U.S. Silver Eagle Proof
The Silver Eagle is the world’s most famous and most popular silver bullion coin. When it was first issued in 1986, it was among the world’s first silver bullion coins. Now, almost every major nation in the world issues its own version of a silver bullion coin, including Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and many other others.
However, even after 30 years of stiff competition, the Silver Eagle remains the champion of them all. With its classic design and guaranteed silver weight and purity, it has actually become even more sought-after than ever before.
The obverse design is the legendary Walking Liberty by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman that first appeared on silver half dollars from 1916 to 1947. Renowned as one of the most beautiful designs ever to appear on a U.S. coin, it is a perennial collector favorite. The reverse by U.S. Mint engraver John Mercanti is an eagle; the coin gets its name from this design.
In addition to the standard bullion coin, the U.S. Mint also makes a proof edition of the Silver Eagle each year. Like the standard coin, each proof coin is struck with a full ounce of pure silver, making it easy to own and convenient to store.
Whereas the regular coin is struck once under normal pressure, the proof coin is struck at least twice under intense pressure to produce a sharp contrast between the mirrored backgrounds and high-relief images.
Proofs are the highest quality possible from the U.S. Mint, but because of the painstaking minting process, the Silver Eagle proofs are made in limited editions. They are among the Mint’s “best kept secrets.” Few people – even seasoned collectors – know about them.
2016 Silver Eagle Proof Features Unique 30th Anniversary Inscription
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Silver Eagle in 2016, the U.S. Mint will release the special 30th anniversary proof edition on September 16, 2016. For the first time in Silver Eagle history, this coin will include a historic inscription.
The edge of a Silver Eagle is normally reeded – but for the unique 2016 30th anniversary proof edition, the edge will be smooth and will be incused with the wording “30th anniversary.” An incused inscription is sunk into the surface, creating a memorable and stunning design variation.
The 2016 proof Silver Eagle will be struck only at the U.S. Mint in West Point. The “W” mint mark is on the reverse, to the left of the eagle’s tail.