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1999-P Proof American Silver Eagle

1999-P American Silver Eagle Proof. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
1999-P American Silver Eagle Proof. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

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

The 1999-P American Silver Eagle Proof was the second-to-last regular Proof issue struck at the Philadelphia Mint before production was moved to West Point in 2001. When the American Silver Eagle program launched in 1986, Proof versions of the silver bullion coin were produced by the San Francisco Mint and bore the “S” mintmark. With exceptions for some commemorative issues and gold coins, San Francisco had been the primary facility where United States Proof coins were struck since 1968.

In 1993, the United States Mint transferred Proof Silver Eagle production responsibilities to Philadelphia, and between then and 2001 the program saw modest sales. Sales for the bullion version spiked in 1999 and collectors ordered enough Proofs to reach the pre-set sales limit of 550,000 pieces. With returns and other adjustments, the final distribution reported by the Mint stood at 549,769 pieces. The issue price for the 1999-P American Silver Eagle Proof was $24 ($45.88 adjusted for inflation).

As is the case with most American Silver Eagle Proofs of the period, Proof 70 specimens are common and sell for a modest premium over raw coins and examples graded Proof 69. The certified population of both 69 and 70 grades has increased dramatically over the course of the past 10 years and a sufficient number of uncertified coins remain available for this trend to continue. Whether there is a longterm economic justification for the continued submission of coins that trade on par with their raw counterparts is another matter.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top PopulationPCGS PR70DCAM (3,955, 7/2024), NGC PR70UC (3,514, 7/2024), and CAC PR70DCAM (40, 7/2024).

  • NGC PF70UCAM #4311092-059: Stack’s Bowers, April 10, 2024, Lot 94672 – $216. Milk spotted.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #440112-022: Stack’s Bowers, April 3, 2024, Lot 13541 – $168.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #6681616-006: Stack’s Bowers, August 23, 2023, Lot 31870 – $264.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #3865241-004: Stack’s Bowers, April 21, 2021, Lot 60245 – $122. Elizabeth Jones signature insert.
  • PCGS PR70DCAM #20213867: Stack’s Bowers, May 23, 2018, Lot 91480 – $132.
  • PCGS PR70DCAM #33114050: Stack’s Bowers, April 22, 2018, Lot 7818 – $240.

Design

Obverse:

Artist 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 legend LIBERTY that rings the top half of the obverse, obscuring 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 1999.

The design bears a notable resemblance to sculptor Oscar Roty’s The Sower, a common image on French coins. Numismatist Roger Burdette posited in his book Renaissance of American Coinage (2007) that this was not a coincidence and while Adolph Weinman did not directly copy, he did derive significant inspiration from Roty’s work. 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:

The Heraldic Eagle of United States Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti is positioned at the center. 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. The “P” mintmark is located below the branch.

Edge:

The edge of the 1999-P American Silver Eagle Proof coin is reeded.

Coin Specifications

American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin
Year of Issue: 1999
Mintage: 549,769
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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