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End of an Era

Published by: Gold Expert on September 28, 2020
End of an Era




In 1985 President Ronald Reagan, signed the historic American Bullion act which called for the production of both Gold and Silver American Eagles. Starting in 1986, the United States mint produced both business strike and proof examples each and every year to date. The coin’s obverse design was taken from Adolph Weinman’s “Walking Liberty,” which was a public favorite when initially used for half dollars between 1916-1947.

Designed by John Mercanti, the 12th chief engraver at the United States Mint, the reverse portrays a heraldic eagle with its wings spread behind a shield. Today the American Silver Eagle is considered to be the most highly collected modern silver across the globe. Each coin carries one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.

Starting the year 2021, the United States Mint, will be producing the American Silver Eagles with a new updated reverse design.  This means that 2020 marks the final year of issue for the current design, putting an end to the type 1 set of the series.  In my opinion, I believe this will bode well for the long term popularity of the series by creating a clear path to completion of an American Silver Eagle collection.


Like any series, the Silver Eagles carry both common available dates, as well as a number of moderate to super rare examples.  Rarities such as the 1995-W Silver Eagle. Released as a part of a 5 coin set commemorating the American Eagle’s 10th Anniversary.  The set contained four gold coins, the $5, $10, $25, and $50 proof Gold Eagles, as well as one proof Silver Eagle.  Due to the high gold content, the set carried a hefty price tag, making it unaffordable to many.  It was because of this, that the 1995-W was released with a total mintage of only 30,125, the lowest mintage of the entire series. In 2013, two examples of the 1995-W Silver Eagle were submitted for Auction, where they sold for almost $90,000 each.

Even closer to today, the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof Silver Eagle.  Coming in at a total mintage of only 30,000 coins, this Silver Eagle has replaced the 1995-W as the lowest minted in the series.   I will never forget the rush of trying to buy this coin.  I had 3 browsers open on my laptop, tablet, and phone.  I also had all of my friends and family members try to buy the coin for me.  When 12pm hit, the site crashed and froze.  I could not believe it, but it seems that there were hundreds of thousands of hits on the United States Mint site.  At Baltimore, there were lines of people in the middle of November, camping out in hopes of getting their hands on just 1 coin.  I managed to get one personally, but the rest in the after market which was already $1000 immediately after its release.  The coin, depending on grade, can trend for well over $3,000 today.


Although this is the final year, the year is yet to be over.  The United States Mint has issued notice of the next potential rarity.  This year, the Mint will be releasing a Silver and Gold Eagle, with a 75th Anniversary WWII Privy mark inscribed on the coins.  This will be a first and only of their kinds, setting them up to be the next, and last Key Dates of their series.  The Silver Eagle is reported to be released with a total mintage of only 75,000 coins.  This means that this limited edition proof coin will undoubtedly see massive demand immediately.  

Matador Rare Coins Ltd, is a boutique Precious Metals & Rare Coin firm based in New York City.  Utilizing both our networks of clients and dealers, we have been able to gain a significant advantage in our approach to this industry.  Whether you are looking to invest in Bullion or purchase individual Rare Coins, we are more than prepared to cater to all of your needs.