2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Proof Set

by Mike Unser on April 27, 2012 · 41 comments

"It’s not an anniversary set," U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White reveals of the 2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set which was released on June 7, 2012. While it may not mark an anniversary, the proof set caught collectors’ attention as if it was. 85,341 were sold within the first 27 hours of sale.

2012-S American Silver Eagle Two-Coin Proof Set

In an e-mail announcements from the U.S. Mint about the release of the 2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set, it sent this image

Taking a fresh approach to mitigate customer concerns and release issues, the American Silver Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Proof Set will be minted to demand but available for only four weeks. That means collectors did not have to fear the race to buy it, or worry about a sellout before getting one. But as a coin’s scarcity helps dictate its extended value, collectors will now brace for the possibility that too many get sold. In that sense, a mintage fit to fill demand can be a significant drag even for a unique product.

The two-coin proof set will have a sales period from June 7, 2012 to July 5, 2012, providing one month to place orders. Its price is $149.95 and there is no household ordering limits. Within the set is a:

  • 2012-S American Silver Eagle Reverse Proof Coin, and a
  • 2012-S American Silver Eagle Proof Coin

Aside from it carrying the San Francisco "S" mint mark, the regular proof will appear exactly like the yearly and individually sold issues from West Point, with the most recent one released on April 12, 2012.

2011-P American Silver Eagle Reverse Proof Coin

Last year's 25th Anniversary Eagle Set contained a reverse proof minted in Philadelphia. An American Eagle two-coin proof set for this year will also contain a reverse proof, but it will be struck in San Francisco.

With the exception of cancellation year 2009, the annual proof Silver Eagle has been offered along with the bullion counterpart since the American Silver Eagle series debuted in 1986. In fact, between 1986 and 1992, the San Francisco Mint actually produced each year’s strike before responsibility shifted to Philadelphia and then finally to West Point in 2001.

Most collectors are now familiar with the reverse proof Silver Eagle after the Pennsylvania Mint produced them in 2006 for the American Silver Eagle 20th Anniversary Set and then again last year for the American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set. A standard proof coin features frosted raised designs that contrast against a mirror-like background. A reverse proof is the exact opposite, with raised designs that are mirror-like and contrast against a background of frosted fields.

"A special feature of this elegant two-coin set is the coin featuring a ‘reverse proof’ finish. Reversing the mirror-like background finish of a traditional proof coin and applying it to the design elements of the coin achieves a magnificent contrast," the set’s product page on the U.S. Mint website promotes.

Initial speculation explained this new two-coin proof set as a means to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco Mint at its current location. That premise seemed a bit weak, and the perception was perhaps crafted from a series of U.S. Mint surveys sent out to certain customers earlier in the year which first discussed the possibility of special Silver Eagle sets.

An advantage of not binding this year’s set to an anniversary event is that it provides an easier transition in offering similar sets every year, should this one prove popular. No special occasions are needed, and the focus remains on the coins and the Mint’s ability to create them, as currently highlighted in the marketing language offered for them:

"The 2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set is an exquisite collection that captures the essence and timeless beauty of the American Eagle Silver Coins. This set — one American Eagle Silver Proof Coin and one American Eagle Silver Reverse Proof Coin minted at the United States Mint at San Francisco — is a testament to the fine, exacting craftsmanship that has been a United States Mint hallmark since 1792."

Until the week of May 21, set pricing had yet to be established or at least published. It turned out higher than most watchers were expecting.

2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Proof Set

This small U.S. image of the proof set appears on its product page

The individual proof Silver Eagle that went on sale earlier in the year was and is currently listed for a price of $59.95, which suggested that the San Francisco Two-Coin Proof Set would be at least double that. A good "guessing area" many had anticipated was within the $125-$135 range since specialized and costlier packing had to be considered. But that, obviously, did not happen as the price came to be the aforementioned $149.95.

Counting the two new coins, the United States Mint will produce at least five and possibly six types of American Silver Eagles this year. They include the:

  • 2012 Silver Eagle bullion coin — released on January 3
  • 2012-W Silver Eagle proof coin — released on April 12
  • 2012-S Silver Eagle proof coin — released on June 7
  • 2012-S Silver Eagle reverse proof coin — released June 7
  • 2012-W Silver Eagle uncirculated — with a scheduled release date of August 2, 2012, U.S. Mint continues to sell 2011-dated coin

Another possible addition is the 2012-S American Silver Eagle Uncirculated Coin. In its 2011 Annual Report, the United States Mint stated a desire to offer one this year as it did within the anniversary set last year.

Currently available information on all the American Eagles on sale may be found on the United States Mint page located here.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin April 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

Interesting strategy to avoid the feeding frenzy of the anniversary set. Of course if a million of these are sold, their collectible aura diminishes. How about a contest to guess the final montage figure for these 2012 s sets? Winner gets…..?

Kevin’s guess is 672,500

Stuart April 27, 2012 at 12:44 am

Stu’s guess: 333,333 (third of a million 🙂 ).

Springer April 27, 2012 at 3:17 am

My guess: 320,000 would still have some collector value.

Jack April 27, 2012 at 4:46 am

My guess: 1,056,189 and going for $95 on E-Bay after the dust settles. Unless they decide to do something like: Limited to a 4 week ordering period OR 350,000 units, whichever comes first!! The mint also stated other coins being minted to demand in the past, but sold out them. Just a thought!

RonnieBGood April 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

The possibility of six versions of this coin?
I would be interested to hear comments on this topic.

js April 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

The revers looks great – I wish they did that effect for the star spangled banner.

Chuck April 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

The coin collectors are going to get screwed as everyone think this coin set is a special collector’s set. But what good is a collector’s set if there is no limited on the quantity and mint to order ? I think the Mint will put a price tag of $139 on the set. People would buy it like crazy because they think it a collector’s set and the Mint makes tons of money because higher price on this set (normal $59/coin now about $70/coin). After everything settles, the coins will be worth about $5 over the silver spot price. It is a win-win situation for the mint and the collectors get screwed.

CW April 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

Too many people seem to forget that the mint works for the taxpayers and should not be playing favorites in forcing ultra-limited mintages that only the well-connected seem to be able to obtain. At least make the process fair. Kudos for the mint for doing this this year.

jim April 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

People also seem to forget that true collectors collect for the fun of it and take pride in their collection as it is and not necessarily for its investment value. This is a collectors set regardless of how many are minted because only collectors will want the S coins. Non-collectors couldn’t care less about the mint mark or which part is mirrored.

I like the idea of limiting the time frame. And with a limit of one per household dealers won’t be able to gobble up thousands to sell later. Less than 250,000 20th anniversary silver sets were sold in 2006 and they contained first issues of the reverse proof and uncirculated coins and were sold over 4 months. In just 4 weeks I’d look for 150,000 or less for this set. Only the mint mark makes this set unique anymore since up to now only Philadelphia has made the reverse proof.

Ed Moy April 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

The U.S. Mint should limit the maximum allowable mintage to just 100,016 sets. Then allow only 3,572 sets to be sold per day for 28 consecutive days between Thursday June 7, 2012 until Thursday July 5, 2012. Therefore the distribution of sales opportunities will be even for 28 straight days.

CW April 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I am glad the mint is thinking more like a business here. Why limit your profits? God knows the government needs net positive sources of revenue that do not involve raising taxes. Win-win for the government. When collecting becomes something only the elites can obtain, don’t be surprised when the hobby slowly dies.

Mercury April 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

A mintage fit to fill demand…? What their really saying is that this collection has now been turned into a San Francisco Two-Coin/Bullion Proof Set. My-OH-MY… How the pendulum does swing, have we no sort of balance these days. It appears to me this plan is to make up for the stagnated sales of 2012 Proof Silver Eagle. Way to go US Mint.

Stuart Wheeler April 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

The ultimate coin store [U.S. Mint] does it again. Just another product offering to get the collecting public to part ways with their hard earned dollars. They could not care less, whether it fits into your monthly budget or not. What about budget items that allows for mere existence such as food on the table, the rising price of gasoline to keep vehicles running, health care bills, utilities bills, home mortgages and rent, emergency living expenses and on and on and on. What I just listed has priority over luxury items namely, U.S. Mint products. Items like these that has nothing to do about living from paycheck to paycheck without using a credit card racking up huge amount of debts in the process. And, I speak from years of experience.

Josh April 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I guess I’m the only one that’s excited to get an affordable reverse proof, maybe a couple 😀 I think it’s gonna be great.

Eric April 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Stuart, nobody is saying you HAVE to buy the new set. It’s just another coin for us collectors to have if we want it AND can beat the coin dealers to the punch. Josh, I’m excited too, I hope we can snag a couple, I’m hoping for 2 sets, one for the kid and one for me. I would pre-order it if I could…it’s a beautiful looking coin set.

Joe April 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Back on 1-24-2012 Coin News said in an article that the US Mint was going to make 300,000 of these Silver Eagle sets 1 per household at a cost of approximately $125.00. So I wonder if they are going to sell 300,000 sets in 1 month at 1 set per house hold. Or are they going to sell as many sets as they can in 1 month?

Lopital April 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I am looking forward to this set. It is an interesting selling model to say the least. I guess this is the way for the mint to give an opportunity to those that were not able to purchase the 25th Anniversary set. If they don’t enforce limits I can see mintages over 750,000. The 2011 set sold in less than a day (100k), with a 5 ordering limit, and this one should be priced 2/5 times cheaper.

chris April 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I am a collector, and the more coins the USMint issues, the merrier I am ! I look forward to this offering !

HasdyNarine April 29, 2012 at 1:24 am

I will like to buy 5 on that day. Am I the only one that happy?

SuperTrooper April 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

I think this is a good idea in a few ways , and also not that good in a few ways as well.
1. If they saturate the market with the very rare Reversed Proof SE by possibly selling a 2 coin set every year starting in 2012 the Reverse Proof Eagle will lose its popularity and become just another SE to buy every year and not sell as many as they can in a 30 day time frame which could be well over the 300000 amount.
2. The mint could offer this 2 coin set (seperate from the regular SEs sold annualy) with a lower mintage, and keep the mintage amount for each set between 50000 to 150000 with a house hold limit of 2 sets per 50000…..8 sets per 150000 but not mint over 175000 yearly. Another idea the mint could try is just selling the Reverse Proof as a single instead of a set and actually keep count of the first strikes or early releases with a special COA the mintage amount would be determined by the total amount released for each year. Thats My 2 cents worth.

john April 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

were is the mint geting all these silver blanks, a year back they did not have them.

James April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Just watched a proof 2012 silver eagle sell on eBay for less then the mint sells them for silver at thirty and mint making thirty a coin nice racket

JMD April 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I’m with you CW…I was amazed to see the number of anniversary sets available on HSN…not to mention the price..they must be very well connected. I work for a living and collect as a hooby, not for short term profit. I felt the 25th anniversary sale was incredibly unfair.

Peter May 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

From the standpoint of the mint I can see how producing to demand makes business sense. It also perhaps lets collectors have a better chance to get it. Looking at its from appreciation stance: if too many are produced causing drag on this set would it have a positive appeciation on older sets?

Perry May 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I think the only people who won’t like this idea are the coin dealers and the jokers on ebay who don’t know an S mint from a P mint. These people know how to buy and sell and order anything they think can make a quick buck. They were the ones who really jammed up the sale of the 25th Anniversary sets.

Perry May 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I like the idea of limiting the purchase time for this new set and leaving the quantity open. I think the sales amount will be rather light and the price should be rather agreeable since the silver price is lower than it was last October. Hopefully we won’t see the large run by the “Sell anything for a buck Ebay vultures” tying up the internet and phones all day.

James May 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Silver below 30 when will the mint lower it’s price Not!

Mzjavert May 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

OMG the televised coin shows are going to go into overtime to sell this set. I wonder how many “special” and “rare” and “limited edition” labels they will have slapped onto (or into) their graded sets of these coins.

I’ll skip the labels and buy my one and only set from the mint. Love the reverse proof, but I’m limiting myself to one so I can buy more franklin halves.

Jim May 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

It really doesn’t matter how many of these sets are sold! It will possibly attract more collectors who will need to buy prior issues of Silver Eagle coins to build any kind of set. Before prices soar to high. I would highly recommend collectors and investors to consider building Burnished Uncirculated Silver Eagle sets. For example 2006-W Early Release MS 70, 2007-W Early Release MS 70, 2008-W Early Release MS 70, 2008-W (Reverse of 07) Early Release MS 70, 2011-W Early Release MS 70, 2011-S Early Release (from 25th Anniversary Set) MS 70. The Burnished Uncirculated Silver Eagles are the least minted silver eagles by far. Even building MS 69 sets is not a bad idea. I recently heard that many of the earlier Burnished Uncirculated Silver Eagles are going up in price. I suspect the 2011-S Silver Eagle will be a $1000+ coin someday, not far from now.

pat May 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

My guess is 295,000. The mint is also price this up to $175 to dampen down the demand.

Ed May 23, 2012 at 7:01 am

I started collecting Canada “Wildlife Series” coins last year, it gets boreing collecting the same coin design with different mint marks.

Ed May 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

I was promped to take the servey on the Mints web site, didn’t bother. I would like to obtain a case (no coins) on E-bay to keep a 2006 & 2011 reverse proof coin in . I agree with the Author of this story when he states how weak the 75th anniversery of San Fran Mint is. I hope 500,000 are minted. I also agree with Chuck.

Ed May 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Silver @ $27.76 oz. I might buy a set for $ 100 !!!! Here are some ideas …. 2013 -100th anniversery of buffalo nickel…..2014 – 50th anniversery of Kennedy half dollar ..2015 20th anniversery of W mint mark of proof silver eagle….2016 100th anniversery of standing liberty quarter. yadda yadda

Christopher Williams June 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

Oh yeah. Mr. Mike “Sold Out, Limited Edition” Mezak will be hawking these like crazy on HSN.

Today is June 7, 2012 and the Two-Coin” set is released today from the US Mint. Mintage to “Meet Demand” but only sold for four weeks. Should be very interesting….

Charlie June 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

My guess 750,000,

blake June 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Ordered my first set at the opening 12:00pm. Tried to order a 2nd set after some thought,and found the mint web site down,and the phone lines busy. I tried all after noon to place a 2nd order. At 4:30pm my 2nd order was placed via web. At 3:00pm the next day i found that the mint had placed over 85,000 orders in 24hrs. If that pace is any indicator,sales should exceed 2.5 million. Makes me wonder if i should have placed the 2nd order, as the rarity well surly decrease. Chuck was right!

no money June 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

it’s your From the SF Bay Area ! it’s a must buy ..we just celebrated the GG bridge 75th anniversary !

Edward July 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm

people want these coins to be collectibles for the future, so they be worth more. but at the same time, people just keep buying more and more of these sets, making the value of the set worth less. come on people, if u want this set to be worth something… then don’t let the mintage get to 300,000. otherwise u just screwed yourself.

dan September 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

what is the cost of a complete set of burnished siver eagles 2006,2007,2008,2011,2012 in ms-70 condition all same label west piont mint ?

Joe D'Amico September 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm


John October 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Sucks to be you, you missed this opportunity. Anyone that knows about coins is the number of coins minted and popularity of the year means everything. Silver was pulled and gold is out of this world the past five years. I bought a few of these and they are absolutely beautiful and boxed top shelf for collectibility. You CANNOT get these from the mint now and the price has doubled for collectors. I am keeping these for my grandchildren along with my other special coins.

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