The 2011 Proof American Silver Eagle debuted today from the United States Mint. The coin became available beginning at 12 Noon ET. A price of $59.95 has been attached to each, plus the standard handling charge of $4.95 per order.
Orders for the 2011 Silver Eagle may be placed directly from the United States Mint website at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or by calling the bureau directly at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). There is a household order limit of 100 coins.
Collector interest in the coin is expected to be intense, especially if last year’s November 19, 2010 release is any indication. In just the first three days, the United States Mint recorded well over a quarter of a million in sales. The 2010 Proof American Silver Eagle would go on to sell an estimated 860,000 before the Mint declared a sell-out the following December.
Of course, the comparison to last year’s release may not exactly be fair as one important factor played into its demand. The Proof American Silver Eagles were actually cancelled the previous year of 2009. The "event" marked the first time this numismatic version was not struck since first debuting in 1986.
That cancellation was brought about by record demand for the associated bullion American Silver Eagles. The United States Mint at the time was required by law to strike them to meet demand. As a result of the cancellation, collectors were extremely anxious to place their initial orders for the 2010 Eagle in an effort to insure they would be able to add them to their collection.
Each American Silver Eagle is struck from one ounce of .999 fine silver to proof quality with a mirror-like background. A mint mark of ‘W’ indicates that is was struck at the US Mint’s facility in West Point. The proof eagle will come in a blue velvet, satin-lined presentation case along with a certificate of authenticity.
Shown on the obverse of the strike is Adolph A. Weinman’s "Walking Liberty" design first used on the 1916-1947 silver half-dollar. It is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful designs ever struck on an American coin. The reverse contains John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle with shield.
For reference, the bullion version does not include a mint mark nor does it have the brilliant mirror-like finish of the collector proof coin. Other details are the same between the two.
The 2011 Proof American Silver Eagle is being sold for $14 more per coin than what the United States Mint charged for the 2010 version, which itself was an increase of $14 from what the bureau charged for the previous 2008 issue. Those increases can almost entirely be attributed to the increase in the price of silver which stood at approximately $15.38 an ounce on the day of the 2008 release. By the time the 2010 strike debuted, silver had jumped to approximately $27.07 an ounce. Silver is currently hovering near $35 an ounce.