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Are you curious about what American silver eagle dollar coins are worth?
Silver eagles are popular as bullion coins because they’re made from a composition of 0.999% fine silver — that’s just shy of 100% pure!
Of course, because the coin is virtually pure silver, fluctuating bullion prices will mean silver eagles are technically worth something different almost every day.
Somebody once asked me if they should be putting away American silver eagles for their children’s college fund.
I explained to them that there is no coin with a guaranteed return on investment. That is especially true in the case of American silver eagle coins.
Why Values Of Silver Eagles Are Always Changing
In late summer 2014, silver prices were about $20 per ounce. At that time, the typical American silver eagle, which usually is worth a very small premium over “spot” (an amount over the coin’s intrinsic silver value), was selling for about $24.
Fast forward 1 year to late summer 2015. Silver prices were hovering between $14 and $16 per ounce, and the price of a standard American silver eagle was just about $18.
That means over the course of just 1 year, the value of a silver eagle fell by about $5 to $7.
And that’s not all. If you go back further, you’ll see the value of an American silver eagle today is less than half of what it would have been worth a few years earlier.
In late April 2011, when silver prices were skyrocketing toward $50, American silver eagles were selling for nearly $55 each.
Does that mean the prices of American silver eagles have always been falling?
No, not at all. When I first got into the hobby of coin collecting in 1992, silver was around $5 an ounce. Silver eagles were then selling for $6 to $7 each. So, in other words, if I had stocked up on silver eagle coins back in 1992 and sold them in April 2011, I would have done very well for myself. But, hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
Are American Silver Eagles A Good Investment?
Here’s what I’m going to say about buying silver eagles — they are great coins for those who want to invest in silver bullion or who like these coins for their design.
Of course, the nature of all bullion coinage is that its prices will fluctuate.
In fact, I’d equate buying bullion coins to buying stocks in a company. Prices are always changing and, therefore, you need to strategize on deciding when to buy and sell them:
- When the price of silver eagles go down, it’s a good idea to buy them.
- When prices go up, of course, that’s the time to sell your silver bullion coins.
Ultimately, yes, American silver eagle coins can be good investments if you buy them at the right time, but they aren’t necessarily the type of coin that will always go up in value.
That’s why if you want to buy silver eagle coins, it’s a good idea to keep close tabs on the daily bullion values:
- If, given the way silver prices are behaving, you think that values are about to bottom out for the silver eagle, it might be the best time to buy.
- On the other hand, if you think prices are reaching their peak, that could signal the best opportunity to sell.
As legal tender, they’re the only silver bullion coins whose weight and purity are guaranteed by the United States government. They’re also the only silver coins allowed in an IRA. — U.S. Mint
Are Any Silver Eagles Worth More Than Bullion Value?
While American silver eagles are classified as bullion coins, they are often collected by numismatists.
The United States Mint strikes proof versions of silver eagles, which are usually worth a minimum of $40 to $50 each. The 1995-W proof silver eagle is worth more than $4,000!
Meanwhile, there are at least a few bullion and uncirculated American silver eagle coins that are also worth more than bullion value.
Here’s a list of the uncirculated and bullion American silver eagles that are normally worth more than their intrinsic value.
When silver prices are $15 to $20 an ounce, the coins below are worth the following:
- 1986 — $30 and up
- 1996 — $655 and up
- 2006-W burnished finish — $90 and up
- 2008-W burnished finish — $60 and up
- 2008-W burnished finish, reverse of 2007 — $500 and up
- 2011-S burnished finish — $250 and up
- 2013 burnished finish — $60 and up
- 2013 enhanced finish — $55 and up
- 2014-W burnished finish — $60 and up
More About Silver Eagles & Their Values
- 8 Things To Consider When Buying American Silver Eagles
- Tips For Buying Silver Eagles As Bullion Or Collectible Coins
- 6 Ways to Buy American Silver Eagles At Cheap Prices
- Collecting & Investing In American Silver Eagles
- Buying American Silver Eagle Coins From The U.S. Mint
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!
9 thoughts on “What Are American Silver Eagles Worth? Here’s What You Need To Know”
What is a 2000 painted liberty dollar worth. That has a painted lion on the back
Hi, Lisa —
It is worth its silver bullion value, which is about $15 as of this writing.
I have 14 1oz 1dollar silver eagle coins that range from 2009-2014 how much could i get for these
Hi, Steve —
These are generally considered common dates among American Silver Eagles and retail for close to melt. Assuming these are not proof collector varieties (which are worth about $45 to $50 and up), you should get right around spot for them, or $16 to $16.50 each given today’s (12/23/2017) spot price of $16.20.
I buy silver eagles and gold eagles as “insurance”. They are a tangible asset. Fiat (paper money) money isn’t backed by anything tangible. With today’s economic climate and almost 20 TRILLION dollars of debt, a bubble will pop soon and when it does, I fully expect gold and silver to skyrocket!
What is a 1999 Painted Liberty (still in it’s “box”) worth
Hi, Mike —
Would you please post a photo of this coin here so I can assist you further with the value of your coin?
My dealer told me that 1986 silver eagles “really” aren’t worth more than the usual bullion value, plus the small premium (not considering a dealer’s standard commission) – so yesterday he sold me 2 rolls of 1986 BU silver eagles for no additional premium over what 2016 would go for. Did I just make good money off this purchase?
Hi, Kevin —
Many dealers don’t look at American Silver Eagles as anything more than bullion. Technically, they’re “only” bullion, but in actuality 1986 American Silver Eagles do retail for significantly more than spot price. If you can find a dealer (or any buyer, for that matter) who recognizes non-proof 1986 American Silver Eagles as numismatic collectibles (as an increasing number of collectors and dealers do), I’d say you made a great deal on that lot! Retail values for 1986 American Silver Eagles are generally $35 to $40+. I believe you should find a dealer who will pay at least $22 to $25 per coin — not a bad return on your money if you can find it.