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The American Silver Eagle coin is perhaps the most widely recognized silver bullion coin in the world. There are two types of Silver Eagle coin: The American Silver Eagle Proof coin and the standard American Silver Eagle bullion coin. The vast majority of Silver Eagles out there are Uncirculated Silver Eagles, sometimes referred to as Brilliant Uncirculated Eagles. While a Silver Eagle bullion coin is a beautiful coin in and of itself, the Silver Eagle Proof coin is truly a coin to behold. Because it is a proof coin, the Silver Eagle Proof has a fantastic mirror-like shine to it and has a great amount of detail. The American Silver Eagle Proof has been produced by the U.S. Mint since 1986.
The design of the silver eagle proof is the same as the design of the traditional Silver Eagle, however, the coins are minted in different ways and do have some key differences. The obverse of the Silver Eagle features “Walking Liberty” from Weinman’s Walking Liberty half Dollar, while the reverse features the heraldic eagle with shield, representing strength and endurance. The obverse also features the inscription “In God We Trust.” Also marked on this side is the year it was minted. The reverse of the coin is inscribed with: “United States of America” as well as “1 oz. Fine Silver-One Dollar.” In addition, the mint mark is featured.
A Proof Silver Eagle coin is minted differently than a standard Silver Eagle bullion coin. The process begins with the manual feeding of burnished coin blanks into presses that are fitted with special dies. The coin is struck not once, but multiple times. This multiple striking gives the coin a soft, frosty look that makes the images on the coin appear to float above the surface. After being thoroughly inspected, the Silver Eagle Proofs are sealed in plastic and are then mounted in a presentation case with a certificate of authenticity. The American Silver Eagle Proof coin is minted solely by the U.S. Mint. The coins have a large degree of collectability to them, and, therefore, may be considerably more costly than standard silver eagles.
Just like the regular bullion coins, the American Silver Eagle Proof comes in one size and one size only — 1 ounce. Each Silver Eagle Proof is made from .999 percent fine silver as well and carries the same legal tender value of one dollar USD.
The American Silver Eagle Proof coin carries a much more significant premium over spot than a regular uncirculated silver eagle. This is due to the collector’s value of the coin. In addition, the larger premium is also due to the way the coin is minted, which makes these coins more expensive to produce from the get-go. These coins often sell for $35-$40 over the spot silver price in most cases.
The American Silver Eagle Proof coin is without a doubt one of the finest silver coins produced today. These coins have great collectable value, as well as patriotic significance. Because they are proofs, they are not as cost-effective of an option as standard Silver Eagles for someone simply looking to acquire as many ounces of silver as possible. They can, however, provide coin collectors and stackers with some diversification. In addition, the American Silver Eagle Proof coin makes a great gift.