The 2012-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagle continues a collectible series of Silver Eagles from the United States Mint dating back to 2006. It was released on August 2, 2012. Coins of this series are struck as numismatic versions of the US Mint’s bullion Silver Eagles.
Like those bullion coins (as well as a related series of proof coins), the 2012-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagle is struck from one ounce of .999 fine silver. Each coin has a diameter of 40.60 mm and a total weight of 31.101 grams.
All Silver Eagles have the same obverse and reverse imagery. This includes an obverse design of "Walking Liberty." The image of Liberty was originally designed by noted artist Adolph A. Weinman and first seen on the 1916-1947 half dollar coin. Since that debut, many collectors have considered the design to be one of the most beautiful ever struck on an American coin leading to its re-appearance on strikes of the Silver Eagle Program.
Shown on the reverse of each Silver Eagle is a heraldic eagle with shield. This design was originally completed by US Mint engraver John Mercanti.
Aside from identical imagery, Bullion Silver Eagles and these Uncirculated Silver Eagles are also similar in appearance owing to this finishes. Noting the uncirculated coins are struck for collectors and thus subject to a higher level of scrutiny, the US Mint uses burnished coin blanks for these numismatic pieces which are hand fed into special coin presses one at a time typically resulting in a strike with more detail and less imperfections.
The easiest way to tell the difference between an Uncirculated American Silver Eagle and their bullion counterpart is to look for a mintmark which is included on the reverse design of each uncirculated coin. Bullion Eagles contain no mintmark.
Uncirculated Silver Eagles were first struck in 2006 as part of a twentieth anniversary celebration of the Silver Eagle Program which dates back to 1986 when the bullion and proof Silver Eagles made their debut. The uncirculated versions were struck for three years before the Mint was forced to cancel their production in 2009 as it diverted all available blank planchets towards bullion production to meet unprecedented demand.
Bullion numbers continued to rise into 2010 and once again the U.S. Mint canceled the related Uncirculated Eagles. They finally made a return in 2011.
2012 Silver Eagle Mintages
Mintages for the 2012-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle will be posted once the US Mint closes all sales.