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An Overlooked Modern Rarity? Burnished Silver Eagles

By Bullion Shark ……
Since its beginnings in 1986, the American Silver Eagle has become one of the world’s most popular coins. Its stunning design, $1 denomination, recognizably, and .999 purity are just a few of the reasons the American Silver Eagle has become a fan favorite.

Over the last 33 years, the numismatic industry has seen this coin take on numerous forms, such as bullion, Proof, Burnished, Reversed Proof, and Enhanced finish versions.

American Silver EagleThe bullion version is just like a typical coin; the Proof version has frosted features/devices with a “shiny” background; the Reverse Proof has “shiny” features/devices with a frosted background; and the Enhanced finish is hard to explain without seeing in person.

However, out of all these different finishes, one should stand out above all others: the Burnished (a.ka. Uncirculated) Silver Eagle.

This coin has flown under the radar since its inception in 2006, and it is time that some light is shed on why this particular silver eagle is so rare.

The answers to this question are: its mintage numbers and labor-intensive minting process.

Burnished Silver Eagle Mintage Figures

Below is a chart indicating Burnished Silver Eagle mintages from 2006 to the present day.






























172,276  –  Type 1


The above chart speaks for itself. Not a single one of these coins has ever even reached the 700,000 mark, and in the last five years, none has gone over 200,000.

The United States Mint produces about 300,000 Burnished Silver Eagles per year. This is about twice as rare as the Proof Silver Eagles at about 650,000 produced per year and 50 times as rare as the Bullion Strike Silver Eagles at about 15 million per year. These figures are found by taking the average of each type of Silver Eagle.

Only about 4.5 million Burnished Silver Eagles have been minted since 2006. The total mintage of the series is still more than twice as rare as the yearly mintage of its bullion counterparts. This paints a clear picture of just how rare the Burnished Silver Eagle really is.

Furthermore, one should pay particular attention to the 20172021 Burnished Silver Eagles. These dates barely saw mintages over 100,000 coins, making them three times as rare as the typical Burnished Silver Eagles in terms of mintage.

The Minting Process

The U.S. Mint states:

“[T]he term ‘uncirculated’ refers to [a] specialized minting process… uncirculated quality coins are distinguished by the presence of a mint mark, indicating their production facility, and by the use of burnished coin blanks, which are hand-fed into specially adapted coining presses one at a time.”

The Burnished Silver Eagle is known for its “matte-like” finish. These coins also have a mintmark, unlike traditional Silver Eagles.

This special finish is achieved by rolling the “blanks” of silver in a drum filled with countless tiny balls. This process makes the coin smooth and removes any imperfections and gives the coin its stunning finish.

Lastly, the coin is struck once, and only once, before it is sent off for encapsulation and then shipment to the public.


Not only are Burnished Silver Eagles stunning and unique, but they present a great opportunity to purchase low-mintage Silver Eagles at an affordable price. For the most part, these coins can all be purchased for less than $200 in perfect grade 70.

In short, these facts indicate that the Burnished Silver Eagle is an overlooked piece that all collectors should pay more attention to.

Click Here to View Bullion Shark’s Inventory of Burnished Silver Eagles

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*These are solely the opinions of Bullion Shark, LLC and are not intended to be used as investment advice. Please consult an investment adviser before investing.*


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  1. I have researched the 2021 type 1 and that coin did not have a burnished edition minted as you elude to in your list. The 2021 type 2, however, did. If you can find a 2021 t1 burnished silver eagle let me know. if you find a ms70 I’ll buy it.


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