The 2006 American Silver Eagles would be the twentieth anniversary strikes of the Eagle program which debuted back in 1986. In a means of celebrating that momentous year, the US Mint created two special strikes of the coin never before available.
One of these new strikes was a Reverse Proof Silver Eagle created exclusively for the year and only included in the special American Eagle 20th Anniversary Silver Coin Set. The coins featured the same designs as found on the other Silver Eagles but contained a frosted field and a mirror-like finish on the raised elements of the coin (features opposite of the typical Proof Eagle). Differentiating them further from the normal Eagle strikes, these Reverse Proof Eagles were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia as opposed to West Point. The US Mint only produced 250,000 of the sets these coins were included in and they sold out in a few weeks.
Another new product of the US Mint for the anniversary year was an Uncirculated Silver Eagle. These coins were quite similar to the bullion versions of the coin but contained the West Point mintmark of ‘W’ which is not present on the bullion coin. Also, the Uncirculated Eagle was struck from specially burnished blanks. The coins sold for $19.95 each with a total of 466,573 sold.
Bullion coins were also quite popular during the year with 10,676,522 sold. This was an increase of 1,785,497 over the previous year and marked only the third time since their debut that their numbers went over 10 million.
Driving some of the interest in the Silver Eagles was the leap in the price of silver during the year. The previous year the precious metal averaged $7.32 an ounce, but 2006 would see an average $4.23 higher than that at $11.55 an ounce. At one point in May, silver hit $14.94 an ounce.
Below is a table showing the monthly totals for bullion coins sold (this table reflects only the total number of coins sold each month and may include strikes minted in other years):
2006 Bullion Silver Eagles Sold
Undoubtedly helped by the anniversary celebration of the coin, the Proof Silver Eagles also sold in massive numbers. Coming in at 1,092,477 2006-dated coins sold, the year marked only the second time since their introduction in which over a million sold.
The US Mint sold the 2006 Proof Silver Eagles for $27.95 a coin – the same price it charged the previous year.
2006 Silver Eagle Mintages
2006 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|
2006 Silver Eagle Design
|Mint Mark:||Bullion – None, Proof – ‘W’, Reverse Proof – "P", Uncirculated – "W"|
|Obverse Designer:||Adolph A. Weinman|
|Reverse Designer:||John Mercanti|