The 2005-W Proof American Silver Eagle was released for sale to the public on March 15, 2005. Collectors continued to seek out the newest Proof American Silver Eagles in relatively large numbers leading the total number sold to grow for the third year in a row.
In fact, previous demand for the series was noted by the United States Mint when it released the 2005 Proof Silver Eagle with no pre-determined mintage cap in place. Despite the lack of a maximum mintage (or perhaps because of), sales for 2005 only showed marginal increases over 2004.
Specifications for the coin remained identical to previous years including a composition of .999 fine silver and a diameter of 40.60mm. These specifications also applied to the related bullion Silver Eagles which actually served as the catalyst for the creation of this numismatic series in 1986.
When first issued, the 2005 Proof American Silver Eagle was described by the US Mint 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 2005 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."
The obverse design of "Walking Liberty" was originally featured on the 1916-1947 half dollar coin and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ever struck on a coin from the United States Mint.
2005 Silver Eagle Mintages
As previously mentioned, the total number of 2005-W Proof American Silver Eagles sold marked the third straight year of improvement for the series and came in at 816,663. This was an increase of 15,061 over 2004 and also displaced 2004 as the third best year ever for Proof Silver Eagle sales since their debut in 1986. Pricing for the 2005 Eagle was $27.95, the same price point at which the 2004 Eagle was sold.
Bullion Silver Eagle demand also improved slightly in 2005 with the US Mint recording a total of 8,891,025 year-dated strikes sold. The average London Fix for Silver for the year was $7.32 an ounce.