The 1998 American Silver Eagles marked the first year of a four year run in which both the Proof and the Bullion versions of the coin would show annual increases in their total number sold.
Volatility in the silver market during the year may have had some influence on this upswing in sales. After showing a drop the previous year in the average cost of an ounce of the precious metal, the market showed a significant increase. Peaking as high as $7.81 an ounce in February, the precious metal declined to a low of $4.69 in early December but still managed to average $5.55 for the year. This was an improvement on 1997′s average of $.64 an ounce.
Investors apparently turned to the bullion Eagles in the fluctuating silver market and drove the total sales of the strikes up to 4,847,549 for the year. This was an improvement of 552,545 over the previous years number of 4,295,004.
Since their introduction in 1986, the US Mint’s facility in San Francisco had been responsible for striking the bullion Silver Eagles. However, the 1998 series of coins would mark the end of this tradition with the US Mint’s facilities in Philadelphia and West Point assuming the role of creating them. (Of course, no mintmark is ever present on bullion strikes so it is only a factor of interest for collectors.)
Shown below in the chart is the number of bullion Silver Eagles ordered from the US Mint for each month of 1998 from the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. These numbers, while indicative of how well the strikes sold, do not necessarily equal the total number of year-dated coins sold as some of the strikes may have been produced in a different year.
1998 Bullion Silver Eagles Sold
Proof Silver Eagles also showed a nice rise for the year ending at their mintage cap of 450,000. This was an increase of 14,632 over what had been sold in 1997 or up 3.4%. Collectors tend to prefer the proof strikes even though they command a premium over the bullion versions because of their increased collectability and their improved level of detail.
The 1998 Proof Silver Eagles were initially sold by the Mint for $24 a piece – an increase of $1 over what they had sold for the previous several years.
1998 Silver Eagle Mintages
1998 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|
1998 Silver Eagle Design
|Mint Mark:||Bullion – None, Proof – ‘P’|
|Obverse Designer:||Adolph A. Weinman|
|Reverse Designer:||John Mercanti|
1998 Silver Eagles on eBay