1989-S Proof American Silver Eagle

in Proof Silver Eagles

For four years, the United States Mint had been issuing coins in the annual Proof Silver Eagle series with the release of the 1989-S Proof American Silver Eagle. The Proof Silver Eagle Program debuted in 1986 along with bullion Silver Eagles.

Both versions featured compositions of one ounce of .999 fine silver, a specification still followed today by the US Mint for coins in both series. The strikes also showcased the same designs which are also still in use today.

Shown on the obverse of Silver Eagles including the proof series is a depiction of "Walking Liberty." This design was originally completed by Adolph A. Weinman for use on the 1916-1947 half dollar coin. It proved to be a popular design among collectors and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ever struck on an American coin. That popularity is likely the reason its was chosen for use again on the Silver Eagles.

The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with shield design created for initial use on the Eagles. It was completed by US Mint engraver John Mercanti.

Like previous Proof Silver Eagles, the 1989 version was struck at the US Mint’s facility in San Francisco. This is indicated on each strike by an ‘S’ mintmark found on the reverse of the coin to the bottom left of the eagle.

Proof quality coins from the US Mint are struck multiple times with special dies using specially burnished blanks. The result are highly detailed devices with a mirror-like field which has proven extremely popular with collectors.

1989 Silver Eagle Mintages

Mintages for the Proof Silver Eagles improved slightly in 1989 in comparison to the previous year. According to the US Mint, a total of 617,694 of the 1989-S Proof American Silver Eagles were sold to the public. Just 557,370 had been sold in 1988. The price of each had remained at $23 which had been established two years before for coins of the series.

Looking at the related 1989 bullion Silver Eagles shows a total of 5,203,327 1989-year dated coins were sold. Bullion Silver Eagles are sold for a slight premium above the current spot price of silver which averaged $5.51 an ounce for the year according to the London Fix for the precious metal.

1989-S Proof American Silver Eagles on Sale

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