UNITED STATES BULLION COINS - SILVER (1986-DATE)
In 1986, the United States
began striking gold and silver bullion coins to compete with world bullion
coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf, the South African Krugerrand, and
others. The value of these coins was intended to be tied directly to
their metal value, although in some cases (where mintages were low) a
collector market has developed. The bullion value of these coins far
outstrips their face value.
Known as "American
Eagles" because of the family of eagles on the reverse, U.S. silver bullion coins are available in Uncirculated and Proof versions, as well as
in a number of different sets. Proof coins may be ordered by the
general public directly from the Mint. Uncirculated coins are
distributed by selected representatives, who then make them available to
the secondary market.
The obverse of the U.S.
silver bullion coins follows the artistic design created by Adolphe A.
Weinman for the Half Dollars issued from 1916-1947,
inclusive. John Mercanti created the reverse design.
Each Silver Eagle has a face
value of $1 and contains exactly one ounce of pure silver in an alloy of
99.93% silver and .07% copper.
A limited number of Mint State
2004 Silver Eagles were encapsulated by the Professional Coin Grading Service along
with an insert signed by former NASA astronaut, Kathryn D. Sullivan. A
portion of the proceeds was dedicated to a science museum located in Ohio.