 1990.
The Millennium Set
The U.S. Mint answered questions surrounding the “Y2K” scare with “the perfect collector’s item to commemorate the year 2000”—The Millennium Coinage and Currency Set. Limited to only 75,000 units, and designated as the “Millennium Set” by grading services, the result was another complete sell out.
2006 marked the 20th Anniversary for the popular Silver Eagle, and a special 20th Anniversary Set was released. This set contained one proof, one uncirculated, and one reverse proof Silver Eagle to mark the anniversary of the series. This special set sold out in only 2 weeks!
2008 with Reverse of 2007
2008 included the first significant variety of the American Silver Eagle series. A small number of 2008 Silver Eagles were struck using the reverse dies of the 2007 coins. This created a variety known as the 2008-W Silver Eagle–Reverse of 2007. Once this variety was discovered, prices quickly escalated!
25th Anniversary Set
The U.S. Mint created a special five-coin set to mark 25th Anniversary milestone for the program. The special set included two versions which were not available via any other U.S. Mint product, and collector demand for the sets was intense! The 100,000 sets produced were sold out within hours of release!
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the building that houses the United States Mint facility at West Point, The U.S. Mint created a set of coins featuring a reverse proof and a U.S. Mint first, a Silver Eagle with three contrasting finishes: mirrored brilliant, light frosted and heavy frosted.
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