Marking the first of its kind and utilizing a new limited time selling strategy, the United States Mint will be issuing two unique 2012 American Silver Eagles beginning on June 7 at a price of $149.95. These coins will be minted in San Francisco, produced to proof quality specifications and offered within a two-coin proof set. They will be produced "to demand" — meaning there are no defined mintage limits, but they will only be available from the proof set through to July 5.
This American Silver Eagle San Francisco Proof Set, or as the United States Mint is dubbing the "2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set," will feature the following two types of coins:
The first Eagle is produced using the same production methods of the "standard" or individually sold proof which has been issued annually (minus cancellation year 2009) since the American Eagle series debuted in 1986. The exception or uniqueness with the coin is its San Francisco production and resulting "S" mint mark.
While the U.S. Mint has offered standalone proofs from several different minting facilities over the years, it has been striking them at its West Point Mint since 2001. (See historical proof Silver Eagle mintages.) The Mint, in fact, just released the individual 2012-W Proof American Silver Eagle on April 12 for a price of $59.95. A Proof American Silver Eagle has not come out of San Francisco since 1992. Also, while not stated, this S-Eagle is expected to be available only within the proof set.
The second coin within the proof set is the one which offers a "reverse proof" finish. The United States Mint describes the coin this way:
"Reversing the mirror-like background finish of a traditional proof coin and applying it to the design elements of the coin achieves a magnificent contrast."
It was just last year that the Mint offered a special reverse proof, but this one was struck in Philadelphia and it carried the "P" mint mark. The coin only came within the 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set which sold out within a few hours as collectors stormed the Mint and ordered all 100,000. Again, it seems likely that this unique coin will only be released as part of the proof set.
The first mention of a 2012-dated reverse proof from San Francisco appeared earlier this year when the United States Mint pushed out customer surveys in a research effort which discussed yearly Silver Eagle sets. It is not clear as two whether this set or combinations of other Eagles in other sets will be offered in 2013 and beyond. More recent buzz about the proof set had focused on it marking the 75th anniversary of the opening of the current San Francisco building. Details about the proof set offered through the United States Mint website offered no connection with this anniversary, and it was later confirmed that the special set is not an anniversary product.
With these two Eagles now confirmed, the types of American Silver Eagles for this year include:
- 2012 Bullion Silver Eagle (released on January 3)
- 2012-W Proof Silver Eagle (released on April 12)
- 2012-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle (not yet scheduled)
- 2012-S Uncirculated Silver Eagle (possible*)
- 2012-S Proof Silver Eagle (released in proof set on June 7)
- 2012-S Reverse Proof Silver Eagle (released in proof set on June 7)
*There has been no confirmation from the Mint that it will offer an uncirculated Eagle from San Francisco since Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director of the United States Mint stated an inclination to produced it in the bureau’s 2011 Annual Report.