With passage of the Liberty Coin Act of 1985, the United States Congress established an official silver bullion coin for the country. Struck using only silver sourced from within the US, the Silver American Eagle debuted in 1986 to immense demand from a precious metals industry clamoring for more silver bullion coin options. Today, the 1988-S Proof Silver American Eagle coin is available on Silver.com.
- Proof mintage of 557,370 coins in total for 1988!
- Third annual Silver American Eagle proof!
- Ships in a commemorative box complete with a Certificate of Authenticity.
- Consists of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.
- Face value of $1 (USD) is fully backed by the US government.
- Issued with the “S” mint mark from the San Francisco Mint.
Silver American Eagle production dipped significantly in the third year from the 1986 and 1987 issues. In reality though, investors and collectors were settling in to a groove that saw production of Silver American Eagle coins stabilize in the coming years.
Between 1988 and 1999, production of Silver American Eagle coins as a whole (both bullion and proof) would hit a low of 4.1 million and a high of 7.9 million. During this 12-year production run, the coins would go up and down numerous times. The first of these upward trends started in 1988, and lasted through 1991.
On the obverse of all Silver American Eagle coins is the image of Walking Liberty created by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916. His depiction of Liberty was indicative of the nation’s drive toward a brighter future, and featured on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar through 1947. After 39 years of nonuse, Walking Liberty returned in 1986 as the official design for the Silver American Eagle.
US Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti assumed that role in 1986, creating a modern version of the nation’s heraldic eagle for the Silver American Eagle coin as his first major project. Mercanti’s design continues as the reverse design on the coin, though he retired from the position in 2010.
Silver American Eagle coins, both bullion and proof, were produced at the San Francisco Mint during the program’s early years. Eventually both coins would shift to different mints for production.
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