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The American Silver Eagle series was introduced in 1986. It remains the most popular ongoing program struck by the U.S Mint. The coins are struck on 1 oz. .999 silver planchets. There are three finishes struck in the Silver Eagle series: Proof, Bullion and Uncirculated or “Burnished American Silver Eagle.”
The “numismatic finishes,” the proof and Uncirculated (or “Burnished”) versions of the coin bear the mint mark of the facility in which they were struck. These high quality coins are struck multiple times and enjoy special handling and typically low mintages which interest collectors.
The coins have featured the same iconic design from inception. The obverse features the beautiful Walking Liberty design by Adolph Weinman from the beloved 1916 half dollar series. Liberty is shown striding over the rough American landscape. She carries branches of laurel representing success and oak representing strength. She is swaddled in the U.S. Flag and is backlit by the rising sun.
The reverse is an original design for the series from the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, John M. Mercanti. A Heraldic Eagle is the central feature of the design. He is protected by a shield over his breast. He clutches arrows and an olive branch in his talons signifying our desire for Peace and our willingness to protect it.
Collectors are drawn to first issues, early releases, final issues and lower mintage coins. The “Burnished” or Uncirculated coins consistently tend to have lower mintages than any other ASEs in the series.
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