1990-S Proof American Silver Eagle

in Proof Silver Eagles

1990 would the fifth year for the annual numismatic Silver Eagle series from the United States Mint when the 1990-S Proof American Silver Eagle was released. Like all previous releases, the 1990 Proof Silver Eagle would be struck from one ounce of .999 fine silver at the US Mint’s facility in San Francisco.

Also, like previous releases (as well as all subsequent strikes), the 1990 proof would contain the same obverse and reverse imagery as found on an associated bullion Silver Eagle series. The bullion coins made their inaugural appearance in 1986 as well and served as the catalyst for the proof series.

Congress authorized the bullion Silver Eagles with the passage of the Liberty Coin Act of 1985. The act required the Secretary of the Treasury (and thus the US Mint) to strike silver bullion coins containing a design "symbolic of Liberty" on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. This proof Silver Eagle series served as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins.

The obverse of each Silver Eagle shows Adolph A. Weinman’s "Walking Liberty" design. This design was first featured on the 1916-1947 half dollar coin and has become a favorite design among collectors even being touted as one of the most beautiful ever struck on a coin from the US Mint. The collector appreciation of the design likely was an important factor in its use again on the Silver Eagles.

The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with shield design. It is the work of US Mint engraver John Mercanti.

Proof coins of the United States Mint are described as having highly detailed devices and a mirror-like field. The finish is achieved by using specially burnished blanks struck multiple times with special dies.

1990 Silver Eagle Mintages

According to the United States Mint, a total of 695,510 of the 1990-S Proof American Silver Eagles were sold to the public. Each were offered at an initial price of $23.00 per coin which was the same price at which the previous three annual issues were offered. The 1990 mintage was actually up slightly from 1989 which had a mintage of 617,694.

The related 1990 bullion Silver Eagles had a much higher mintage coming in at 5,840,110. Of course, unlike the proof Silver Eagles which are sold at a significant premium by the US Mint, the bullion Eagles are sold for a small premium above the current spot price of silver. For the record, the average London Fix for Silver for 1990 was $4.83.

1990-S Proof American Silver Eagles on Sale

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