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The Rarest American Silver Eagles

The Rarest American Silver Eagles

By Bullion Shark LLC ……
The American Silver Eagle series, which turned 35 this year, is the most widely collected and popular modern U.S. coin series that is sought by collectors all over the world.

You have probably heard about the increase in demand for these coins in the past year due to high demand for physical silver since the pandemic started coupled with the production delays at the United States Mint during that period and the shortage of silver planchets needed for the various silver coins the Mint issues, which has pushed up premiums on all Silver Eagles.

The recent introduction of a new reverse design for this amazing series by Emily Damstra – known as the Type 2 or 2021 Silver Eagle with the Reverse of 2021 — that shows an American bald eagle about to land as it builds its nest – is also increasing demand for these coins and increasing the number of people who collect the series. And that will likely also push up demand for the key coins of the Silver Eagles series with more collectors trying to obtain the lowest mintage coins and other high demand issues. As basic economic theory maintains, increased demand and limited supply will result in higher prices over time.

Key Coins

But with around 100 different coins in the series when all dates, mint marks, and finishes are included, which coins are the key issues that collectors need?

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To start, there are two “Kings of Silver Eagles”: the 1995-W Proof and the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof, whose mintages are very close to each other. The 1995 coins sold 30,125 pieces, while the 2019 has sales of 29,910.

But while their mintages are similar, their values differ greatly, with the older coin currently worth at least $3,000 ungraded or in Proof 69 and $15,000 to $20,000 in Proof 70 – and those are not the highest levels it has seen in the past. This coin has had decades to establish its value, and to obtain it in the first place, buyers had to spend several thousand dollars to purchase the 1995 10th Anniversary Eagle Set with a four-piece gold set and the Proof silver eagle.

The 2019 coin is worth at least $1,000 raw or in Proof 69 and twice that amount or more in Proof 70. Future values for this coin are likely to go a lot higher if it remains the lowest mintage coin of the series, especially with interest in the new reverse design getting more people interested in collecting this series.

The third-lowest mintage coin is the 2008-W with Reverse of 2007 that, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response from the Mint, has a mintage of 46,318. This coin was issued when the Mint was changing the typeface used on the coin’s reverse in 2008. Some coins were accidentally struck in 2008 with the reverse used through 2007. Raw and MS69 examples are worth $450-500 and MS70s are worth $1,100 or more.

This issue has long been considered undervalued. Also, only about 23,000 of them have been graded by PCGS and NGC so far, and it is likely that not all the other 23,000 examples have been discovered.

Fourth is the 2020-W V75 Silver Eagle, whose sales were 74,743. In 2020, collectors were surprised to learn that the Mint would issue the first privy marked silver eagle whose “V75” privy was used to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It is worth at least $400 today and $575 or more if graded Proof 70

The fifth-lowest is the 2019-W Enhanced Reverse Proof that was part of the US-Canada Pride of Two Nations Set issued that year, which had final sales of 99,675. These run about $120 or over $200 in Proof 70

The sixth- and seventh-lowest are two coins that have mintages just above the fifth coin. They were part of the 2011 25th Anniversary Set, whose mintages are both 99,982, and are the 2011-S Mint State and 2011-P Reverse Proof coins. The “S” coin today brings $160 raw or in MS69 and $285 in MS70, while the “P” coin is worth $260 ungraded/roof 69 and $425 in Proof 70.

Other Keys and Sleepers

Other coins in the series to keep an eye out for and consider grabbing before they go up include the 2017-S Proof with a mintage of 123,799. This coin was very hot when it first sold out in the 2017 Congratulations Set limited to 75,000, and then the Mint released that year’s Limited Edition Silver Proof Set, which added another 48,799 sales and softened prices. Today it goes for not much over what the most common dates sell for in Proof 70 ($120 or more depending on the label), making it a good buy.

Also, three of the Burnished Uncirculated coins – the 2018-W, the 2019-W, and the 2020-W – have respective mintages of 138,947, 138,390, and 154,864. Today, prices for these pieces are about the same as the others of this type, but they might be worth more down the road.

Finally, this series also has condition rarities, including MS70 examples from 1986-2000 that are worth from $1,000 to $15,000 depending on the year, and Proof 70 coins from the same period, with the 1993 coin worth $1,000 in that grade. Also, the 1986 coin in Mint State and Proof is always in demand as the first year of issue.

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  1. About the cost of the 1995-W Proof 10th Anniversary Eagle set, it wasn’t sold for thousands of dollars. It originally cost $999+postage. Today it’s selling for thousands of dollars, as well as the ASE alone. I knew it would always be the No. 1 coin of the series when the Mint publicized the mintage. People who didn’t buy the set for the price have no one to blame but themselves. They should have known that the Silver Eagle alone would compensate for the cost of the entire set. Fortunately, peoples’ attitudes today have changed.

    • Well, there were only 30,000 made, so even if “people had known” (or known the mintage, or had the money, whatever), they couldn’t all have gotten their hands on it, obviously.

      Also, many of us weren’t old enough to be buying anything over $0.50 at the time (or even alive).

    • Just to add, People who actually cared for silver eagle back in 1995 coudn’t afford the gold set. And people who collected gold eagles treated silver eagle like trash. Spot for silve was like $5 per oz? And this was back in dail up AOL days. US mint wasn’t even online until 1999? There was no hype. Collectors could had got them for less than 20 bucks in the last of neighborhood coin shops.

  2. I have 2 1986 siver eagles uncirculated that have doubling on the date and edges. Can’t seem to get an answer from anyone if they are rare or have any value.

    • Submit one to NGC for grading, you’ll know in about 30 days what you have. If your lucky, maybe a story about your coin(s) in Coinweek.

    • Hi my name is Ron any double date coin is worth money just send it to NGC for grading and also mention the errors not sure what it will cost but the value will increase significantly higher.

  3. Antonio is absolutely correct. 999$ got the 95 w set. It was an option of sorts. Those who collected the 4 coin gold set could buy it without the silver eagle – but for the same 999$. Amazing!

    • Yes. correct. I still have the U.S mint mailing catalog of it somewhere in the closet. This was before online purchase, hype etc. So 30,000 sets were plenty especially no one care for silver eagle back then.

  4. The US Mint is just marketing these limited coins to the same companies scalping tickets to concerts. People looking for silver are not looking to purchase proofs, just bullion. A individual has little chance at purchase American Eagle Proofs and the US Mint doesn’t care as they can raise their prices and sell out. The average Joe can then pay double or triple for a Coin not even worth its weight in Silver or Gold. If questioned about their website an sales they blame the users. Their anti-bot is a joke.

    • How true. No incentive to fix online purchase system because they know scalpers will buy all offered. They could care less about average citizen they are supposed to serve. Joe Collector is no longer their concern.

    • Your thinking here is fairly poor.

      A.) The coins are certainly worth their weight in silver, as they’re 99.9% silver.
      B.) If scalpers weren’t sniping them, they’d still get bought.

      They might not have much incentive to fix it (although they’ve tried, admittedly without success), but this isn’t why.

  5. I just started looking onto coins i have found some good ones but unsure if what i am reading is the some ones any suggestion and don’t know nothing about grading where to start

  6. The Rarest Silver Eagle has to be the RCM issued 2019 pride of two nations set. Only 10,000 sets were sold by the Canadian Mint. First Ever collaboration. PCGS or NGC will not grade the set as coming from RCM unless it has not been opened. I know! I had to purchase a 2nd set. This time it was graded, and the label states from the Royal Canadian Mint. Think about this, out of 10,000 sets, how many sets have already been opened? This Silver Eagle is by far the rarest of them all!!! and it’s still affordable… There are affordable rarities out there!! Great article…

    • It’s only rare by label. I have a set of RCM pride of two nations pcgs 70’s set that I ordered from rcm few days before us release. And I was one of first 6 under pcgs report.

  7. Odds are about 10,000:1 that it’s machine doubling (rather than a doubled die), which doesn’t add value. You might get a bit extra from someone who likes it because of that, but it just means the strike was doubled, which is fairly common.

  8. Thanks to all of you for your comments concerning the American Eagles. Since they began I started purchasing them not concerning myself as to what mint I got. Upon checking I found that I have all of them but mixed mintage. Never read up concerning this coin all I knew is that I wanted it. Truth is that I ended up with more w(burnish) mint than anticipated plus by mistake I had purchased 2 sets of the 2021 type 1 &2. I was upset with myself for making such a mistake because I didn’t want two of several coins that I purchased. So I have a few decisions to make as to if I should keep duplicates. Well thank you all for the information I will value it.

  9. The 1986 silver eagle where all established in San Francisco correct? There are (2) MS70 for that year one with mint S and the other blank. Which one has more value?

  10. You can go to eBay and see all kind of coins and see what they are selling for.But be careful for you do not get Ripped Off.and you can Sell your coin there to.

  11. I myself love the 2016 Eagle with the lettered edge.
    I know that is not so valuable, but it sure is cool!

  12. “There are two “Kings of Silver Eagles”: the 1995-W Proof and the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof” There is only one king not only because of its lowest mintage, but the pcgs, ngc graded with mint ‘s certificate # and signature by the director. Which serious silver eagle collector or their love ones wouldn’t nuke the bid to have one of 365 graded coin with cert# as same as collector’s birthday or wedding anniversary?


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