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HomeUS Coins1992-S Proof American Silver Eagle : A Collector's Guide

1992-S Proof American Silver Eagle : A Collector’s Guide

1992-S American Silver Eagle. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
1992-S American Silver Eagle. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

Enthusiasm for Proof American Silver Eagles waned from 1991 to the end of the decade, which is surprising given how important the 1995-W turned out to be to the series. Sales of the 1992-S American Silver Eagle fell to 498,654, an almost 13,000 coin decline from 1991. The United States Mint held the price of the Proof coin at $23 USD ($57.93 in adjusted 2024 dollars), even though the average closing price of silver had dropped to $3.95 for the year. The 1992-S American Silver Eagle was the last San Francisco Mint Proof issue of the series’ initial run. In 1993, Proof production shifted to the Philadelphia Mint. Collectors would not see another S-mint Silver Eagle until the release of the 2011-S Burnished coin.

What Is the 1992-S American Silver Eagle Proof Coin Worth?

From the 1992-S American Silver Eagle Proofs mintage of 498,654 coins, a total of 42,658 have been certified by CAC, NGC, and PCGS together. In terms of the total certified population, NGC and PCGS own the vast majority. CAC has only recently opened its submissions to modern coins accounts for 27 graded 1992-S Proofs, all of which are PR70DCAM.

Over the past 10 years, NGC and PCGS have combined to grade, on average, 1,606 coins per year. Many Proof-70s have been certified during this period with ratios of 1.87:1, 69 to 70 at PCGS, and 2.92:1 at NGC. Before 2014, these ratios greatly favored Proof 69 coins. What’s changed? Perhaps our Terminal Point theory is at play and most bulk submitters opt to pay only for coins that grade 70.

In its raw form, as is the case with other Proof American Silver Eagles of the period, coins with complete original government packaging sell on eBay for $55 to $60. This is roughly the same price as certified coins in Proof-69. Occasionally, coins will slip through the cracks and sell for less. Conversely, some impatient buyers will overpay by $20 to $30 per coin using eBay’s Buy it Now feature.

In “Perfect” 70, coins bring between $200 and $300 at major auction venues like Heritage and Stack’s Bowers. Similar prices are realized on eBay. This is more or less the same dollar amount as 1992-S American Silver Eagles were bringing in 2014. Adjusting for inflation, one could argue that the issue has lost about 25% of its value throughout that time.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Total Certified Population (as of 5/2024): 24,420.

Top Population: PCGS PR70DCAM (3,354, 5/2024), NGC PF70UCAM (2,475, 5/2024), and CAC PR70DCAM (27, 5/2024).

  • PCGS PR70DCAM #84233882: Heritage Auctions, April 29, 2024, Lot 52158 – $372. Mercanti signed label with red gasket.
  • PCGS PR70DCAM #20699851: Heritage Auctions, March 18, 2024, Lot 50161 – $264.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #4513022-017: Stack’s Bowers, April 3, 2024, Lot 13530 – $168.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #206528-030: Heritage Auctions, January 17, 2024, Lot 25642 – $234. Mike Castle signed label.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #6261734-004: Heritage Auctions, January 15, 2024, Lot 92036 – $288. Mercanti signed label.
  • PCGS PR70DCAM #5688677: Stack’s Bowers, April 12, 2023, Lot 92320 – $144. Gold toning.

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Design

Obverse:

Sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Lady Liberty is depicted mid-stride. She is seen as a full-body figure, dressed in a flowing gown and draped with a large billowing American flag. She holds laurel and oak branches in her left hand that symbolize the civil and military glories of America, respectively. As Liberty strides confidently towards the rising sun, she also reaches out and presents a welcoming and open hand. So large is Lady Liberty that she is superimposed over the obverse legend LIBERTY ringing the obverse – in fact, she obscures half of the “BE” and almost the entire “R”. Above Liberty’s outstretched rear foot is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, and below her is the date 1992.

The design resembles sculptor Oscar Roty’s The Sower, a common image on French coins. Numismatist and CoinWeek contributor Roger Burdette posited in his book Renaissance of American Coinage (2007) that this was not a coincidence. While Adolph Weinman did not directly copy Roty’s work, he did derive significant inspiration from it. Weinman’s Liberty Walking design quickly became one of America’s most iconic numismatic images and would be used with minor modifications on the American Silver Eagle bullion coin starting in 1986.

Reverse:

Future United States Mint Chief Engraver John M. Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle is positioned at the center of the reverse. Clutched in its beak is a ribbon bearing the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Above its head is a constellation of 13 stars configured in an upside-down pyramid formation. The legend (top) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is wrapped around the design and the fineness and denomination (bottom) 1 OZ. FINE SILVER. ONE DOLLAR. Below the olive branch is the S mintmark of San Francisco.

Edge:

The edge of the 1992-S American Silver Eagle Proof coin is reeded.

1992-S Silver Eagle Proof Coin Specifications

American Silver Eagle Proof Coin
Year Of Issue: 1992
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mintmark: S (San Francisco)
Mintage: 498,654
Alloy: 99.9% silver
Weight: 31.1 g
Diameter: 40.6 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
REV Designer: John M. Mercanti

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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