The 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set was the most sought after numismatic product of the United States Mint in 2011. Released on October 27, 2011 beginning at Noon (Eastern), the entire 100,000 mintage was claimed in about four and a half hours.
Upon release, the sets sold for $299.95 and included a total of five versions of the extremely popular American Silver Eagle. Three of those were standard Eagles available separately from the collection while two of the coins were struck for inclusion solely in the 25th Anniversary Set. Demand for the collection was so intense that secondary market prices sky-rocketed before, during and following their sellout.
Coins in the 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set
The three strikes available in the set as well as separately included a 2011 Bullion American Silver Eagle with no mintmark, a 2011-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagle with a ‘W’ mintmark and a 2011-W Proof American Silver Eagle also struck at West Point and containing the ‘W’ mintmark. These three coins were not the driving force behind the demand for the 25th Anniversary Set as they were easily obtainable outside of the collection.
Truly dictating the set’s intense demand was the inclusion of two unique Silver Eagles not released individually by the United States Mint. The first of these was a 2011-S Uncirculated American Silver Eagle which is similar in appearance to the other uncirculated Eagle but was produced at San Francisco Mint and thus showcases an ‘S’ mintmark.
However, the pièce de résistance of the collection and the most sought after piece is the 2011-P Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle. These coins were struck at the United States Mint’s facility in Philadelphia and contain a ‘P’ mintmark on the reverse.
It was the second time the United States Mint released a reverse proof Silver Eagle. The first occurrence happened in 2006 when the Mint issued the 20th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set. A standard proof coin showcases frosted raised elements with a mirror-like background but the reverse proof is opposite of that with mirror-like raised elements and a frosted background.
Same Coin Designs and Specifications
All five coins in the set contain the same specifications and the same basic obverse and reverse imagery as has been found on Silver Eagles since their debut in 1986. This includes a "Walking Liberty" design on the obverse originally created by artist Adolph W. Weinman for the 1916-1947 half dollar coin. The design is easily recognizable by most coin enthusiasts and is considered to be one of the most beautiful ever struck on a coin of the United States.
The reverse was originally designed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti. It contains a heraldic eagle with shield design.
Coins of the 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set were individually encapsulated by the United States Mint and presented in a "single custom-designed, highly polished, lacquered hardwood presentation case" along with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sets are typically available on the secondary market as are individual coins from the set, some of which have been slabbed and graded by third-party grading services.