1988 American Silver Eagles

in Silver Eagles Information

The 1988 Silver American Eagles marked the third year of the coins availability and experienced a significant decline in interest over what the previous two year’s strikes had shown. The decrease in total numbers sold is somewhat understandable as many coins experience an influx of interest when first released, with demand waning as collectors move on to new strikes.

That trend can experience reversals, however, especially as they relate to the bullion Eagles. When economic conditions falter, some investors turn to precious metals as a buffer to the current market. Unfortunately for the 1988 numbers, this did not occur.

1988 Silver American Eagle Bullion Coin mintage topped out at 5,004,646. That leaves the year in the bottom five for the bullion strikes in their first quarter century of availability.

Below is a table showing the monthly totals for bullion coins sold (this table reflects only the total number of coins sold each month and may include strikes minted in other years):


1988 Bullion Silver Eagles Sold

January 790,000   July 100,000
February 700,000   August 226,000
March 1,300,000   September 353,000
April 780,000   October 305,000
May 650,000   November 400,000
June 50,000   December 215,000


The Proof Silver Eagles did not fare any better and are also in the bottom five for the first 25 years of release. The US Mint sold a total of 557,370.

Each 1988 Silver Eagle was struck to the exact same specifications as previous releases with the diameter standing at 1.598 inches and a thickness of 0.117 inches.

For those who are not aware of the purchase policies of Silver Eagles, the US Mint will only sell the numismatic versions of the coin directly to the public. These include the proof versions common since the debut of the program as well as uncirculated versions which started to appear in 2006.

The bullion Eagles, however, are not sold directly by the Mint to the public. Instead, the Mint releases them to a network of authorized purchasers who resell the coins to the public for a small premium above the current spot price of the one ounce of silver contained within them.

The 1988 Proof Silver Eagles were sold by the Mint for $23 a piece.

1988 Silver Eagle Mintages

Bullion Mintage: 5,004,646
Proof Mintage: 557,370

1988 Silver Eagle Specifications

Weight: 31.101 grams (1.000 ounces)
Diameter: 1.598 inches (40.60 mm)
Thickness: 0.117 inches (2.98 mm)
Composition: 99.93% silver, 0.07% copper

1988 Silver Eagle Design

Mint Mark: Bullion – None, Proof – ‘S’
Edge: Reeded
Obverse Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Reverse Designer: John Mercanti

1988 Silver Eagles on eBay

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