Eagle Silver Dollar coin is the most
popular and best selling silver bullion
coin in the world (more than 100 million
sold worldwide since 1986) and is the
official silver bullion coin of the
United States. It was first released
by the United States Mint on November
24, 1986. It is struck only in the 1
troy oz denomination which has a nominal
face value of one dollar and is guaranteed
to contain one troy ounce of 99.9% pure
silver. It is authorized by the United
States Congress and its weight and content
is certified by the United States Mint.
The American Silver Eagle bullion coin
may be used to fund Individual Retirement
Account investments. The United States
Mint also produces a proof version for
coin collectors. The Silver Eagle has
been produced at three mints. One is
the Philadelphia mint, and some of those
issued there carry a "P" mintmark.
In the early years of the series, the
San Francisco mint issued proofs and
these bear an "S". More recent
proofs are from the mint at West Point,
New York. The latter have a "W" on the reverse, as illustrated here.
The design on the obverse was taken
from the classic "Walking Liberty"
design by Adolph A. Weinman, which had
originally been used on the half-dollar
coin of the United States from 1916
to 1947. As this iconic design had been
a public favorite –and indeed
one most beloved designs of any United
States coinage of modern times, silver
or otherwise– it was revived for
the Silver Eagle decades later. The
reverse portrays a heraldic eagle designed
by John Mercanti.