The US Mint has announced the release date and pricing for the 2008-W Burnished Silver Eagles. The coins will go on sale Monday, March 17, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET offered at $25.95 each.
These coins are the Mint’s “collectible version” of the popular bullion coin. The coins differ from the regular version since they are struck on specially burnished blanks. They also carry the “W” mint mark, to denote their production at the West Point Mint.
Each coin comes in a protective capsule and presentation case along with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the US Mint Director Edmund Moy.
The pricing for this release is worth examining. Last year’s coin was priced at $21.95 when it was released on June 13, 2007. On that date the price of silver was $13.05 per ounce, making the “coin premium” a steep $8.90. As of the writing of this post, the price of silver is $20.18 per ounce, making the “coin premium” for the 2008-W Silver Eagle a relatively reasonable $5.77.
By pricing the coins much closer to the value of the silver content, the Mint seems to be positioning the product more directly in competition with the bullion coins. Collectors who may have purchased the bullion version may opt to purchase the collectible version for just a few dollars more. Historically, the collectible version of the coin has ended up with a significantly lower mintage than the bullion version, adding to the allure.