Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Silver Eagles - Bullion, Proof, Uncirculated, and 25th Anniversary?

One of the US Mint's most popular offerings is the American Silver Eagle. After a few years of turbulence, it appears that the US Mint is prepared to issue all three anticipated versions of the 2011 Silver Eagle. This includes the regular bullion coins, which have already been released, and the collectible proof and uncirculated versions, scheduled to be released later in the year.

2011 Silver Eagle Bullion Coins

The bullion versions of the 2011 American Silver Eagles first went on sale to authorized purchasers on January 3, 2011. Following the typical procedures for the program, the authorized purchasers are able to buy the coins directly from the US Mint in bulk quantities based on the silver value plus a premium of $2 per coin. The bullion coins are then resold to other dealers for broader distribution to the public.

From the start of sales, the US Mint's allocation program has been in place, which serves to ration the available supply of coins amongst the authorized purchasers. The US Mint has used this program at times when demand for silver bullion coins exceeds the available supply.

In the month of January, sales reached an astounding 6,422,000 coins, setting a new record for monthly sales. The number of coins sold in the following months dropped, although this might be attributable to the impact of allocation rather than a decline in demand. Through the current date, sales have reached 12,429,000.

CoinWorld recently reported that the San Francisco Mint will strike Silver Eagle bullion coins starting in May. For more than ten years, the coins have only been produced at the West Point Mint. Although the bullion coins won't carry a mint mark to denote the source, I could see some sellers trying to differentiate the coins, especially if pick up from the San Francisco Mint can be arranged.

At this point, it seems likely that Silver Eagle bullion coin sales will break another annual record. Since 2008, annual sales have set successive record highs. For the 2010 calendar year, Silver Eagle bullion coin sales were 34,662,500.

2011 Silver Eagle Proof Coins

Collectors will remember that the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle was canceled by the US Mint amidst an extended period of high bullion demand. Because the Mint was required to strike the bullion coins in quantities necessary to meet public demand, all incoming precious metals blanks were diverted to bullion production and collector programs suspended and eventually canceled.

In the following year, another cancellation threatened to occur. However, a lull in bullion demand during August and September allowed the 2010 Proof Silver Eagles to be produced. The coins went on sale November 19 and sold out on December 28. The last reported sales were 860,000.

The 2011 Proof Silver Eagle has a release date of June 30, 2011. When the US Mint first provided its scheduled product listing for the year, an exact date was not provided.

There is much more certainty behind this year's offering than prior years. Late in 2010, a bill was signed into law which changed the legal requirements for American Gold and Silver Eagle coins. Previously, the bullion coins were required to be produced in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. After the change, the law directs the coins to be minted in "quantities and qualities that the Secretary [of the Treasury] determines are sufficient to meet public demand."

The US Mint (via the Secretary of the Treasury) seems to be ready and willing to use this authority to provide for collector coin production.

2011 Silver Eagle Uncirculated Coins

The second collectible version of the American Silver Eagle, previously issued from 2006 to 2008, seems poised to make a come back this year. The US Mint indicates that the 2011-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle is scheduled to be released in "early fall."

These coins are struck on burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark. As a collector offering, the coins are available for sale directly from the US Mint and priced at a premium to the precious metal value. In the three years of issue so far, the coins have always had a lower mintage than the proof versions.

For both 2009 and 2010, the collectible uncirculated versions had been canceled due to bullion demand.

25th Anniversary Silver Eagles?

In 2006, the United States Mint released special sets to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Gold and Silver Eagles. The 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set included proof, uncirculated, and reverse proof versions of the coin. With a maximum production of 250,000 units and a unique coin included, the sets were extremely popular. A sell out occurred quickly and prices rose on the secondary market.

As this year is the 25th anniversary of the Silver Eagle, it would certainly be appropriate to celebrate the event with a special set or special version of the coin. Under the modified law covering American Silver Eagles, the door is open to creating such a product despite high bullion demand. Let's hope the US Mint takes this opportunity to create something unique and appealing for collectors this year.



At March 29, 2011 at 11:02 AM , Blogger Andrew said...

I hope they do issue a commemorative 25th anniversary set. That would be great to see.

At March 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof (not UNCs or even reverse proofs) ASE's are the nicest thing you can buy from the Mint, period.

At March 29, 2011 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we really need some kind of special ASE coin every 5 years? I think it is a bit much.

At March 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the 25th Anniversary, how about a 4-coin set of both Gold and Silver Eagles this time, all proofs. Each coin would carry a Mint mark: W, S, P and for the first time ever, D!

A 5,000 set limit on Gold and a 100,000 set limit on Silver.

I think those sets would be extremely popular, despite the very high issue prices. The gold set would cost at least $7,000! Granted, there would be a limit of one set per household, but that one set would set you back plenty.

At March 29, 2011 at 11:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At March 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There should be more than one reverse proof made by the US Mint. It is pathetic how behind the times the mint is. We get things like one reverse proof release and a bigass 5 oz coin, and we eat it up. Oh and lets not forget the 2009 UHR eagle. It looks nice but it isn't innovative. Big deal, they made a double-thick coin (which others have been doing FOREVER), and didn't even make a new design, because their stupid design-by-committee couldn't design a good coin to save their lives. They just used a design that had been sitting around for many decades. Not only that, they didn't even do it properly, and made it pure gold instead of the original alloy.

Other mints are much more innovative with much more attractive designs. The US Mint is somewhat pathetic.

At March 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention, reverse proofs and "bigass coins" have been made by other mints for many years before our slow mint got around to doing anything with those ideas. There are also much bigger coins from other mints. And they look better. Did I mention they look better? Because I want to emphasize that the mint's designs lately look TERRIBLE.

At March 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM , Blogger Jake said...

Is the US mint going to produce the $1.00 unc. set?

This is the set that had the four presidential $1, Native American $1 and the $1 silver Eagle.

At March 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see 25th Anniversary sets. If they even did the same thing as in 2006...that would be fine. If they made changes...that would be fine. The main thing would to keep the mintages low.
In 2006, there were 3 Anniversary sets.
1) Silver Eagle 3 coin set with Proof, Unc. and Reverse Proof...cost $100 Mintage 250,000
2)Gold and Silver unc ounce of each with W mint mark....cost $850 Mintage 20,000
3) Gold coin ounce Proof, Unc, & Reverse Proof...cost $2610 Mintage 10,000

Each of the three sets had a household limit of 10 sets.
I doubt the household limit would be that high again.

Anyway, I think the Mint would be missing a great opportunity to have a popular product.

BTW, the 2006 Anniversary sets were not released until the Fall of even though nothing is already on the product schedule, doesn't mean it won't happen.

At March 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reverse proof ASE would be a really cool offering. Hopefully the Mint will make that happen. I think that three coin set would be a very hot item- and unlike the 5oz ATBs- it would be within reach for most collectors.

At March 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And speaking of those 5 ounce ATBs, how about how quickly those sales by JackHunt went! I believe there are only a few thousand sets left to be sold by APs. I wonder if the US Mint was waiting for all of them to be sold before offering the numismatic version. I wonder what that says about pricing if they are waiting for this???

At March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mint's "numismatic" versions with the P Mint mark will cost an arm and a leg. The Mint will be the one gouging big-time on those. Since the AP's had to sell for no more than a 10% mark-up, the Mint should have to sell the ones they have for around that same level, with the normal mark-up for numismatic items. In other words, if the AP's could not take advantage of the much higher silver spot price now, then the Mint shouldn't get to either. The coins were all struck at the same time, and acquisition costs for the metal were the same.

The Mint dragging their feet on these will net them a LOT more revenue.

At March 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a 5 oz anniversary Silver Eagle. They already have the presses and the blanks to accomplish this. Now that would satisfy my collectors hunger.

At March 30, 2011 at 6:50 PM , Blogger vickievail said...

I like that idea of a 5 oz ASE 25th Anniversary Bullion! Speaking of 2011 Silver Eagle, at about 1:00 pm EST I saw sold out of the 2011 Silver American Eagle MS70 NGC Early Release 25th Anniversary (25th Anniversary Red Label)
Item #V400518 - $171.62. Just check this evening and they have more available.

At March 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think about it: 2011 Reverse Proof 5 ounce 0.999 fine Silver Eagle!

Sounds good to me. They should really do it.

At March 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO IT...Mint.

At March 31, 2011 at 5:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will never see a 5 ounce ASE issued by the US Mint. They are most likely regretting the 5 ounce ATB issues so why make the same mistake twice. The only people who seem to love the 5 ounce ATB issues are the flippers.

At March 31, 2011 at 7:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 5 oz ATB are a joke. PLEASE get the palladium coin out US mint! We need a fresh, new PM coin and not another reproduction of an existing coin or another anniversary set.

At March 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM , Anonymous VG said...

Don't you know the palladium coin will be a reproduction of the Mercury Dime obverse and the reverse of the 1907 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. New material, old designs..... So much for new.

At March 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would be nice to do something different this time around and add a matte proof.

At March 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read they will be producing the dollar set after a two year absence. I also like them with the presidents and native american dollars surrounding the silver dollar. But of coarse, there's a wholes in the set for 2009 and 2010.

At April 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM , Blogger HBGuy said...

A 5-oz ASE 25th anniversary coin is an excellent idea. How about it, USM?

And while you're at it, could you also consider a 1 kilo coin, similar to those offered by the Perth and Royal Canadian Mints?

At April 2, 2011 at 8:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the US Mint should disqualify all APs except for FideliTrade and A-Mark, as they were the only ones that fully did everything in their power to follow the rules they laid down. The US Mint should not only take the future sales of ATBs away from them, they should fully de-authorize them of ALL PRIVILEGES they receive as an AP.
The APs have snubbed their noses at the US Mint and the public enough. They made their own rules and spat on everyone else.
If they don't punish them for not following the rules, why have any rules at all? One forced the public buy other products, one only sold to walk-ins, and it's very clear that they sold out the back doors to the Pros. Being an AP is an extension of the arm of the US Mint, and the public should demand they be removed!

At April 2, 2011 at 8:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the U.S. Mint should take the powers away from the APs that abused the public!

At April 7, 2011 at 11:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

a fractional silver set would be unusual and affordable for the general public.


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