The American Silver Eagle (ASE) is an official Silver bullion coin of the United States which was introduced in November 1986 and is minted in .999 Silver. The first Silver Eagle coin was struck at San Francisco Mint on 29 October 1986. Gold and Platinum versions of the Eagle are also minted.
Silver Eagles are only available in 1 Ounce versions and have a face value of $1. The US Mint does not sell Silver Eagle coins direct to the public instead they are distributed through a network of authorised dealers. There are three types of Silver Eagle coins available – regular bullion version, a collectors proof and a collectable uncirculated version or specially burnished. The US Mint has also produced other special versions for example to commemorate the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the Silver Eagle coins.
The design of the coin is taken from the Walking Liberty half dollar which was in circulation between 1916 -1947, with the obverse featuring that classic design by Adolf. A. Weinman. Above the image is the inscription LIBERTY in an arc and to the bottom right the words IN GOD WE TRUST. The mint year is also included under the image. The reverse image is of a Heraldic eagle with a shield and thirteen five-pointed stars, designed in 1986 by John Mercanti. Above the eagle is the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and below the image 1OZ FINE SILVER-ONE DOLLAR.
Silver Eagle Technical Specifications
Content (T oz)
Silver Eagle coins are highly collectable and in recent years the US Mint has struggled to meet increasing demand. Even resorting to suspending production in 2008 and then rationing. The coin has been produced at 3 different Mint locations – starting with San Francisco 1986 to 1999, Philadelphia and West Point (NY) from 1999-2000 and then West Point only from 2001. However, from May 2011 San Francisco Mint will resume production to supplement West Point. Despite the different mint locations the Silver Eagle does not carry any mint mark, unlike some other US bullion coins. Although the burnished version does carry a “W” mint mark just under the left bottom of the eagle image.
It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.