Tomorrow January 24, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2013 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin. This is traditionally one of the Mint’s most popular annual offerings.
The 2013 Proof Silver Eagle features Adolph A. Weinman’s classic Walking Liberty design used for the circulating half dollar from 1916 to 1947. The full length figure of Liberty is shown walking towards a rising sun, carrying branches of oak and laurel with a flag draped across her shoulders. The reverse design by John Mercanti features a heraldic eagle with shield and an arrangement of 13 stars.
The coin is struck in proof quality at the West Point Mint with the “W” mint mark and packaged in a blue velvet, satin-lined presentation case with certificate of authenticity. The composition is 99.9% silver with a weight of 1 troy ounce.
There will be no household ordering limits for this years release and the Mint indicates that customer demand will determine the number of coins to be minted. The price of the offering is $62.95.
Compared to last year, this year’s release comes earlier and is priced higher. The 2012 Proof Silver Eagle was released on April 12, 2012 and sold out on November 13, 2012. The initial cost was $59.95, which was briefly lowered to $54.95, and then raised back to $59.95.
The Bullion Situation
This year’s proof release takes place during a sales suspension for the bullion version of the coin. Amidst heavy demand, the US Mint announced that the 2013-dated bullion coins had temporarily sold out after authorized purchasers placed orders for just over 6 million coins. Sales are expected to resume on or about the week of January 28 on an allocated basis. The sales suspension and impending rationing have served to increase premiums at certain dealers.
The bullion situation has not particularly bolstered demand for currently available numismatic versions of the Silver Eagle. (See this week’s sales report posted today.) However, it is possible that the 2013 proofs might see some heavier demand out of the gate.
Current law does allow the US Mint to produce and issue numismatic versions of the Silver Eagle regardless of the availability and/or allocation of the bullion versions. This is different from the situation in 2008 and 2009 when the Mint suspended production of numismatic Silver Eagles to divert all blanks to the production of bullion coins. This resulted in an early sell out for the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle and the outright cancellation of all numismatic 2009 Silver Eagles. However, some collectors may have lingering suspicions that the bullion situation may have an impact on the proofs. The spate of recent sell outs for numismatic products after short periods of availability may drive collectors to place their orders early.
Other Numismatic Silver Eagles
There are other numismatic products containing Silver Eagles that are expected to be released this year.
The 2013-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle is scheduled for release in May. This collectible uncirculated version of the coin was introduced in 2006 and has been offered individually or sometimes within sets in from 2006 to 2008 and from 2011 onwards.
The 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set is expected to be available during an ordering window in May/June. Preliminary information indicates that the set will include a reverse proof coin and uncirculated coin struck at the West Point Mint. The uncirculated coin is supposed to differ in some material way from the individually offered version. Sets containing reverse proof Silver Eagles have been offered in 2006, 2011, and 2012.
The 2013 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set is scheduled for release in July. This product has contained uncirculated version of the four Presidential Dollars, the Sacagawea/Native American Dollar, and the Silver Eagle. The set has been offered in 2007, 2008, and 2012.