2011-dated American Silver Eagles mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United States Mint’s Eagle coin program. To commemorate the occasion, the United States Mint released five coins which it offered in a 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set. Three of the Eagles are normal in the sense that they are released annually and available for purchase individually. Two of the Eagles were exclusive to the 100,000 limited edition sets.
The three issues buyers have come to expect from the United States Mint each year are the investment-grade bullion version, and the collector proof and uncirculated American Silver Eagles. The bullion and proof have been around since the series debut in 1986. The uncirculated Eagle was added to the Mint’s product lineup in 2006.
The investment-grade bullion Eagles debuted in 1986 and were authorized by the Liberty Coin Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-61). Demand for bullion American Silver Eagles has remained exceptionally strong since the onset of uncertain economic conditions beginning in 2008. In fact, that year broke the record and became the best-selling year ever for the strikes. That record would not stand, however. 2009 shattered the once unattainable number, only to be broken again by sales in 2010 and then again by sales in 2011. The bullion coins have been produced at several different U.S. Mint facilities since 1986, but for more than a decade they had been struck only at West Point. However, in 2011, the San Francisco Mint also began producing them. Since bullion coins do not have a mint mark, telling the difference between the two by appearance is not possible.
Below is a sales table showing the monthly totals for bullion American Silver Eagles (this table reflects only the total number of coins sold each month and may include strikes minted in other years):
2011 American Silver Eagles – Bullion Coin Sales by Month
Collector American Silver Eagles in 2011
Collector interest in proof American Silver Eagles remains high despite the Mint’s cancellation of the 2009-dated coin. When it returned to availability in 2010, the United States Mint even instituted a large price increase (owing mostly to advances in the silver market). The 2010′s launched with price tag of $45.95 per coin. When last available in 2008, the coins sold for $31.95.
The annual 2011-W Proof American Silver Eagle was released on June 30, 2011 for a price of $59.95 when silver was around $35 an ounce. Due to rising silver prices — up toward $40 an ounce, the Eagle went up to $68.45 on August 29, 2011. Silver prices then plummeted toward $30 an ounce and the proof Eagle’s price was trimmed during the first week of October to $58.95. The coin was at that price level when it sold out on November 22.
Annual uncirculated American Silver Eagles for collectors were first struck in 2006, but fell to the same fate as the proofs in 2009 and were cancelled that year when the United States Mint diverted all available blank planchets for bullion coins to meet the unprecedented demand. After a two-year absence, 2011-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagles were released by the United States Mint on September 15 at $60.45. Like the proof, its price was reduced and it reappeared for $50.95.
25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Sets
To enormous excitement and demand, 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Sets were released on October 27 at noon ET. (See anniversary set photos. and this site’s 25th anniversary set information page.) Upon immediate release, the United States Mint’s website and phone lines were mostly unresponsive due to an overwhelming amount of orders. In extreme frustration and anger, many collectors were unable to purchase one of the sets due to order difficulties and because all 100,000 sold out within five hours. After its sell out, the Mint apologized for the rollout, saying in part:
We are fully aware of the difficulties many customers encountered last week with the release of the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set. We would like you to know that we have undertaken an aggressive review of how we brought the product to market so we can better serve all of our customers in the future. Dick Peterson, the Deputy Director of the United States Mint, has also directed that the bureau review all future product offerings to ensure that we apply to them the lessons we learned from the marketing of the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set.
Due to enormous, still-present demand, secondary market prices of the sets are off the charts. The anniversary set’s attraction was and is due, to a large degree, to the two unique coins that were found only within it. Inside the attractive case were the "normal" three annual issues, plus a:
- 2011-P Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle, and a
- 2011-S Uncirculated American Silver Eagle
The San Francisco minted uncirculated coin looks exactly like the annual West Point uncirculated issue, with only the mint marks being the differentiating factors. The special reverse proof is garnering the largest attention. Not only is its Philadelphia origin attractive, but it also has a frosted background with a polished, mirror-like foreground — the opposite of the yearly issued proof coin. The United States Mint used this same finishing technique for one of the Silver Eagles in the 20th Anniversary set which was released in 2006.
Mintages for 2011 American Silver Eagles
|2011-W Uncirculated||tbd (See latest sales figures)|
|2011-P Reverse Proof||100,000|
*Includes 100,000 of the 2011-W Proof American Silver Eagles that were sold within the 25th Anniversary Set
2011 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|
2011 Silver Eagle Design
|Mint Mark:||Bullion – None; Proofs – W, P; Uncirculated – W, S|
|Obverse Designer:||Adolph A. Weinman|
|Reverse Designer:||John Mercanti|
American Silver Eagles on Sale