This adaptation of Adolph A. Weinman’s design of the half dollar (1916-1947) has been extremely popular as a Silver bullion coin since its inaugural issue in 1986. Many people collect them by date and this is the "Key" date for the series.
- Contains 1 oz of .999 fine Silver.
- Multiples of 20 are packaged in mint tubes. Multiples of 500 are packaged in “Monster Boxes.” All other coins will be in protective plastic.
- Obverse: Adolph A. Weinman’s design showing Lady Liberty draped in an American flag, walking gracefully as the sun rises over a ridge.
- Reverse: A heraldic eagle is shown below 13 small stars, representing the original colonies.
- Guaranteed by the U.S. Mint.
Protect your American Silver Eagle with this clear plastic capsule or display it in style by adding an attractive presentation box or jewelry bezel to your order.
1996 Silver Eagles have the lowest mintage (3,603,386) of all bullion quality coins in the entire Silver American Eagle series. Add this Key Date Silver American Eagle to your cart today!
The driving force behind the creation of the Silver American Eagle was the government’s desire to sell off some of the Silver from the Defense National Stockpile. Although states with heavy mining interests and some legislators opposed the sale of the Silver, in 1985, the Senate agreed to permit the sale of Silver after an amendment was made to the bill permitting such action. Later in 2002, after it became apparent the stockpile of Silver would be depleted, an additional bill was passed that would allow the government to purchase Silver on the open market once it became necessary.
The design of this Silver bullion coin is steeped in American heritage and tradition. On the obverse of the coin is Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design which was originally used on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar from 1916 to 1947. This iconic design was a public favorite and thus it was reinstituted years later on the 1 oz Silver American Eagle. The reverse features a heraldic eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and arrows in the other with a shield on its chest. In the beak of the bird is a banner that reads “E Pluribus Unum” and above the eagle are 13 five-pointed stars representing the original 13 colonies. This image mirrors the Great Seal of the United States.
These Silver bullion coins do not have mintmarks, as opposed to the Proof and Burnished versions, which do include a mintmark. From 1986 to 1998, they were manufactured at the San Francisco Mint. From 1999 to 2000, production was moved to the Philadelphia Mint. Since 2001, the 1 oz Silver American Eagle has been produced at the West Point Mint in New York, which has been referred to as the “Fort Knox of Silver.” Starting in 2011, due to the coin’s massive popularity, the San Francisco Mint again began minting coins to supplement the output from the West Point Mint.