Today the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2010 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin. Demand for the collectible one ounce silver coin is expected to be intense.
The American Silver Eagle features Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design, originally used for the the circulating half dollar coin from 1916 to 1947. Miss Liberty strides confidently forward, towards a rising sun, with one hand outstretched and the other carrying a bouquet of olive branches. The reverse of the coin features a heraldic eagle with an arrangement of thirteen stars above, designed by John Mercanti specifically for the series. Silver Eagles have been issued as one ounce .999 fine silver bullion coins from 1986 to present. Collectible proof coins have been issued from 1986 to 2008, and collectible uncirculated coins have been issued from 2006 to 2008.
The 2010 Proof Silver Eagle will represent the resumption of the popular collector series following a one year gap.
The United States Mint has not specified a maximum mintage for the offering. The last time a maximum mintage was imposed was for the 2004 Proof Silver Eagle, which carried a limit of 850,000 coins. In subsequent years, the coins have been struck based on collector demand. Individual coin sales for recent years with unrestricted mintages have been 816,663 (2005), 843,602 (2006), 821,759 (2007).
Sales of the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle were ended prematurely in mid-August 2008, after reaching 700,979. Demand for precious metals caused the US Mint to divert all incoming blank supplies to the production of the bullion version of the coin. This same situation would result in the cancellation of the offering in the following year.
Chances are good that the mintage of the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle may end up being the highest on record. Collector demand for the coins will be at extreme levels due to pent up demand following two years that Proof Silver Eagles have not been available directly from the Mint. This year’s surge in the price of silver may also serve generate additional interest. The answer to how many coins the US Mint can sell will likely come down to how many they are able to produce.
Under current law, the US Mint is required to strike Silver Eagle bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. The collector versions of the coin are not legally mandated. This means that the US Mint could only produce the proof coins when there was an excess supply of blanks not needed for bullion coins. In recent months there had been a reduction in bullion coin demand, allowing a window of opportunity for production. However, this month there has been a surge in demand for Silver Eagle bullion coins, which might prevent additional collector coin production.
The 2010 Proof Silver Eagle is priced at $45.95 per coin. This represents a significant increase from the last available 2008 issue, which was priced at $31.95. The US Mint will be imposing a household ordering limit of 100 coins. Many collectors have already placed orders for the coin through the US Mint’s subscription program. Others may place orders today starting at 12:00 Noon ET on the US Mint’s website http://catalog.usmint.gov or by phone 1-800-USA-MINT.