Today April 12, 2012, the United States Mint has started sales of the 2012 Proof American Silver Eagles. The release for this year’s coin comes more than two months earlier in the year than the prior year release.
The obverse design of the American Silver Eagle features a full figure depiction of Liberty walking confidently towards the sun, with a flag draped across her shoulders and one hand outstretched. This design was created by Adolph A. Weinman and used for the circulating half dollar from 1916 to 1947. The reverse design by former United States Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti features the image of a heraldic eagle with a shield at its chest and a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in its talons. Thirteen stars appear above the eagle.
Silver Eagles have been issued with this same design for each year of the series. From 1986 to present, bullion versions of the coin have been issued for each year. Proof versions have been produced for collectors for each year, with the exception of 2009, when the offering was canceled amidst heightened demand for silver bullion coins.
The proof version of the coin features sharp relief and a mirror like background. The frosted, sculpted foregrounds five the coins a special cameo effect.
The 2012 Proof Silver Eagle is priced at $59.95. There are no ordering limits or household limits in place. The US Mint has indicated that the total mintage will be based on customer demand. Each coin comes in a blue velvet, satin lined presentation case with a certificate of authenticity.
In 2010, the US Mint sold 860,000 Proof Silver Eagles before the offering was sold out. Last year, sales reached 850,000 for the individual option. Previously released Proof Silver Eagles had mintages ranging from a low of 372,168 in 1994 to a high of 1,446,778 for the initial release of the series in 1986.