The 2004-W Proof American Silver Eagle was released by the United States Mint on April 27, 2004. This strike marked the nineteenth annual release of the series which saw its inaugural debut in 1986.
Demand for coins of the series again jumped for the second year in a row with this coin. The United States Mint increased the mintage cap for the 2004 Proof Silver Eagle to 850,000 which was 100,000 more than the 2003 release.
Since 2001, the Proof Silver Eagles had been struck at the US Mint’s facility in West Point. Previous to that, coins of the series were struck at the US Mint’s facility in San Francisco (1986-1992) and the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia (1993-2000).
When first issued, the US Mint described the 2004 Proof Silver Eagle with:
"The American Eagle Silver Proof Coin’s obverse (heads) design is Adolph A. Weinman’s full-length figure of Liberty in full stride with her right hand extended and branches of laurel and oak in her left. The reverse (tails) design, by United States Mint sculptor/engraver John Mercanti, features the heraldic eagle with shield, an olive branch in the right talon, and arrows in the left."
"Each 2004 American Eagle Silver Proof Coin is sealed in a protective capsule; mounted in a handsome, satin-lined velvet presentation case; and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity documenting the coin’s place in history."
Designs and specifications for the coin remained unchanged from previous issues.
2004 Silver Eagle Mintages
The United States Mint recorded a total of 801,602 2004-W Proof American Silver Eagles sold. This was short of the mintage cap in place on the coins of 850,000 but still qualified the year as the third best ever for the series up to that point. The increase in sales occurred despite an increase in the price of the Proof Silver Eagles compared to previous years. The 2004 Proof was sold for $27.95 – an additional $3.95 from the $24.00 previous annual releases had sold for.
Bullion Silver Eagles also saw an increase in the number sold for the year. According to the US Mint, a total of 8,882,754 year-dated bullion Silver Eagles were sold which was up 387,746 from 2003. The average London Fix for Silver for 2004 was $6.67 an ounce – a considerable climb from the 2003 average of $4.88.