2013-W Enhanced Uncirculated Silver Eagle Revealed

Later this year, the United States Mint will release a product tentatively known as the “American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set”. After the set first appeared on a preliminary product schedule released in December, some basic details of the offering were revealed.

The occasion for the issuance of the set will be the 25th anniversary of the West Point Mint gaining full mint status. The facility had originally been constructed in 1937 as the West Point Bullion Depository and served as a storage facility for silver bullion. In 1980, the facility began striking gold medallions and in later years gold and silver bullion and numismatic coins. The facility gained official status as a branch of the United States Mint on March 31, 1988.

Preliminary information was provided regarding the contents of the set and its period of availability. It was indicated that the sets would be available during a one month window open from May 13 to June 13, 2013 (now indicated as “May/June” on the product schedule). The two coins included in the set would be struck at the West Point Mint with the “W” mint mark. The first coin would carry a reverse proof finish, while the second would carry an uncirculated finish. With regards to the second coin, it was further indicated that the uncirculated coin would be different in some material way from the regular uncirculated coin offered separately.

Since this time, collectors have been speculating about how the uncirculated coin included in the set would differ. Within comments, some readers had raised possibilities such as moving the mint mark or adding a privy mark. The actual difference is something else entirely.

James Bucki, who is the About.com Guide for Coins, visited the West Point Mint and had the opportunity to witness the striking of the first 2013-W American Silver Eagle to carry the new finish. He has granted permission to include the following photo of the new “enhanced uncirculated” finish. Follow the link for larger images and his description of the coin.

enhanced-uncirculated
Image (c) 2013 James Bucki. Used With Permission. See The 2013-W American Silver Eagle Enhanced Uncirculated Coin

The enhanced uncirculated finish is certainly very distinctive from the typical uncirculated finish. Certain aspects of the design are mirrored, others are frosted, and the background fields are lightly frosted. This creates a much different impression of the design that has become familiar to so many collectors.

In recent years, the US Mint has increased the frequency of issuance for special sets incorporating Silver Eagles. This started with the 20th anniversary set issued in 2006, followed by the 25th anniversary set in 2011, and the San Francisco Set issued last year. Each of the sets had basically used the same playbook of alternating between reverse proof, proof, and uncirculated coins with varying mint marks. By creating a completely new type of finish, the upcoming 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set may gain some greater attention.

What do readers think of the new enhanced uncirculated Silver Eagle? Provide your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Ikaika says

    I hope we get a detailed report on the process of minting this coin soon. Should be very interesting.

  2. says

    Yet ANOTHER polished turd offering from the U.S. Mint! The marketing dept. at the Mint seems to have come up with Baskin Robbins flavor choices for the American Silver Eagles for every manner of anniversary commemoration!

  3. Teach says

    Fosnock – this coin will be struck three times in order to complete the coin, please read the following below………

    Each coin is struck with specially prepared dies at the West Point Mint facility. In order to bring out the three contrasting finishes, each coin is struck three times on burnished 99.9% silver planchets. Each planchet is hand fed into the coining press and inspected by the operator before it is sent on to be encapsulated and packaged.

    You can read all about this coin here……..

    http://coins.about.com/library/US-Coin-Specifications/US9990-Bullion/bl-US9990-2013-W-American-Silver-Eagle-Enhanced-Uncirculated-Bullion-Coin-Specs.htm

  4. Rich says

    This ‘enhanced’ approach would certainly lead to a unique & spectacular gold buffalo ’13 set if it were to come about…, the resources would be in place at WP to pull it off.

    Hope it’s an expensive year after all…, first year I’m passing on all Comms

  5. Dustyroads says

    I have been thinking this enhanced ASE is tinted, but there’s no description including that, I’m back to my original understanding of the light frosting. Is the Mint is going to let us simmer for a while now?!

  6. Robertson says

    Yet ANOTHER polished turd offering from the U.S. Mint! The marketing dept. at the Mint seems to have come up with Baskin Robbins flavor choices for the American Silver Eagles for every manner of anniversary commemoration!

    Not to mention significantly altering A.A. Weinman’s original, artistic vision first seen on the 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar.

    The Mint seems to be oblivious to how they are greatly compromising the integrity of the original design. And they do it with only purpose in mind: taking advantage of a market that obviously lacks the ability to appreciate good design.

  7. Robertson says

    The Mint seems to be borrowing a page from either Ted Turner (who colorized the old classic B&W movies) or those private firms who have been “enhancing” and colorizing our coins for years.

    Hey fellas… just because the Mint is lowering itself to the level of outside vendors just to make a fast buck doesn’t make it right.

  8. Natatack says

    Anyone notice on the reverse photo from the about.com.coins has what looks like a fingerprint on the bottom .

  9. Robertson says

    I, for one, am looking forward to the 5-star generals commemorative coins that will be offered next week. In the long term, these coins will be greatly cherished and admired by all, coins whose designs may help to educate a new generation of Americans about the history of this great nation. Will they appreciate in value? Who cares… I certainly don’t since they will be passed on to my children and grandchildren.

    The above gimmickry, with which the Mint seems currently preoccupied – taking a classic design and seeing how many variations they can pass off as good art on a unsuspecting market – will fall by the wayside in the long run. Someday, our posterity will look at these objects incredulously and wonder, “What in heck were they thinking?”

  10. Hidalgo says

    I am uncertain if you have noticed that the US Mint is placing much more emphasis on creating products, sets, variations, etc. involving the highly-profitable and well-selling American Silver Eagle coin.

    Take a look at all of the US Mint’s bullion and non-bullion products. You’ll see an increase in the number of sets involving ASEs.

    Ths US Mint also appears to be placing much emphasis on products, sets, etc. involving America the Beautiful quarters. Take a look at the US Mint’s past and present offerings, and you’ll see what I mean…..

  11. Don says

    hiho silver,
    I didn’t get back to you last night after you posted your question to me (went to bed), but my choice would also be a wish list price of $149.95 for the West Point set. This would be the same price as last year’s San Francisco silver eagle set.

  12. oldfolkie says

    Wow, look at all these posts. It’s a good indicator to me that this hobby we enjoy has quite a diverse following. Like only a couple of the posts I have a hard time getting excited by “all these versions ” of a coin that way back when, as a half dollar, looked so much prettier. I have to wonder, when are the colorized versions coming? It’s nice to see the mint is keeping us all so excited about something. Me, I just wish they’d realize many of us are on budgets and need an actual schedule that is balanced, with releases staggered evenly through the year. This habit of releasing the ATBs and Gold spouses whenever they feel like it is making it impossible for me to even think of buying anything else.

  13. hi ho silver says

    Don I guess that’s all we can do is wish. But I think they should make this a 1 coin anniversery. In 2007 I was very excited to have the RP coin, also in 2011. I think the Mint is over doing it with the RPs not to mention the other coins within a set. If this enhanced coin was a one and done I would be in for $150 no questions asked. As far as bullion I went to other countries for them ,I got enough in all my sets.

  14. says

    As I posted on the previous thread…I’m disappointed that the unc coin involves a “finish” change and not a “design” change on the reverse.

    What would of been really great is if the coin was minted with the original reverse eagle on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar (I think someone else mentioned this before me).

    However, after thinking about what is being offered, I look forward to seeing it in person…and if this is a one time only thing exclusive to this set, I think it will do well.

    While the Mint is on this roll of special sets…how about an actual proof set of the ATB 5 oz coins…sold as both individual coins or as a set…like the Proof Gold Eagles are.

  15. says

    hi ho…I was typing my one and done statement and didn’t see your post…didn’t mean to duplicate your comment.

  16. hi ho silver says

    Steve: No problem. What do you think of the 4 (maybe more next year) RP coins I spoke of ?

  17. stephen m says

    Most folks will get a set or two to keep up their collection. I will. The enhanced coin, appearing to be kind of an overdone ase, should be a beauty in person. I’m not sure how the flippers are going to respond or buy.

  18. Don says

    Michael,
    The interest generated by this current posting has resulted in a large number of comments. Just out of curiousity, what posting from you has the record for number of comments? I’m guessing the 25th anniversary silver eagle set from 2011.

  19. T1 browserman says

    Ag was trading between $25-$30 last MAY/JUNE period and the 75th ann. set sold at $150 firm. I would hope that is the case this year. Certainly no break for the collector and definitely a win for the mint. Pt & Au barely pays the bills. It’s Ag and clad paying the bills.

    Thank you Louis for clearing the dollar coin issue. I hope all those transactions that killed the DIRECT SHIP program are brought to JUSTICE for their abuse of that program. It appears those 4 coin presidential proof clads are long term winners. Those are the only ones I collect…I am not paying a premium on rolls or boxes that should be at face.

  20. Jeff in TX> says

    I love the look. Having a price increase for the 2013 proof ase my offset the cost of the enhanced ase. I’ll say 602013 sets sold. Keep in mind the Mint my put a return to stock fee on returns and wait to send them all later.

  21. Jeff in TX> says

    Love the look . Sales for this 602013 sets. The price increase for the 2013 proff ase might off set cost of the enhanced. The set sells for $159.00. Keep in mind that the Mint might have a return to stock fee also. What if they mail them out after the buying time for this. Good job Mint.

  22. Don says

    Thanks Michael–898 comments is pretty extraordinaray. One thing that I have noticed with regard to the comments accompanying this posting for the “enhanced uncirculated silver eagle” is that no negativity or mean-spiritness has been directed toward any of the commenters. This has not always been the case for past postings, especially when commenters banter back and forth with each other and things start to turn sour.

    By keeping things postive, it encourages more people to comment without fear of being ridiculed. Thanks.

  23. Jon in CT says

    I can imagine only one way the Mint could con me into buying this American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set (final product name TBD). It would be to announce a product limit of 100K sets with an ordering limit of five (5) sets per household, à la the 2011 American Eagle 25th Anniversary Silver Coin Set (A25). Now THAT would certainly get my competitive ordering juices flowing again. Somehow, 12:00 Noon (ET), October 27, 2011, already feels like one of the “Gold Old Days” to me and I hope the Mint can re-create that exciting time with this new set.
    :)

  24. Don says

    hiho silver,
    I will give you one good example where, in a previous post serveral months ago, one of the commenters did not have good command of the written English language. He managed to get his point across but, because his grammar wasn’t good, he was ridiculed by several other commenters. At least he had the courage to make a comment–but I’m sure it left him discouraged to be the subject of ridicule.
    If I recall, there were apologies offered to him by some commenters who saw how distasteful the barbs were toward him.

    I have also noticed interchanges between two individuals where one takes offense to an off-beat or sarcastic remark of the other. Usually, in cases like this, the offended party needs some type of apology before things turn negative.

    Enough said on this topic.

  25. Dan says

    Michael

    Perhaps you or another reader might be able to help. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I remember that when the 25th anniversary sets were sold, there was a total order of appx 40,000 orders for the 100,000 sets. I was wondering if there is a total number of orders for the San Francisco eagle sets. I remember there was appx 224,000 sets ordered but I dont recall ever seeing the total number of orders it took to get to that level. Do you or anyone else out there recall seeing that number? Thanks

  26. fosnock says

    @Teach – Thank you for the clarification, as a FYI the Pobjoy Mint Ltd (Island of Man) strikes its coin four times to create the Pobjoy proof finish

  27. Jon in CT says

    Dan wrote on March 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm:

    Michael

    Perhaps you or another reader might be able to help. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I remember that when the 25th anniversary sets were sold, there was a total order of appx 40,000 orders for the 100,000 sets.

    I recall that some attempted to deduce an approximate order number total based on subtracting a Mint order tracking number reporte from an early accepted order (accepted just after noon) from that of an order entered ~4.5 hours later just at the cutoff. The assumption (correct, IMO) was that nearly all Mint orders during that period were for the 25th Anniversary Set. I suspect you could derive your own estimmated order total in a similar way by reading the comments associated with the blog entry at http://mintnewsblog.com/2011/10/anniversary-sets-sold-out/

  28. Dan says

    Jon in Ct.

    Thanks Jon, I do remember the posts from then and the range of numbers and I think it worked out to around the mid 40,000’s . I am actually more intrested in the SF sets which were an open order for the month which gave collectors ample oppurtunity and availability to purchase. I was just curious to see what the average number of sets per order might be just to try and get an idea as to what the collector base might be. I know that it still would not be accurate but it might give an idea for example, if it averaged 2.5 sets per order opposed to 6 sets perorder it might show a larger collector base rather than a flipper base. I know there are still many other variables that can be argued but I am just curious.

  29. VA Bob says

    My two cents. I believe the Mint would be hard pressed to charge more than $150 for this set, at these spot silver prices, unless they put it in a Bengal Tiger fur box, with elephant tusk accents. That’s more than double the current price of $62.95 a proof ASE, which already has a huge mark up. These are no more difficult to make than any other proof.

    I too am feeling the ASE burnout that some here mentioned. But I will pick up a set or two, since I have every other Mint ASE (except the 96W, and recall passing on it, doh!). Trying to stay complete, I guess. I’m ready for a change.

  30. Don says

    Jon in Ct.:

    I would think it would be difficult to determine a collector base deduced from the number average of sets sold per customer. You have to realize that there are Mint customers who order very large quantities of these sets, including the various TV coin shows, internet dealers, etc. Obviously, these very large orders skew the averages.

  31. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Excellent effect on the design. Even if the Mint can produce 300,000 this will be a winner. Wish they’d sell them singly for a cheaper price.

  32. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    2016 is 100th Ann. of A.A. Weinman’s design. I would like to see set containing a proof dollar and half dollar with A.A. Weinman’s reverse.

  33. T1 browserman says

    @VA bob

    Thanks for my morning laugh :)

    My two cents. I believe the Mint would be hard pressed to charge more than $150 for this set, at these spot silver prices, unless they put it in a Bengal Tiger fur box, with elephant tusk accents

    :) :)

  34. William says

    The coin would be more interesting if the mint put a mustache on the lady…

    Duchamp her.

  35. Jeff in TX> says

    I love the look , Great job by the Mint. The price increase on the proof 2013 eagle may help with the cost of the enhanced eagle. The West Point set might sell 602,013 sets in my guess. Keep in mind that the Mint may have a return to stock fee, which may slow over buying and returning sets. What if the Mint sent the sets out after the sale ends instead of in stages. I’m in for one set. The price is around $149.00.

  36. Sam says

    I agree with all the positive comments. The Mint has finally listened to the collectors and has produced a very appealing coin in my opinion. This coin really “enhances” the beauty of the designs both obverse and reverse in a classy way. This is truly a superb coin and I commend the Mint for doing a great job!! Can’t wait to order a few sets.

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