30th Anniversary Edge Lettering for 2016 American Silver Eagles


Coin collectors can look forward to another flavor of American Silver Eagles. The United States Mint in 2016 will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first issue of the coins with numismatic editions that have smooth edges with lettering instead of reeded edges.

Edge of a proof American Silver Eagle
Since their introduction in 1986, American Eagle silver coins have had reeded edges, like shown above. In 2016, proof and uncirculated versions will have a smooth edge bearing lettering incused with a designation that notes the 30th anniversary of the first issue of coins.

Mandated under the FAST Act, which President Obama signed into law on Friday, Dec. 4, lettering incused on edges of proof and uncirculated American Silver Eagles will designate them as anniversary issues.

"The United States Mint is excited about the 2016 American Eagle silver proof and uncirculated coins mandated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act," Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, told CoinNews in an email. "The edge lettering required by the Act is a fitting tribute to the 30th Anniversary of the world’s most popular silver coin."

Jurkowsky said that the U.S. Mint will use new, special tooling to produce the edge lettering and that the "delivery of the tooling, preparation of the dies, required testing and evaluation will require several months."

The authorizing law does not provide specific guidance on how the edge inscription should read, giving the Mint some flexibility in designating their anniversary issuance.

2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Five Ounce Silver Coin Edges
The U.S. Mint’s series of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins have smooth edges with lettering. This photo shows the incused edge letterings on 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins.

The Mint expects to have the proof and uncirculated editions ready for sale by the summer of 2016. Bullion versions for next year will retain the traditional reeded edges. The U.S. Mint will actually start striking those next week and they will be offered to its network of authorized purchasers beginning on Jan. 11, 2016.

The FAST Act includes other coin related provisions that CoinNews will discuss later, like moving from 90% silver coins in proof sets to at least .999 fine silver coins and giving the Treasury Secretary the authority to strike one-ounce coins in .9995 fine palladium.

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It is not real suprise by US Mint:(
how can we see the number on edge if they are Capusled?
i thing better to make 30 coins (1/4) oz ,with 30 Different techologys
Real collector wont mind to pay $500+ per set , if they are really Collectible

Seth Riesling

Mike Unser – Thanks for the update on this coin legislation on an exciting 30th anniversary of the silver American Eagle proof & burnished finish coins in 2016. Being the most popular silver coin in U.S. Mint history ensures a successful 2016 numismatic program for these issues. But the Mint has been putting edge lettering & design elements on some of its coins since its earliest days basically. Is it really going to take 6 months or more to offer these in the summer of 2016!? Hopefully they will not be released at the ANA’s summer coin show! That would… Read more »

william flick

You can hope for the best buying from the mint, or you can buy the best buying on ebay.


The early bird most always gets the worm.I may choose to put my money into really nice wine.


I’m a little disapointed as for the other Aniversary SAE sets they made something special like RP, Enhanced finish, S mint. Edge lettering…Bah Humbug! I am not enthused at all. Ho hum…


2016 will be an expensive year for collectors:
American Eagle 30th Anniversary
Gold Buffalo 10th Anniversary
Mercury Dime 100th Anniversary
Standing Liberty Quarter 100th Anniversary
Walking Liberty Half Dollar 100th Anniversary

It’s not clear if all proof and uncirculated silver eagles will be anniversary marked or only special sets but I expect all will be so marked. I’m looking forward to reading about the options whenever the mint finally publishes the 2016 product schedule (it’s December already!)


I’m sure the mint will make some error* proof and burnishd Silver Eagles when they start mint them. They have in the past.


Cost is selective


More of the same old Bull Shit


Apparently the proposal in H.R. 1698 to change the cumbersome heat sealed plastic sheet packaging for bullion Gold Buffalo coins of 20 coins per sheet was left out of the approval of the FAST Act.


WOW! Edge lettering – REALLY? Something we numismatists will NOT BE ABLE to SEE and ENJOY when putting our coins into slabs, 2X2s, and albums. Great call. Can we PLEASE get someone at the mint who thinks ahead? Some of the new designs and ideas have been so very unimpressive and disappointing. Some HAVE been good, but we need a mint more in touch with reality of what collectors would like. Edge lettering shows they were trying to come up with a new idea instead of another RP, which is good. However, imagine showing a set of Eagles to someone… Read more »

Gary Williams

I personally hate edge lettering, I’ve been collecting over 50 yrs and think the presidential dollars are one of the most disappointing pro-
ducts the mint has offered. Poor quality control, hard to read, total looser when placed in a book and require far to much handling to buy and sell. Another case of government doing what they want and to hell with what the consumers think.


I like the look of reeded edges. Now this very famous coin, The ASE, will look like a round. Common US Mint!

Seth Riesling

Mike Unser – There are a few things in the extensive FAST Act pertaining to U.S. Mint coins that are pertinent. Your statement at the end of this article is wrong in one way: the legislation does not require the Mint to change it’s silver coins from 90% silver to 99.9% silver – it simply states that silver coins contain no less than 90% silver. It is up to the Treasury Secretary to decide the silver fineness from now on. Also, this new public law requires that the special 30th anniversary silver American Eagle coins in Proof & burnished Uncirculated… Read more »


Lee – The primary purpose of the mint is to produce circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. Numismatic coins are an afterthought and side business of the mint. Without an official Director of the mint you can’t expect the bureaucratic stand-ins to do any more than try to keep things running. Blame Congress for not moving on Obama’s nomination. Vadim – People look at the front and the back, but not the edge. They feel the edge. This coin will be a proof coin or an uncirculated coin because you will see they both have… Read more »

Mike Unser (CoinNews.net)

NumisDudeTX, My last paragraph certainly should have been clearer. My visits to the San Francisco Mint in each of the last three years has probably "geared my mind" toward their desire to make 99.9% silver coins for proof sets. Officials there, I think, kinda cringe at having to strike the 90/10 alloy coins and have been a proponent of going .999 for some time. I have an article on the topic prepared. I’m just waiting on some Mint comment stuff. As for the palladium coins, I could have used better wording. Its safe to say that the U.S. Mint has… Read more »

Seth Riesling

Mike Unser- Thanks for your coverage of this new, far-reaching & important numismatic legislation/public law. It will be very interesting for sure to see how the U.S. Mint, under the direction of Treasury Secretary Jacob Jack Lew implements these exciting directives! Funny thing, my UPS guy came right before 10:30am with my 2015 “platimum beauty” coin & Saratoga 5 oz coin also. I am still in awe of the great design on the new proof platinum coin. I always choose the next day delivery option for piece of mind , & i ordered it at 12:03 last Thursday. I usually… Read more »

A&L Futures

@ Mike Unser –


william flick

Not sure why they would do this to the silver eagle. This is just plan dumb.


This won’t be so much as an awful idea if the mint inovates a new capsule which will allow the edge lettering to be visible without having to open it. It could br exclusive to this ASE’s for that matter.
Maybe ….

Seth Riesling

hewhodontknow –

You have a good suggestion that i hope the Mint considers. Back in 2009 for the Louis Braille commemorative silver $ coin the Mint offered an “easy open” round hard plastic capsule option for the blind & visally impaired. Also, last year they had the special curved round hard plastic capsules for the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins. So hopefully they will be able to have special coin capsules that allow one to see the special anniversary edge lettering on these 2016 silver American Eagle coins.



I posted about this story on my youtube channel. Thanks for some great coin news stories. I check here every day.

Joe C.

Lettered edge? Dumb idea. I was looking forward to maybe a reverse re-design.
Did they legalize pot at the mint? They must be smoking something.


If you recall, the services that encapsulate coins changed the way that coins are mounted several years ago. NGC changed from a circular mounting (that you cannot see the edge) to a 4 prong mounting. This allows you to see the edge lettering on a coin that is mounted in the sealed plastic holder.

The lettering is “retro” as several coins (more recent and in the past) have had edge lettering included in their production.


Mike, Does this mean the Gold 30th Anniversary American Eagle coins will also have the edge lettering?


By Mike, I meant Mike Unser


Remember the edge lettering idea comes from Congress, not the Mint, though it is possible they coordinated on this. I would not assume by any means that this is it for the anniversary. I am sure they will have a special set or some kind too.

Seth Riesling

RonnieBGood – You are right about the Mint having experience with edge lettering (& even art design elements) going way back to nearly the beginnings of the Mint. The 5 oz ATB silver coins incused edge lettering is just one recent example. But the third-party coin certification/grading services holders are all different. NGC’s newest holder introduced in 2010 called “edge view ” has the 4 milky-white prongs that hold the coin in place, but it still covers up at least 15% or more of the edge of the coin! The PCGS new holder just issued a few months ago is… Read more »


NumisDudeTX – I’m thinking the easy-open capsule of 2009 for the braille versions of the regular capsule was an idea that was poorly thought out. Since coin collecting is mainly a visual activity I’ll bet there aren’t very many if any blind or visually impaired coin collectors. But on the off chance that someone would buy one of the easy open capsules and open it up to touch they would be just throwing away $18 (difference between cost and melt values at the time) for that privilege. At least there was an attempt to allow access to the coin’s uniqueness.… Read more »


Seth – sounds like your an employee of PCGS.
No – than perhaps a paid endorsement? LOL


Information for fellow collectors on Grading Services:
ANACS was the first company to authenticate coins as a professional business. It was owned by the American Numismatic Association, from which it gets its name. They are known & accepted for Error Coin Grading.
NGC Is now the official grading service of the ANA.
Both NGC and PCGS are the only grading services that are accepted and trusted by coin collecting hobbyists. And ANACS only for Error Coin Grading.


2016 will be one of the most important collector years in, well, the last 100 years. The Lincoln Cent Centennial was special, but that was a penny. We are talking about one of the most revered Weinman designs, the Mercury, and two of the most beautiful other coins ever minted anywhere, not by the US mint alone. Toss in edge differences for the silver eagle, making at least four designs (Position A and B) notwithstanding, and just looking at the catalog for Christmas will be so nostalgic. I am saving my pennies, the US mint is loaded for bear, and… Read more »


Tubal Cain, Brothers, life is good.

Seth Riesling

RonnieBGood – I wish i knew someone at PCGS ! LOL. For the record i am a close friend of a top NGC grader in their NGC Ancients division, but we keep business & friendship seperate. I was a 25-year member of the ANA when they still owned ANACS & then they sold it to Coin World newspaper’s owner Amos Press & i thought that was a conflict of interest on their part. Then the ANA got into many prolonged lawsuits that cost them major $ in settlements so i resigned! But ANACS back then only issued photo certificates with… Read more »


So it won’t be available until summer 2016?

Gary Fenton

I hope the mint reconsiders the edge lettering. I hate it. Look at the Presidentials and the Native Americans. Horrible!
I love the RP. In the past like 2011 there was a special American Eagle set. I don’t see why that can’t happen again.
Also, there shouldn’t be millions of coins struck. I takes away from the value.
Just MHO.


The proof silver eagle is too pretty to restrict sales. I give them out as commemorative coins for births and weddings, not as investment tools. Also they generally keep the mintage of proof/uncirculated silver eagles to 1 million or less. The investor rounds which are sold at a small premium over the price of silver are the coins sold in the millions and their value is tied to the price of silver.


When will these become avalible or minted I have heard nothing.Being that they are issuing these different and late do you think they will be worth more.Like the 5th anniversary dollar


When will the 2016 proof silver eagles be avaliable and do you think there is a chance they will be worth more because they were minted later


what is 5th anniversary dollar?

Joseph Shawn Ketron

I think it is a shame that the mint is not going to produce any silver versions of the 2016 mercury dime standing liberty quarter and the walker. They should produce both silver and gold versions. Considering they were originally in silver we should get both a silver and gold version.

wm t.

Government at it best??? I’m finding little info on the mints website!! Thanks for this site!!!

william glasscock

the fact that hey are going the way of the Britannia sucks the reeds made it cool this sucks i hate it and i called the mint and i aks that people complain the reeded edge was better thanks william glasscock

william glasscock

gary william i agree i hate the smooth edge and i am glad someone besides me said this thank you gary william’s sincerely, william


They should make an incused design like the 1/4 and 1/2 eagles. They have not made any other coin designed like that!

Randy Chamberlain

If we had coin that year so 86 first 87 ,2 nd 88 3 rd 89 forth 90 fifth 91 6 th 92 7 th 93 8 th 94 9 th 95 10 th 96 11 th 97 twelve 98 13 th 99 fourteenth 2000 fifteenth 2001 16 th 2002 17 th 2003 18 2004 19 2005 ,20 years of coins is 2005and is 2006 21 is2007 22 is 2008 23 is 2009 24 is ,2010 25 is 2011 26 is 2012 27 is 2013 ,28 is 2014 29 is 2015 40 is 2016 counting 1986 as 1 st coin90… Read more »


1986 = first coin
1987 = first anniversary, second coin
1988 = second anniversary, third coin

2016 = 30th anniversary, 31st coin

2009 no proof coin, no uncirculated coin
2010 a proof coin but no uncirculated coin again

Jay Westfall

I see the proof for 2016 is to be issued 9/16. Any speculation on what the prices are going to be?


Speculation wouldn’t be necessary if the mint would just publish a metals price list for silver like they’ve done for gold and platinum coins. But silver coin costs are where the mint hides all its sins, mistakes, etc so they keep that information secret. But looking at the last 3 years 2015 1 oz silver melt value $15.71, silver eagle $48.95 issue price 2014 1 oz silver melt value $20.01, silver eagle $52.95 issue price 2013 1 oz silver melt value $31.85, silver eagle $62.95 issue price so one would guess for 2016 a silver eagle would sell for $50… Read more »

Synoptic 12

After reading many of the above comments, many being indifferent to the edge lettering only shows an interest on another version of the A.S.E. Most likely, the many shall be purchasing on September 16, 2016.