Showing a year of split performance, the 1997 American Silver Eagles racked up an impressive bullion sales increase while also returning a decline in the number proof Eagles sold.
Bullion Silver Eagles jumped up 691,618 over the previous year to 4,295,004. While no one can deny that the 19.2% increase was impressive, it is important to remember what it compares against. The previous year of 1996 just happened to be come in at the lowest bullion Eagle mintage ever since the series debuted in 1986. In fact, the sales of that dismal year remain as the record for the least amount of annual Silver Eagles sold.
This does not discount the positive change, however and 1997 would be the first of five successful years in which the bullion Eagles would show improvement before taking their first decline again in 2002.
The average price of silver for the year came in at $4.91 an ounce. This was a $.29 per ounce decrease from 1996 which may explain some of the renewed interest in the bullion strikes.
The chart below shows the total number of bullion silver eagles ordered from the Mint during each month of 1997. It is important to remember that this is not a direct indicator of the year-dated mintage (which can be found further below), however, as some of the coins may have been struck in a different year.
1997 Bullion Silver Eagles Sold
Sales of the Proof Silver Eagles, conversely, dropped by 12.9% to 435,368 total sold. This 64,632 decline compares to the previous year in which the Proofs reached their mintage cap of 500,000.
Somewhat aiding those faltering Proof numbers was the US Mint’s creation of the Impressions of Liberty Set that year which included proof versions of the Silver Eagle, the Gold Eagle and the newly created for that year Platinum Eagle. 5,000 of the sets were made and sold out from the US Mint at a price tag of $1.499.00 each.
Specifications for each coin remained as they had been since their debut year of 1986 with each coin struck from one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver to a diameter of 1.598 inches and a thickness of 0.117 inches.
The 1997 Proof Silver Eagles were initially sold by the Mint for $23 a piece.
1997 Silver Eagle Mintages
1997 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|
1997 Silver Eagle Design
|Mint Mark:||Bullion – None, Proof – ‘P’|
|Obverse Designer:||Adolph A. Weinman|
|Reverse Designer:||John Mercanti|
1997 Silver Eagles on eBay