Collectors have eagerly been waiting for the rollout of the new Silver Eagle reverse design, which the U.S. Mint plans to release in mid-2021. Alongside the first major re-design in the series, 2021 also marks the 35th anniversary of its debut! The United States Mint currently plans to release the collector’s Uncirculated or “Burnished” version of the coin bearing the new reverse in the summer of 2021.
The details of the American Silver Eagle coins will remain largely the same, except the reverse, which will feature Emily Damstra’s new reverse design, replacing John Mercanti’s iconic original heraldic eagle reverse design.
The coins are still struck on one troy oz. .999 fine silver planchets at the West Point branch of the U.S. Mint and will carry its sought-after “W” mint mark.
The obverse design will remain largely the same. The obverse features the timeless Walking Liberty design from artist Adolph Weinman, which served as the obverse of the circulating half dollar from 1916 until the Franklin half dollar series replaced it. Liberty is shown in full stride over unforgiving terrain. Wrapped in an American flag, she carries branches of laurel and oak, symbols of success and strength, as the sun rises in the background.
The reverse features an original design from the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Emily Damstra. Ms. Damstra is no stranger to the world of numismatics as she has designed for both the U.S. Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. Her new reverse features a powerful American Bald Eagle is coming to rest on an oak branch in this dynamic new design. U.S. Mint Engraver Michael Gaudioso sculpted the design
Three finishes are struck for the Silver Eagle series: Proof, Bullion, and Uncirculated or “Burnished.”
The Uncirculated or Burnished features a numismatic mint mark and special preparation and handling. This process is somewhat similar to their Proof cousins, but the difference is in the polishing. Burnished coins are polished in a metal-on-metal process, which includes the planchet being polished with metal balls, resulting in a very uniform matte or frosty appearance over the entire coin. Unlike their proof cousins, the Burnished Silver Eagle is struck only once.
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