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American Silver Eagle Mintage History

The American Silver Eagle Coin was created by the US Mint in 1986 to establish a way to encourage the private ownership of precious metals.

Silver Eagles are issued in both bullion and proof versions. Bullion versions are intended for investment and have higher mintages, while proof versions are produced annually, the mint has issued a variety of special finishes. The American Silver Eagle bullion coin is minted based on monthly sales demand. The mintage figures for proof Silver Eagles are significantly lower.

It’s important to note that while mintage figures can provide insights into the popularity and production levels of a coin, they are not the only factor that influences a coin’s value. Collectors also consider factors like the coin’s condition (graded or ungraded), rarity, and overall demand in the market.

American Eagle Silver Coin Yearly Mintage Figures

Year Bullion Proof Uncirculated (Burnished)
1995-W 30,125 
2006-P Rev Pr 248,875 
2011-S  99,882
2011-P Rev Pr 99,882 
2012-S 281,792 
2012-S Rev Pr 224,935 
2013-W 235,689 
2013- W Rev Pr 235,689 
201444,006,000894,614 253,169
201547,000,000696,001 200,016
201637,701,500595,664 216,422
201718,065,500(W) – 389,994
(S) – 123,906 3
201815,700,000(W) – 352,141
(S) – 158,761
2019 114,863,5001(W) – 319,086
(S) -146,735
2019-W Rev Pr 99,911 4 
2019-S Enh Rev Pr 29,8232 
2020 530,089,500(W) – 357,048
(S) – 146,729 (W) v75 – 75,0006
(W) 154,261
2021 7Type 1 – 25,675,500
Type 2 – 2,599,500
Type 1 – 299,509


(S) Type 2 – 238,454

(W) Type 2 – 311,982

Type 1 – 174,470


Type 2 –

202215,963,500 8

(W) 499,070

(S) 200,937

(W) – 160,025
2023 24,750,000 9
(W) 436,375 23EA

(S) 177,647 23EM

(W) 137,018 23EG
2024 10,802,000 10
(W) 243,182 24EA

(S) 24EM

(W) 24EG

American Silver Eagle History

The Liberty Coin Act of 1985 established the bullion coin program and directed the US Mint to create the first American Silver Eagle coins in 1986 and played a pivotal role in establishing the U.S. as a major player in the global bullion market. The primary objective was to authorize the U.S. Mint to produce gold and silver bullion coins for private investors to provide trusted precious metal coins for investment.

The Act was also part of a broader initiative that included reductions to the Defense National Stockpile of silver and to provide an avenue for individuals to invest in physical gold and silver as a means of diversifying their portfolios while providing an official means for Americans to own precious metal coins directly backed by the U.S. government.

This source of silver was depleted during the early 2000’s and the law was amended to allow the U.S. Mint to purchase silver on the open market to continue the Silver Eagle program.

American Eagle Silver coins are a trustworthy and easily recognizable investment choice that offer an accessible and trusted avenue to buy physical and own silver coins. The backing of the U.S. government for weight, content, and purity further bolsters investor confidence in these coins, ensuring high liquidity in the bullion market.

The law set initial design specifications and standards for the Silver Eagles that includes:

  • The coins will be 40.6 millimeters in diameter and weigh 31.103 grams
  • Each coin will contain .999 fine silver
  • Each coin will  feature a design symbolic of Liberty on the obverse side and of an eagle on the reverse side
  • Each coin will be inscribed with the of the year of minting or issuance, the words ‘Liberty’, ‘In God We Trust’, ‘United States of America’, ‘1 Oz. Fine Silver’, ‘E Pluribus Unum’, and ‘One Dollar’
  • Each coin will have reeded edges

During its initial mintage years, mintage totals were low due to lack of investor awareness. When the financial crisis and recession of the early 2000’s occurred, investor demand for American Eagles as a safe-haven assets skyrocketed with more than 10 million silver bullion coins were minted for the first time in 2002.

Throughout the 2008 financial crisis, demand for American Silver Eagles soared as the housing bubble expanded and collapsed, with mintage figures in most years surpassing 20 million coins.

The year 2020 brought significant disruption in the supply chain due to shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the United States Mint temporarily suspended Silver Eagle production, and mintage figures for 2020 were lower than usual before rebounding from the disruptions in 2021.

Rare Mintages and Collectible Silver Eagle

While these coins were created primarily for investment purposes, they also cater to collectors for their aesthetic appeal. Over the years, the U.S. Mint has released Proof Silver Eagles, Uncirculated or Burnished and special editions of these coins that have become highly sought after by numismatists.

Many collectors want to buy American Silver Eagle coins from each mintage year to build a complete set. Some dealers also sell a complete set of Silver Eagles with coins featuring coins from each mintage encapsulated and graded by third-party services like NGC & PCGS.

For many collectors, the most coveted coin is the debut 1986 Silver Eagle. As the inaugural issue of this series, this coin holds a special place for many collectors.

The lowest mintage to date is the 1996 Silver Eagle Bullion Coin. The US Mint produced just 3.6 million Silver Eagle coins dated that year. Even coins in poor condition can fetch high premiums.

The value of some Silver Eagle $1 Coins keep rising due to their rarity and demand from collectors and numismatists. Recent auctions reflect some of the higher numismatic premiums for these rare Silver Eagle coins. 

The 1995-W Proof Silver Eagle is perhaps the most famous and desired of all Silver Eagle coins. It was only included as part of the 10th-anniversary Gold Eagle Set and is the rarest Silver Eagle with a mintage of only 30,125.

Issued to mark the 20th anniversary of the Silver Eagle program, the 2006-P Reverse Proof Silver Eagle features a unique reverse proof finish. It was only available as part of a special three-coin set.

The 2008-W Burnished Silver Eagle with Reverse of 2007 variety was an unintentional error where the U.S. Mint used the 2007 reverse die in 2008. It’s distinguished by the absence of a serif on the “U” in “United.”

In 2011, the US Mint issued the 2011 25th Anniversary Set and is highly sought after because it included a reverse proof coin and an S-minted uncirculated coin as part of a five coin set.

The release of the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle coin in November was met by incredibly high demand due in part to its limited mintage.

The mintage was limited to only 30,000 coins making it the lowest mintage of any variety of American Silver Eagle coin produced to date. The 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof American Eagle Silver coin sold out from the US Mint website in under 15 minutes.

During the 2020 mintage year the West Point Mint was closed for the period from April 15 until April 21. During a similar period, from April 8 to April 20, the U.S. Mint added silver American Eagle production to Philadelphia and produced 240,000 Silver Eagle Bullion Coins at that location.

These 2020 (P) Emergency Production Silver Eagles were issued without a mint mark. The only identifying markings were available on Monster Boxes. Some Monster Boxes that were certified as originating at the Philadelphia Mint have been cataloged and authenticated by various third-party grading services including NGC and PCGS.

Silver Eagles that have been graded by professional grading services, like the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), and have received high grades (e.g., MS-70 or PF-70) can be especially sought after. First Strike or Early Release designations can also add to their desirability.

Burnished Silver Eagles are uncirculated coins, sometimes referred to with a “W” mint mark from West Point, have a distinct finish and are often sought by collectors.

Frequently Asked Questions About American Silver Eagle Coins

  • What is the American Silver Eagle?
    • The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. It was first minted in 1986 and has been produced annually since.
  • What is the silver content of an American Silver Eagle?
    • Each coin contains one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.
  • What is the face value of the Silver Eagle?
    • The face value is $1, though its market value is determined primarily by its silver content and current silver prices plus an additional premium.
  • Where are Silver Eagles minted?
    • Over the years, they’ve been minted at various U.S. Mint facilities, including West Point, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
  • Are there proof and uncirculated versions of the Silver Eagle?
    • Yes, in addition to the standard bullion version, the U.S. Mint also produces proof and uncirculated (or “burnished”) versions intended for collectors.
  • How can I tell if my Silver Eagle is real?
    • Authentic Silver Eagles have specific dimensions, weights, and designs. Coin dealers often use Sigma Verifiers, scales, calipers and other tools to verify authenticity. There are also easy at-home tests, like the “ping” test, the use of magnets or water displacement to help in identification.
  • Are Silver Eagles legal tender?
    • Yes, they are legal tender with a face value of $1. However, their intrinsic value, based on silver content, is much higher than their face value.
  • Can Silver Eagles be included in my Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?
    • Yes, American Silver Eagles, being .999 fine silver, meet the purity requirements to be included in precious metals IRAs.
  • How do I store Silver Eagles?
    • Many collectors and investors use protective capsules, tubes, or monster boxes (official U.S. Mint containers that hold 500 coins). Some also opt for safe deposit boxes or professional vaulting services.
  • Why do some Silver Eagles have different finishes or mint marks?
    • The U.S. Mint has released various editions, including bullion, proof, and uncirculated versions. Bullion coins typically don’t have mint marks, while proof and uncirculated coins often do. Special releases, like reverse proofs or enhanced uncirculated coins, have been issued for anniversaries or other occasions.
  • How do I buy American Silver Eagles?
    • Proof and Special Edition coins that are offered as numismatics are available to purchase from the US Mint. Bullion coins can only be purchased from precious metals dealers and secondary market sources.
  • Why are some years or versions of the Silver Eagle more expensive than others?
    • Prices can be influenced by mintage numbers, demand, coin condition, special designations (like “First Strike”), and historical significance.

American Silver Eagle Mintage History Notes & References

1 – Sales totals through November 30, 2019. December Sales Totals Unpublished.
2 – Announced Mintage was 30,000 coins. Sales totals shown are based on sales data supplied by the US Mint.
3 – The 2017-S Proof Coin was released in two special sets. One called the “Congratulations Set” (17RF) with an announced mintage of 75,000 units. The other “Limited Edition Proof Set” (17RC) with an announced mintage of 50,000 units. Sales records show 48,906 Limited Edition Proof Sets sold. Sales records do not indicate how many Congratulations Sets were sold that year.
4 – The 2019-W Rev Proof was released as part of the “Pride of Two Nations” set (19XB)
5 – Updated 2020 based on sales figures released by the mint January 5, 2020. The West Point Mint was shutdown from April 15 to April 21, 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Minting of Silver Eagles was briefly shifted to the Philadelphia Mint and 240,000 ASE were minted. The only distinction of the Philadelphia ASEs is the box tracking numbers on the outside of the Monster Boxes. Box tracking numbers 400,000 through and including 400,479 were used on boxes of coins minted in Philadelphia. A total of 480 2020 American Silver Eagle Monster Boxes were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

6 – The US Mint released a special proof American Silver Eagle coin to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II on November 5, 2020. This American Silver Eagle is the first to contain a privy mark embossed with v75. This special proof Silver Eagle has a limited mintage of 75,000 coins.

Source: Sales Reports

7 – 2021 will see 2 different designs of the American Silver Eagle. The “type 1” design, which has been the design since the program’s creation. The “type 2” design will be a new design and is expected to be released mid-year. Sales figures updated as of December 28, 2021

8 – 2022 Sales Figures through January 3, 2023.

9 – 2023 Year to Date Sales as of December 23, 2023.

10 – 2024 Year to Date sales as of April 28, 2024.