Premiums Decline for US Mint Silver Coins as Melt Values Rise

2012-W Proof American Silver Eagle
Higher silver prices are making U.S. Mint silver coins more attractive as their premiums fall

U.S. Mint premiums continue to fall for collector-priced silver coins and sets as their melt values move higher with the market price of silver. If you want a bigger bang for your buck, is now the best time to purchase? Not necessarily.

Silver has surged $6.47, or 23.0%, this year based on Wednesday’s London fixing at $34.65 an ounce. Yet, premiums for silver coins have been fluid since silver has been riding a roller coaster this year, as highlighted by its monthly ranges.

London Fix for Silver – Monthly Low and Highs
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Low 28.78 33.18 31.54 30.70 27.25 26.72 26.67 27.25 31.74
High 33.60 37.23 35.21 32.97 30.78 29.36 28.33 30.81 34.71


In running the numbers, some silver coins and sets at least appear more attractive today than when they launched as their melt values are closer to their price.

Annual silver sets make that case, as do all of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins. In some instances, premiums for the ATB silver coins are less than half of what they were when released.

The Mint’s popular 2012-W Proof Silver Eagle is another example. Its pricing appears cheaper than when released not only because its melt value is now higher, but also because of its earlier price cut. Released on April 12, 2012 at $59.95 when silver neared $31.50 an ounce, the proof coin’s price was dropped in July to $54.95 when silver struggled to attain $27 an ounce. The proof Silver Eagle remains on sale today despite silver’s new uptrend.

On the other hand, premiums are higher today for the proof and uncirculated Infantry Soldier Silver Dollars and Star-Spangled Banner Silver Dollars. That is because the commemorative coins happened to launch when silver was nearly at today’s price, and because the U.S. Mint first offered them at introductory pricing that was $5 cheaper. It would have been better to buy these silver coins when they were first released.

The following table compares premiums (price over melt values) for silver coins and sets from their release date to today, August 19, 2012. Coin melt values and resulting premium comparisons are calculated using the London Fix price of silver between the two dates, as well as any differing product prices between the periods.

U.S. Mint Product Date of Release Price on Release Current Price Release Premium Current Premium
2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set January 10, 2012 41.95 15.10 10.63
2011 Vicksburg ATB 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin January 12, 2012 204.95 52.05 31.70
2011 Chickasaw ATB 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin February 9, 2012 204.95 35.95 31.70
2012 Infantry Soldier Silver Dollar Defenders of Freedom Set February 16, 2012 51.95 26.29 25.17
2012 Infantry Soldier Uncirculated Silver Dollar February 16, 2012 44.95 49.95 19.29 23.17
2012 Infantry Soldier Proof Silver Dollar February 16, 2012 49.95 54.95 24.29 28.17
2012 Star-Spangled Banner Uncirculated Silver Dollar March 5, 2012 44.95 49.95 18.51 23.17
2012 Star-Spangled Banner Proof Silver Dollar March 5, 2012 49.95 54.95 23.51 28.17
2012 American Eagle Silver Proof Coin April 12, 2012 59.95 54.95 28.48 20.30
2012 El Yunque ATB 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin May 29, 2012 204.95 63.70 31.70
2012 Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Silver Dollar Set June 1, 2012 53.95 32.77 27.17
2012 Silver Proof Set June 4, 2012 67.95 31.31 21.59
2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set July 2, 2012 149.95 95.23 80.65
2012 Chaco Culture ATB 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin July 9, 2012 204.95 68.75 31.70
2012 American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin August 2, 2012 45.95 18.53 11.30
Making American History Coin and Currency Set August 7, 2012 72.95 44.95 38.30
2012 Acadia ATB 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin August 13, 2012 204.95 64.70 31.70
2012 United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set September 6, 2012 54.95 22.08 20.30


This site’s silver coin price guide page offers current melt values for most of the above silver coins and sets.

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So dividing by 5 for the ATB pucks makes them the best deal overall?


Yes. Scoop them up asap. They’re a much better deal than buying a silver eagle.


the value is there


Has anyone heard of a special proof collector version of America The Beautiful 5.oz coin the U.S. Mint is thinking about making in 2013?


We Complained. They Listened. This announcement was made on Sept. 20:

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Bibiana Boerio for Director of the United States Mint. SHE served as special adviser to the President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce from March 2011 to February 2012.


You beat Coin News to the punch. I hope she can handle the new job.


Bibiana Boerio (nominee for Director of the United States Mint) is no babe in the woods. She has the following qualifications: From 2008 to 2010, Boerio was the Chief of Staff for Congressman Joe Sestak. She worked at Ford Motor Company for over 30 years, including as managing director for Jaguar Cars, Ltd. from 2004 to 2007, director of Finance and Strategy for Ford International Operations from 2003 to 2004, and executive vice president and chief financial officer for Ford Motor Credit Company from 2000 to 2003. She received a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill College and a master’s degree… Read more »


Didn’t she help save ford from the great American bail out. lol. Lets hope Bibiana Boerio at ieast has a state1/4 collection.


Clever ploy of the mints around the world to sell proofs & other “special” coins at hefty premiums over the spot prices to collectors. Investors would seldom invest in such coins, preferring bullion bars and coins, where premiums are less and the items are far more tradable. I got caught up in coin “investing” years ago but luckily made some money. Today, unless I want something special to collect, I would opt for bullion per se. Collecting is not investing; if your collection makes you some profit, fantastic! Anyway, there are different markets, and the mints know how to cash… Read more »


RonnieBGood, isn’t Bibiana Boerio, nominee for Director of the United States Mint, the current Assistant Director now?