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2011 American Silver Eagle : A Collector’s Guide

2011 American Silver Eagle. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
2011 American Silver Eagle. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

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

The 2011 American Silver Eagle bullion coin was sold starting on January 3. The release marked the 25th year of continuous production of the world’s leading silver bullion coin, and demand for the coin reached record levels, with sales surpassing 40 million coins by year’s end.

100,000 examples were set aside for inclusion in the United States Mint’s 25th Anniversary Silver Coin Set. This set was made available at 12:00 noon Eastern Time on October 27 for $299.95 and immediately sold out. Included in the set were five American Silver Eagles: the 2011 bullion strike, the 2011-W Burnished, the 2011-W Proof, the 2011-S Burnished, and the 2011-P Reverse Proof.

Third-Party Grading Service Programs

Upon discovering the ability to differentiate the coin’s source, NGC and PCGS began to certify American Silver Eagle bullion coins as (W) or (S). However, this parenthetic attribution presents a difference without a distinction, as the Silver Eagle had always been produced at the different branch mints based on both demand and the Mint’s available production capacity. The Mint has never applied mintmarks to American Silver Eagle bullion issues, and distinguishing characteristics that identify the mint of origin are not present on the coins.

Nevertheless, the services and their coin marketer bulk submitters introduced a new class of collectible to the market with this decision. Collect these parenthetically mintmarked coins at your own risk.

The 2011 American Silver Eagle is also connected to another market innovation.

With this issue, John Mercanti, retired Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, began to sign labels for PCGS. The PCGS Signature Label program was the brainchild of Michael “Miles” Standish and brought signers from various walks of life into the numismatic collectible space. While some early signers were obscure, Mercanti’s connection to the American Silver Eagle (he designed the coin’s reverse) was a phenomenal success.

What Is the 2011 American Silver Eagle Worth?

Silver had a strong showing in 2011, averaging $35.12 ($50 in 2024 inflation-adjusted dollars) and peaking at $48.70 ($69.34). At the time of publication, silver spot price closed at just over $30 an ounce, and raw coin eBay sales from the past month show an average retail value for raw 2011 American Silver Eagles at about $35 a coin. In MS69, coins often sell for a slight premium over raw coins, but seldom sell for more than $50 each. In MS70, collectors are presented with numerous label options – from signature labels to First Strike/Early Releases labels or other novelty label concepts. More than 100,000 coins have been certified as “perfect” MS70 by NGC and PCGS. A notional premium over MS69 is expected, but a significant premium is not justified.

It is also worth noting that the value of the 2011 American Silver Eagle has remained unchanged over the past 10 years.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top PopulationPCGS MS70 (39,983, 6/2024), NGC MS70 (80,016, 6/2024), and CAC MS70 (146, 6/2024).

  • PCGS MS70 #19170060: eBay, May 31, 2024 – $50. First Strike holder.
  • PCGS MS70 #81690009: eBay, May 31, 2024 – $109. First Strike, 25th Anniversary Set holder.
  • NGC MS70 #3542808-475: eBay, May 29, 2024 – $46. Struck at San Francisco Mint novelty insert.
  • NGC MS70 #3450606-153: eBay, May 29, 2024 – $51. Early Releases holder.
  • NGC MS70 #3452229-427: eBay, May 29, 2024 – $69. Early Releases holder.
  • NGC MS70 #658957-272: eBay, May 29, 2024 – $62.95.
  • PCGS MS70 #19350863: eBay, November 30, 2023 – $79. First Strike holder.

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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 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 2011.

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.


United States Mint Chief Engraver John 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.


The edge of the 2011 American Silver Eagle bullion coin is reeded.

Coin Specifications

American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin
Year of Issue: 2011
Mintage: 40,020,000
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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