2008 Silver American Eagles proved to be an interesting year for the strikes with records being set for the number sold of the bullion coins and production being stopped mid-year for the proof coins.
Undoubtedly, market conditions had the biggest influence on the sale of the strikes. In the uncertain economic times felt around the world during the year, investors turned to precious metals. This had the effect of driving the price of silver up. The precious metal had already been climbing since 2001 with 2008 seeing another leap in the average cost of an ounce of the metal.
In fact, the 2008 average for the year was $14.99 an ounce, up $1.61 from 2007. Although ending much lower by the end of the year, Silver crept as high as $20.92 an ounce.
This intense interest in the investment quality of the precious metal drove the Silver American Eagle Bullion Coins to record levels. Before the year was over an astonishing 20,583,000 of the strikes were sold which equates to almost 80% more strikes than had been sold in any other previous year. (This record would not stand long, however, as it was shattered in 2009.)
Demand was so strong that the US Mint had to suspend sales of the bullion coins to its network of authorized purchasers twice during the year. The Mint also instituted a ration policy on the bullion Eagles only shipping a portion of what their buyers requested.
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):
2008 Bullion Silver Eagles Sold
The Uncirculated Silver Eagles experienced a drop in their third year of availability despite being sold from March 17th through December and having no present mintage cap in place. In total, 533,757 of the coins were sold, down 87,576 from the previous year or a drop of 14%. The Mint sold the uncirculated Eagles for $25.95 each.
Proof Silver Eagles also had no initial mintage cap in place and were selling quite well from their release date of January 3, 2008 until the Mint pulled them from availability with little warning in August. The Mint stated that due to "unprecedented demand" for the bullion versions, it had to temporarily suspend sales of the proof coins. By law, the Mint was required to meet demand for the bullion coins.
The US Mint sold the 2008 Proof Silver Eagles for $31.95 a coin – an increase of $2 over what was charged the previous year.
2008 Silver Eagle Mintages
2008 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|
2008 Silver Eagle Design
|Mint Mark:||Bullion – None, Proof – ‘W’, Uncirculated – "W"|
|Obverse Designer:||Adolph A. Weinman|
|Reverse Designer:||John Mercanti|