Late in October of 2020, the United States Mint announced that two 2021 Brilliant Uncirculated issues, one featuring Mercanti's original heraldic eagle reverse design, and the other, featuring Emily Damstra's updated reverse design, will be released for collectors.
The new Type-2 reverse design is currently available for pre-order as ungraded singles and rolls in addition to options certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
The American Silver Eagle is one the world’s most collected bullion coin. Although it is an undisputed leader among silver bullion coins, it had not yet adapted to growing threats such as improved counterfeiting. The Type-2 Silver Eagle features enhanced security features which include an anti-counterfeit reeded edge. In mid-2021, the United States Mint introduced a historic update to the series when John Mercanti's heraldic eagle reverse design was replaced with a brand-new reverse design created by Emily Damstra.
The American Silver Eagle Program made its debut in 1986 with both gold and silver cons. The coins were not the first modern bullion issues, with coins such as South Africa’s gold krugerrand and Canada’s Gold Maple Leaf already available. Even so, both coins quickly rose to prominence and popularity not only for their stunning designs but also for their US government backing for weight and purity.
The designs of the series have remained constant, with relatively minor changes being made for their first three and a half decades.
The obverse design of the Silver Eagle will continue to feature Adolph Weinman’s famous Walking Liberty design. Revived for the series after first featuring on half dollars from 1916-1947, the design features Liberty draped in the American flag and wearing a Phrygian cap that identifies her as a freed slave. She walked confidently with laurel and oak branches, symbols of civilian and military honors, in her left hand. Her right hand she extends in front of her above the morning sun, as if presenting the new day to the holder. The Type-2 Silver Eagles will notably feature Weinman's initials, "AW," on the obverse for the first time in the issuance of the series.
On June 23, 2020 the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) held a public meeting via telephone to discuss the themes and designs of upcoming programs. The June 23rd meeting involved a discussion and review of some of the proposed reverse designs for the 2021 American Silver Eagle coin.
To view all the proposed designs, check out the United States Mint’s website here.
For more information about this exciting twist on an American classic, read this info-vault article about the new reverse design.
On October 1, 2020, the United States Mint revealed the much anticipated new reverse design that will debut on Brilliant Uncirculated Silver Eagles in mid-2021. Ungraded coins are available for pre-sale on ModernCoinMart now, with graded options coming soon. The United States Mint also released 2021 Brilliant Uncirculated issues featuring the original reverse design earlier in the year.
The new reverse design was created by Emily Damstra, a participant in the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP), and was sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Michael Gaudioso. The reverse still features a bald eagle, but from a new perspective. The design depicts an eagle in flight, just about to land, talons grasping an oak branch.
The obverse will also carry Adolph Weinman's artist initials, "AW," for the first time in this history of the series, apt as the Walking Liberty design which appears on the obverse was borrowed from his original Walking Liberty Half Dollar design.
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