In 2006, the 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set was released by the United States Mint to celebrate twenty years of the American Eagle Coin Program. Three different collectible American Silver Eagles were included as part of the set with two of them representing brand new finishes for the series.
These three-coin sets were released by the United States Mint on August 30, 2006 for a price of $100. The set had a mintage cap in place of 250,000. Final 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set mintage figures after returns, cancellations, etc. came to 248,875.
Coins in the 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set
Making its debut in 2006 — in the anniversary set and separately — was the 2006-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagle. These coins were struck from specially burnished blanks and carried a West Point ‘W’ mintmark, easily differentiating them from the associated but similar looking bullion versions.
Joining the uncirculated coin separately and within the 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set was a standard 2006-W Proof American Silver Eagle. These coins made their debut along with the bullion coins twenty years earlier in 1986. These proofs are easily identifiable by their cameo finish which features frosted raised elements and a mirror-like background. They include have the ‘W’ mintmark on the reverse, like the previously mentioned uncirculated variety.
Representing a new process for the United States Mint, the set also included a unique 2006-P Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle. As implied by the name, the appearance of the design elements of the coin are opposite of a standard proof strike — the raised elements feature a mirror-like appearance while the background has a frosted effect. Differentiating these strikes even further from the other two of the set, the United States Mint struck them at the Philadelphia facility, which is why they carry a ‘P’ mintmark on their reverse.
Although the three coins were within the same set, they had drastically varying mintages since the uncirculated and the standard proof were also available separately.
According to the United States Mint, the 2006-W Uncirculated Eagle had a total mintage of 466,573. That number includes individual sales, the 248,875 sold through the 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set, and 19,145 within an American Eagle 20th Anniversary Gold & Silver Set. Not talked about earlier, the gold and silver set included the 2006-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle and a 2006-W Uncirculated American Gold Eagle. It was priced at $850.
The standard 2006-W Proof Eagle had a mintage of 1,092,477 with individual and the set numbers combined.
Both mintages are significantly higher than the final mintage of the 2006-P Reverse Proof. Contained only in the set, its mintage is the same as it at 248,875. The reverse proofs more limited availability has improved their appeal and resulted in higher secondary market premiums.
Same Coin Designs
Like all American Silver Eagles, all three anniversary year coins contain the same basic obverse and reverse imagery. This includes Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design featured on the obverse of the coin. Long before its inclusion on the Eagle, the design was considered on of the most beautiful to ever grace an American coin as it was originally created for the 1916-1947 half dollar.
The reverse of the coins contain John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle with shield. It was created originally for the Eagle Program and debuted with the strikes in 1986.
20th Anniversary Sets on Sale