The 1995-W Proof American Silver Eagle is the rarest and likely most sought after strike in the history of the American Silver Eagle Program. With a mintage of only 30,125, far fewer of these coins were released than any other in the series, making the 1995-W Proof a key strike in the program.
The low mintage behind the 1995-W Proof is owed to its exclusive inclusion in a 10th Anniversary American Eagle Set which contained four different sized American Gold Eagles. The price of this set made it prohibitive to most collectors, leading to a relatively small number of them sold.
By the time the United States Mint released the 1995-W Proof American Silver Eagle as part of the set, the Eagle program was already in its tenth year. The program debuted in 1986 and was originally authorized by Congress as a series of bullion coins. Each silver bullion strike was required by law to have a composition of one ounce of .999 fine silver and minted in sufficient quantities to meet public demand. The price of the bullion Eagles was to be at near-market level with small premiums allowed to cover minting, marketing and distribution costs.
Along with those bullion coins, the United States Mint also started striking proof quality pieces in 1986 as numismatic versions of the bullion series minted for coin collectors. These proof versions continued to be struck annually up to and including the standard 1995-P Proof American Silver Eagle minted in Philadelphia.
10th Anniversary American Eagle Sets
However, in order to acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the Silver and associated American Gold Eagle Program, the United States Mint opted to create a special 10th Anniversary American Eagle Set. In the set, the United States Mint included four proof American Gold Eagles, ranging in size from one-tenth of an ounce up to one ounce, as well as the special one ounce 1995-W Proof American Silver Eagle struck at West Point. Typical proof silver Eagles were struck that year, and since 1993, at the Mint’s Philadelphia facility.
Priced at $999.00, many coin collectors shied away from the 10th Anniversary American Eagle Set, leading to a mintage of only 30,125 — despite a planned mintage cap that was set much higher at 45,000. In comparison, the standard 1995-P Proof American Silver Eagle had a mintage of 407,822 and a price of $23.00.
Like all other American Silver Eagles, the 1995-W proof contains an obverse image of Walking Liberty as originally designed by Adolph A. Weinman. The Weinman design was originally featured on the half dollar coin from the United States Mint released from 1916-1947.
The reverse shows John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle with shield design. Also on the reverse, the ‘W’ mintmark can be found identifying the strike as minted at the West Point facility.
1995-W Proof American Silver Eagles on Sale