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Burnished Silver Eagles

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What Is a Burnished American Silver Eagle? (introduced in 2006)


In 1986, the United States Mint began producing the American Silver Eagle in Brilliant Uncirculated (bullion) and proof finishes. For 20 years, these two finishes were the only options available. This all changed in 2006, the 20th anniversary of the series, when the U.S. Mint began producing Burnished American Silver Eagles. These Burnished Silver Eagles are struck from 1 Troy oz. .999 fine silver burnished planchets and bear the "W" Mint mark to signify that they were minted at the West Point Branch of the US Mint.

Does the Mint Still Offer Burnished American Silver Eagles?

It is Speculative to say that the U.S. Mint will stop producing the Burnished American Silver Eagle coin. The 2021 Silver Eagle is the Most Recent burnished option offered by the mint with no evidence to show that the mint is stopping Burnished Silver Eagle production anytime soon. A Burnished American Silver Eagle release is on the schedule for 2022.


How Do You Identify a Burnished Silver Eagle?


Burnished coins appear less shiny with a matte finish, compared to a standard bullion coin finish due to the specially polished coin blanks known as planchets. By way of the process, each specially burnished blank coin is hand-fed one at a time into the press, resulting in coins with this smooth, matte-like finish.


Save for the specially minted 2011 Burnished Silver Eagle Coin, which was minted from the San Francisco mint (“S”) and West Point, historically the West Point Mint is the only location that strikes Burnished American Silver Eagles. These coins bear the desirable "W" mint mark, and since 2006, all uncirculated Silver Eagles with the “W” mint mark have burnished finishes.

Popularity of the Burnished Silver Eagle

Since their debut in 1986, American Silver Eagle coins have been among the most popular coins offered from the U.S. Mint. And since 2006, the matte finish of the burnished silver coin has been a beloved addition for collectors and admirers of the Silver Eagle.

Burnished Silver Eagles traditionally have Smaller Mintages than either their bullion or Proof counterparts. 

Below is a Chart Of The Mintages of each Burnished Silver Eagle Coin:

Year Mintage
2006 468,020
2007 621,333
2008 533, 757
2009 0
2010 0
2011 409,776
2011-S 99,882
2012 226,120
2013 222,091
2014 253,169
2015 2234,879
2016 216,501
2017 176,739
2018 138,947
2019 138,140
2020 154,864

Type I - 172,906

Type II - 172,906

Obverse Design of the Burnished American Silver Eagle


While the burnished finish differs from the uncirculated and proof finishes, the design has remained consistent throughout the series in all options. The obverse was created to mimic the Walking Liberty design by Adolph A. Weinman, a German-American sculptor. First used on the Half-Dollar from 1917-1947, the design was named due to the fact that Lady Liberty is depicted as walking across the horizon. When the Type-2 design debuted in mid-2021 the designer Adlop Weinman’s artist initials, “AW” were added to the obverse design.

2022 American Silver Eagle BU Obverse2022 American Silver Eagle BU Obverse

Reverse Design of the Burnished American Silver Eagle


The original Type-1 classic American Silver Eagle reverse was designed by the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, John Mercanti. As of 2006, John Mercanti has produced more designs for coins and medals than any other employee in the history of the US Mint. The design chosen for the American Eagle series features a heraldic eagle, gripping an olive branch and arrows by its talons and a banner that reads, "E PLURIBUS UNUM" by its beak. There are 13 starts above the eagle to represent the original 13 colonies. 


This reverse design was used until mid-2021 when the United States Mint debuted a brand new “Eagle Landing” reverse design just in time for the beloved series’ 35th anniversary. This new Type-2 design was created by Emily Damsta. It first appeared with a Burnished finish in 2021 making the final year of issue of the Type-1 reverse design on a Burnished Silver Eagle, in 2020.

2022 American Silver Eagle BU Reverse2022 American Silver Eagle BU Reverse

Graded Burnished Silver Eagles at ModernCoinMart


Shop a wide variety of Burnished American Silver Eagles certified for authenticity and quality by respected third-party grading services such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) & the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). After careful examination by expert numismatists, each coin receives a grade to reflect the quality. Examples of grades include MS69 & MS70 with Early Releases, First Releases and many more label options.