Since 1986, no silver bullion coin in the world has been more popular than the American Silver Eagle. Silver Eagles contain 1 troy ounce of .999 fine (99.9% pure) silver. The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States, with its weight and purity backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has certified this 2018 American Silver Eagle with the grade MS70 -- the highest possible! -- and given it the First Day of Issue designation. To be considered a “First Day of Issue” coin, an American Silver Eagle must arrive at PCGS no later than the business day after the first day the US Mint releases them. This is different from a “First Strike” designation, which is given to coins that are shipped no later than 30 days from the first day of release to PCGS for grading.
Many numismatists focus on First Strike or First Day of Issue modern coins for their collections, wanting to have coins struck with fresh dies. New dies will naturally have sharper lines, making for coins with more finely detailed strikes.
The obverse of A.A. Weinman’s 1916-1947 "Walking Liberty" coin design was revived in 1986 to serve as the obverse of the Silver Eagle. This scene shows Lady Liberty walking triumphantly toward the rising sun in the east, as she carries boughs of oak and laurel. Her dress resembles Old Glory and is decorated in stars and stripes as it billows in the wind. The inscription LIBERTY arches across the rim at the top of the coin, with the year-date 2018 underneath Liberty’s sandaled feet. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST appears on the lower right of the coin, calf-level with Liberty’s leg.
The only difference between the original Walking Liberty half dollar obverse and the Silver Eagle’s is that Weinman’s nested A W monogram appears in the hem of Liberty’s gown. On the 1916-1947 half dollar, Weinman’s initials appeared on the reverse, squeezed between the lower right rim and the rock. The American Silver Eagle uses a different reverse specially designed for the coin, so Weinman’s mark had to be moved to the obverse.
The reverse of the Silver Eagle features the image of a heraldic eagle created by then-Chief Engraver of the US Mint John Mercanti. The eagle holds six arrows in its left talon, and an olive branch in its right. The banner in its beak bears the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM". Thirteen stars are arranged in an inverted triangle above the eagle’s head, representing the original 13 states. Inscriptions at the bottom rim indicate the coin's composition and legal tender denomination, "1 OZ. FINE SILVER~ONE DOLLAR". The issuing country "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" is denoted along the top rim. John Mercanti’s initials JM appear on the right side of the coin, beneath the eagle’s talon.
Did You Know?
- The American Silver Eagle was originally authorized as a way to draw down the National Strategic Silver Stockpile without dumping the silver on the open market, which would have caused a price crash.
- The American Silver Eagle was so popular, that when the silver in the National Strategic Stockpile was exhausted in 2002, Congress passed a law allowing the Treasury Department to buy silver on the open market to continue the program.
- John Mercanti produced more than 100 designs for official United States coins and medals during his 37-year tenure, more than anyone else in US Mint history.
When you purchase a 2018 American Silver Eagle PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue, you not only get a coin that has received a perfect score from one of the world’s foremost coin grading services, it is certified to have been one of the first Silver Eagles released by the US Mint!
Shop for all your PCGS-certified Silver Eagles at Gainesville Coins!