2009 American Silver Eagles

American Silver Eagle - Click to Enlarge

American Silver Eagle - Click to Enlarge

American Silver Eagles are struck from .999 fine silver, making them the purist silver coins ever issued by the United States Mint. First available in 1986, they have become a staple for both collectors and investors.

Only the bullion version of the 2009 Silver Eagle has been issued. According to the US Mint, their legal requirement to produce them in quantities sufficient to meet public demand forced the initial suspension and then the later 2009 cancellations of the collector versions, which would have been the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle and 2009-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle. The Mint has indicated the coins will return in 2010.

2009 Bullion Eagles

Sales of the bullion versions have been on fire. By September 2009, the US Mint sold over 20,000,000 for the year. By October, annual sales recorded an all-time high.

In making the coins, the US Mint adds a small amount of copper to the 1 troy ounce of silver within each eagle to aid in the coin's durability. But that does not detract from the quality of the piece. In fact, as legal tender of the United States, these are the only silver bullion pieces whose weight, content and purity are guaranteed by the United States government.

World investment markets also acknowledge the value of these silver pieces and readily accept them for trading. The US government even allows them to be purchased as investments in IRA's (Individual Retirement Accounts).

Silver Eagle Design

The design for these coins is based on A.A. Weinman's "Walking Liberty" first introduced on the 1917 silver half-dollar. Many collectors today consider this design to be one of the most beautiful ever minted.

Adolph Alexander Weinman was born in Germany but arrived in the United States at the age of 10. He would later study at the Cooper Union and Art Students League and would even work with renowned sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. Weinman's sculptures would end up gracing buildings and other structures throughout the country, but he is probably best known for his work on American coinage. By all accounts, Weinman considered his work on coins as trivial, but today his "Mercury" dime and Walking Liberty half-dollar continue to evoke respect long after his other works are mostly forgotten.

The silver bullion features Weinman's "Liberty" in a flowing gown draped in the American Flag. Her right arm is stretching towards a rising sun while her left arm holds an olive branch of peace. 'Liberty' and 'In God We Trust' are inscribed around the mythical figure and the date is seen as well.

The reverse is from engraver John Mercanti who created the Heraldic Eagle with shield, meant to symbolize strength and endurance. In the eagle's beak is a strip with the inscription 'E Pluribus Unum' with 'United States of America', '1 oz. Fine Silver' and '1 Dollar' surrounding the bird.

Silver Eagle Values

For the bullion pieces, the true value of the piece is determined by the precious metal content contained in it. Thus if the price of silver goes up, these coins can increase in value appropriately. Unfortunately, silver bullion coins are not available directly from the Mint, but may be purchased from authorized dealers or on the secondary market from coin dealers and auctions.

The uncirculated and proof coins are both created from specially burnished blanks with the proof receiving multiple strikes from special dyes to create a more intricate detail where the images seem to float above the mirror-like field. The proof and uncirculated vales are determined more on the quantity produced each year and especially the coin's grade.

American Silver Eagle Specifications

Mintmark: W for Uncirculated and Proof, None for bullion
Composition: 99.93% silver, remaining copper
Weight: 31.101 grams or 1.000 ounces
Diameter: 40.6 mm or 1.598 inches
Date of Issue: 2009
Mintages: Based on Demand
Obverse Designer/Sculptor: Adolph A. Weinman
Reverse Designer/Sculptor: John Mercanti

Silver Eagle Resources