As you probably know, American Silver Eagles have an enduring legacy as one of the most widely collected coins in the world. These coins have been so popular that between 1986 and 2020, over 535 million were struck. That’s well over HALF A BILLION, easily making Silver Eagles the world’s best-selling coins. They’re popular not only because of their stunning design, but because they’re struck in one ounce of 99.9% fine silver, they’re legal tender, with weight and purity guaranteed by the U.S. government, and they come in three varieties – bullion, proof and burnished – to satisfy a wide range of collectors and investors.
An Iconic Design Changes, To Another Beautiful Design
For over 35 years, the Silver Eagle has had a beloved design featuring Adolph Weinman’s beautiful Walking Liberty on the front, and the Heraldic Eagle by John Mercanti, the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, on the back. Then midway through last year, in honor of the coin’s 35th Anniversary, the design changed. The Heraldic Eagle was replaced by the “Landing Eagle” design created by Artists Infusion Program (AIP) artist Emily Damstra, and engraved by recently retired U.S. Mint artist Michael Gaudioso.
The new reverse design is gorgeous, striking. It depicts an eagle about to land from flight as it grasps an oak branch between its claws. Additionally, thanks to technological advances, the Adolph Weinman design on the front represents a closer representation of the artist’s original vision, and now includes the artist’s mark, his initials, beneath “In God We Trust.” This Type-2 new design also includes a brand new security feature, a reeded edge gap to foil counterfeiting.
What Is a Burnished American Silver Eagle?
“Burnished “ describes the coin’s finish. Silver Eagles feature an intricate design, with an easily-recognizable appearance that sets them apart from others. They are a partner coin to Silver Eagle Proofs, and are struck using a special, labor-intensive process that on the surface, is not unlike that used to produce proof coins. But, digging a little deeper, one finds that burnished Eagles undergo a more specialized striking process that assures the coin’s visual brilliance.
The polishing (burnishing) process begins with a blank put through a spinning drum filled with millions of tiny 6 mm steel balls to create smooth, flawless surfaces. When that blank comes out, a specialist handles it wearing white gloves to ensure maximum care and to keep the blank surface devoid of oils and dirt. The blank is then placed, by hand, into the coin press, where it undergoes a high-pressure strike, before it is immediately inspected and packaged. The result is a coin with a soft, matte finish, with design elements that have the appearance of floating above the mirror-like background field. The process also serves to make every detail sharper, bringing added allure to the specifics of the Walking Liberty and Eagles Landing designs.
Marking the coin’s 20th birthday, the U.S. Mint introduced the burnished American Silver Eagle specifically for coin collectors in 2006. Burnished Silver Eagles are minted in limited quantities only at the West Point Mint. Unlike bullion Silver Eagles, they include a “W” mint mark beneath the image on the reverse image.
Flying Under the Radar
Despite the Burnished Silver Eagle’s distinction, scarcity, and reasonable price, the coin could be said to have flown under the radar, less well-known to collectors than its bullion and proof brothers. The U.S. Mint refers to these coins as “uncirculated”, rather than burnished. And Burnished Silver Eagle mintages tend to be a little erratic, ranging from a high of 621,333 in 2007, to a low of 130,996 in 2018. They weren’t minted at all in 2009 and 2010. That’s compared with a high mintage for bullion Silver Eagles of more than 50 million, and a high mintage for proof Silver Eagles of over 1.4 million. By just comparing the highest mintages, you can see that Burnished Silver Eagles are around twice as scarce as proof Silver Eagles, and around 80 times as scarce as bullion Silver Eagles.
The unoffical mintage appears to be 185,236 for the 2021 Burnished American Silver Eagle.
Collectors Want Firsts
Collectors crave coins that are considered “Key Dates” that represent something significant in the history of that coin, like firsts, lasts, lowest mintages, new finishes, and new designs. And here is the first-ever Burnished Silver Eagle with the new Type 2 design, making 2021 a very definite Key Date in Silver Eagle history.
Collectors Also Want the Best Quality
For any collectible coin or proof, collectors want the “best of the best,” the finest quality available. With coins, quality is measured by grades on a 70-point scale. A grade of 70 represents absolute perfection, even under magnification. There is nothing higher. There’s simply no better condition—and no grade is more coveted by collectors. Of the thousands of Burnished Silver Eagles sent for certification, only a fraction returns with the coveted MS70 or SP70 grade.
Certified Perfect with a First Day of Issue Pedigree
Each of the Burnished Silver Eagles here is certified in perfect Mint State-70 (MS70) condition by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or Specimen (SP70) by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), two of the top third-party coin-grading services in the world. Each coin has also been designated with the most-desired pedigree of First Day of Issue. Pedigrees are additional attributes of a coin that can increase its collector desirability because there are so few of them compared to the overall population. And the pedigree collectors want most on Eagles is First Day of Issue, which means they were released the very first day of production by the U.S. Mint.
Hand-Signed Labels with Custom Packaging
But that’s not all! Each Silver Eagle here will arrive encapsulated in a tamper-resistant holder, featuring an exclusive label with a hand-signed signature, one per coin, by Emily Damstra, the artist who created the new design Silver Eagle reverse design, by Michael Guadioso, the sculptor who engraved the new design, and by John Mercanti, the engraver who designed and engraved the original Silver Eagle reverse.
What all that means is simply this: you’ll want to act fast, so you don’t end up empty-handed.
Do not drag your feet on this.
2021 Type 2 Burnished Silver Eagle 3-Piece Set MS70 FDI
2021 Type 2 Burnished Silver Eagle 2-Piece Set MS70 FDI
2021 Type 2 Burnished Silver Eagle MS70 FDI
Free Shipping Free domestic shipping on all orders with no minimum. Free 1-day handling available for select in-stock products with SmartShip!
Low Prices We're always striving to bring you the lowest possible prices.
Great Selection MCM sources precious metals from all over the world and has expanded into Classic US and Ancient coins.
Great Service Established in 2004, rest assured knowing you're working with one of the most trusted dealers in the precious metals industry.