Posted by Toby Adkins, Numismatic Scholar for International Currency on Apr 20th 2017
Do you remember your first Anniversary? The tenth? How about your thirtieth? Anniversaries have become milestones in our lives. Markers to to stop and celebrate. The question remains, do they matter for coins?
Personally for me, 2016 marked my 19th wedding anniversary. My wife and I sat down and celebrated over a nice meal, without screaming kids and a barking dog! Any parent has been there. Inevitably, the conversation turned (she started it, not me!) to how we should celebrate our 20th Anniversary. The conversation meandered and there was no clear answer but it really had me thinking over the conversation and how it reflects our thoughts. Really? Is 20 more important than 19? Or 21? It happens in coin collecting too. Anniversary coins are not a new or novel idea. The Mint has celebrated milestones in our Country's history for over two centuries. I know you all have some bicentennial quarters and Ike dollars stashed somewhere, don't lie! Sticking to American Eagles, let's take a look into some of the previous offerings the Mint has produced for anniversary dates.
One of the most well known among American Eagle collectors today is the 10 Year Anniversary Proof Set released back in 1995. There have been many articles about this set so for the sake of space we'll hit the high points. The gold set consisted of four denominations ($5, $10, $25, $50) and a single $1 Silver Eagle. The set was struck at the West Point Mint and all five coins bear the W mintmark. From 1986 to 1992, the Proof Silver Eagles were all struck in San Francisco, then switched to Philadelphia in 1993. This resulted in TWO different proof Silver Eagles with TWO different mintmarks in 1995. The Mint had no idea of the storm they were about to start. It made sense to strike all of the coins at West Point, no need to have them shipped from Philadelphia when they can do it all in one spot. However, only 30,125 10th Year Anniversary Proof Sets were made, making the 1995-W Proof Silver Eagle the rarest one ever produced! For perspective, Philadelphia produced over 400,000 Silver Proofs that same year. Today, many of the 1995-W Proof Silver Dollars are more expensive than the Gold Set it came with!
The Mint struck gold again for the 20th Anniversary Set in 2006. The Mint flip flopped this year and made a 3-coin Silver Set and a 3-coin Gold Set but there was a definite twist. A new $50 Gold Eagle was struck as a Reverse Proof. This means Lady Liberty on the obverse and the Family of Eagles on the reverse were polished and the fields of the coin were frosted. In other words, it is the reverse of how a proof coin normally looks. Currently, this is the only Gold Eagle ever produced in this fashion. Also in the set was a Proof $50 Gold and a new "burnished" $50 Gold, all were struck at West Point. The 3-coin Silver Set was an immediate success as well. The Mint took the same idea of reverse proofing to the Philadelphia struck Silver Eagle while producing two other silvers at West Point. One would be your typical proof and the other would be the first ever Burnished Silver Eagle. Burnishing is an added process to prepare the blanks for striking. It results in fantastic detail that is not normally seen on an uncirculated coin. These coins were definite winners for the Mint.
With the successes of the the 10th and 20th Anniversary coins the Mint was more than happy to do something special for the 25th Anniversary! There would be no special issues of the gold this year but they pulled no punches on the Silver Eagles and produced a 5-coin set in 2011. Three Silvers were produced at West Point. The Proof, a burnished, and your typical uncirculated Silver Eagle. Philadelphia would produce the Reverse Proof and for the first time San Francisco would jump in and also strike a burnished Silver Eagle, bearing their well known S mintmark. Needless to say, this was a great success and collectors gobbled them up as fast as possible.
What is a GSA Morgan?To begin, GSA stands for Government Services Administration. It is the part of government that was tasked to make these coins available to the public. The GSA Hoard of Morgans was almost 3 million coins, with over 95% coming from the Carson City Mint! In short, the hoard [...]
Going IrishI have a shirt I never wear. It proudly says "Kiss me, I'm 1/3rd Irish!"... my wife hates it. In the spirit of March madness and St. Paddy's day, this blog will be Irish themed! Many of you are wondering what this has to do about coins. Arguably, America's greatest [...]
What is a VAM?I know all of you have a couple of Morgan Silver Dollars tucked away but not all Morgans are created equal. Let's take a look at a special group of Morgan Silvers known as VAM's. So, what is a VAM? Read on and find out.Die Variety and IdentificationDie variety [...]
"YE OLDE MINT"As a result of the Coinage Act of 1792, the creation of our very first Mint was entered into law April 2nd of that year. It was built in our new country's capital of Philadelphia. However, there is more to the story... A lot of people do not realize it was [...]
Lady Liberty Lady Liberty has graced American coinage since the late 1700's. Since the very foundation of our Nation she has stood for our freedom. It was natural to depict her on our coins back then and still is today. With all of the talk about the upcoming changes to our currency, there [...]
As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back at a great year for coin collectors. There were some great offerings on coins across the globe and many of them are already very hard to find. That being said, there are still a handful of 2016 coins that can STILL be had at some [...]
TOP 5 COIN GIFTS OF 2016 Silver American EaglesWhether you are new to coin collecting or a die hard seasoned collector, the American Silver Eagles are long time favorites. The coins began in 1986 and are still made today. The Mint produces these in different finishes and the Silver Eagles are one of the [...]
All prices are in USD.