United States silver eagles are 1-ounce silver bullion coins that are usually bought, sold, and traded for a price very close to the current metal value.
The first silver eagles are dated 1986 and have been a regular U.S. Mint release since then.
The obverse of the Silver Eagle may look familiar to more seasoned coin collectors.
It’s none other than the widely declared most beautiful design ever placed on a coin: Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty, which graced the half dollar from 1916 to 1947.
Silver Eagle Coin Values
Silver eagles are struck in both uncirculated and proof formats and are sold by the U.S. Mint and private coin dealers.
Silver eagles, as bullion coins, are extremely popular among investors because prices fluctuate very closely with prevailing silver prices. As silver prices have risen in recent years, so have the values of silver eagle bullion coins.
Uncirculated silver eagles are generally less expensive than proof versions and are often favored by investors because their values are much closer to the relative bullion value.
Proof versions of silver eagles, while also popular with investors, have a large following among coin collectors. Some proof issues are relatively scarce, and demand high premiums over the prices of uncirculated specimens from the same year.
Grading Silver Eagle Coins
Many silver eagles have been slabbed by grading services. These silver eagles normally receive grades of Mint-State 67 or Proof-67 and higher.
If you are purchasing silver eagles for bullion investment, you are probably best buying typical-quality uncirculated silver eagles.
Typical, uncirculated silver eagles in grades Mint State-60 through Mint State-63 are those which cost the closest to the silver bullion price (aside from any worn or impaired silver eagles you may find on the market).
Slabbed high-grade examples and proof silver eagles (which are highly desirable collector coins) cost far more than average uncirculated silver eagles. It is fair to say that most high-grade silver eagles and proof silver eagles are priced more accordingly to the coin collector and investor market, rather than the bullion market.
Prices for silver eagles can fluctuate daily. To find current silver values, check out a site like APMEX , which has up-to-date bullion values.
Scarce Silver Eagles
While most silver eagles (especially uncirculated examples) are highly common, there are some scarce dates.
Following are some of the scarce uncirculated and proof dates in the silver eagles series. Prices for these dates tend to follow collector demand rather than direct silver bullion fluctuations.
- 1996: $57 to $110 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-69
- 2006-W*: $50 to $575 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-70
- 2006-W 20th Anniversary: $65 to $2,000 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-70
- 2006-W 20th Anniversary First Strike: $90 to $3,250 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-70
- 2008-W Reverse of 2007 $1 Eagle: $375 to $2,100 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-70
- 2008-W Reverse of 2007 First Strike: $430 to $2,500 in Mint State-63 through Mint State-70
- 1993-P DCAM Proof**: $100 to $4,500 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 1994-P DCAM Proof: $175 to $3,000 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 1995-P DCAM Proof: $127 to $1,300 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 1995-W DCAM Proof: $3,700 to $35,000 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 1996-P DCAM Proof: $80 to $1,200 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 1997-P DCAM Proof: $80 to $1,275 in Proof-62 through Proof-70
- 2006-P 20th Anniversary DCAM Proof: $170 to $650 in Proof-63 through Proof-70
- 2006-P Reverse of 20th Anniversary DCAM Proof: $180 to $1,200 in Proof 63 through Proof-70
*”W” is the mint mark for West Point, New York.
**DCAM is the widely used acronym for Deep Cameo Proof, or a coin with frosted images and mirror-like backgrounds (also called fields).
Buying Silver Eagle Coins
The United States Mint sells uncirculated and proof versions of current silver eagles. You can visit the U.S. Mint’s site.
To find out more about silver eagle prices, check out the Professional Coin Grading Service‘s price guide.