30th Anniversary of the Silver American Eagles
Silver American Eagles are considered of the most beautiful coins ever minted. American Silver Eagles have a deep and rich history, and 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of this beloved series. These Silver coins were originally released in 1986 and to this day remain one of the most-sold Silver coins produced at the United States Mint. Silver Eagles have withstood the test of time and their popularity will likely continue far into the future.
History of the American Silver Eagles
The U.S. Mint introduced the Silver Eagles in 1986, but the classic design was used before. Reusing a popular design was indicative of the original coin design's importance in history. The original Walking Liberty design was used on Half Dollars from 1916 to 1947. Its 31-year run in circulation speaks to its success as a coin and design. There are other interesting and important facts about the Silver Eagle coins:
- Coin designs during the time of the Walking Liberty were substandard, according to President Theodore Roosevelt. A Fine Arts Committee chose Adolph A. Weinman, who studied under and apprenticed with the Gold Double Eagle designer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, was chosen to redesign the circulating dimes and half dollars. The Walking Liberty design displayed a popular patriotic theme and was met with critical acclaim.
- First struck and released in 1986, the San Francisco Mint struck the Silver Eagle coins until 1998. The San Francisco Mint did not produce the coins again until 2011, and even then only a one-year provision for full production. The U.S. Mint struck 40 million Silver Eagle coins that year.
- Production of the Silver American Eagles doubled in 1987. The total mintage, including proof versions, was more than 12 million coins. Silver Eagle production took a step back in subsequent years because of the supply of Silver, but the coin's popularity remained high.
- Unique anniversary sets offer popular choices for coin collectors and coin collecting. Anniversary sets have unique varieties to honor the coin. Collectors can find anniversary Silver Eagles in 10th anniversary, 20th anniversary, 25th anniversary and even 75th anniversary of the San Francisco and West Point Mints.
- The Liberty Coin Act of 1985 gave birth to the Silver Eagles. Congress decided the Walking Liberty design would be used for the production of the American Eagles. Under this act, only Silver sourced in the United States would be used to mint the Silver coins.
Silver American Eagle Coins are Even More Popular Today
Reaching the 30th anniversary, the American Silver Eagles are one of the most popular Silver coins produced by the U.S. Mint. The Silver Eagle serves as the official coin of the United States, an honor that is not easily bestowed. In 2014, the U.S. Mint recorded more than 44 million Silver Eagle coins sold. Even though minting was in short supply in the first ten years of the coin, production grew exponentially to meet the demand for the coin.
You can buy Silver Eagle coin sets from backdated years or you can add to your collection with specified anniversary sets. There are several options available, but in any case, these Silver coins will add great value to your collection or investment portfolio.