The American Silver Eagle was originally released via the U.S. Mint back on November 24, 1986, and it is the official silver bullion coin of the U.S. The coin is struck solely in the one-troy ounce size, meaning that it possesses a nominal face value of just one dollar and is sure to feature one troy ounce of 99.9 percent of pure silver. The U.S. Mint certifies the coin’s purity, weight and also content. Just for coin collectors, the Mint has also come out with both an uncirculated version and a proof version. This coin is made at all three mints in the U.S.: the West Point Mint, the San Francisco Mint and the Philadelphia Mint.
The design of the American Silver Eagle coin is very memorable and different, based on which side of the coin you are actually looking at. To wit, the obverse design is titled “Walking Liberty”, it was designed back in 1916 and its designer was a man by the name of Adolph A. Weinman. The obverse features the phrase “In God We Trust” and the word “liberty.” Now, the obverse of this coin was designed by a man called John Mercanti, and the design of this coin shows a heraldic eagle with a shield and also 13 five-pointed stars. The design date for the observe side of this coin is actually quite new; the obverse side was designed only back in 1986.
The birth of the American Silver Eagle program can be traced back to the executive plans of the late 70s and the early 80s. Said executive plans called for the selling off of silver from the Defense National Stockpile. It was President Reagan who requested that the U.S. federal government begin selling off silver in order to, in part, aid with the balancing of the federal budget. After a couple of years’ worth of legal wrangling in the U.S. Congress, President Reagan was finally able to sign the Liberty Coin Act into law on July 9, 1985. The minting history for the American Silver Eagle coin starts on October 29, 1986, when the very 1st coin of this kind was struck in San Francisco, which occurred at the San Francisco Assay Office.
It is interesting to note that bullion Silver Eagles actually possess no mintmarks whatsoever. From the period of time of 1986 to 1998, these coins were minted in San Francisco, but from 1999 to 2000, they were minted at both West Point as well as Philadelphia. However, since 2001, these coins have only been minted at West Point. From the period of time of 1986 to 1992, the proof Silver Eagles were minted in San Francisco, which means that they carry the mintmark of “S”. However, from 1993 to 2000, these coins were minted in Philadelphia, thus making them carry the mintmark of “P”. When they were minted at West Point from 2001 to 2008, they carried the mintmark of “W”. While no proofs were minted for all of 2009, they resumed being minted again from 2010 onwards, at West Point. From 2006 to 2008 and starting up again in 2011, the Mint offered collectable and uncirculated Silver Eagles that were made at West Point, which meant they carried the mintmark of “W”.
The American Silver Eagle coin is a relatively new bullion coin that is still being produced by the U.S. Mint. With a face value of solely one dollar, this coin was originally issued in order to help the U.S. federal government deal with balancing the budget. Today, the coin is still relatively popular among coin collectors and enthusiasts.