This post was updated on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. to correct the term “Enhanced Proof.” Although ASEs with the Enhanced finish are sometimes referred to as Proofs or Specimens, they were marketed by the Mint in the spring of 2013 as having an “Enhanced Uncirculated” finish.
(Washington)—The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2017 American Eagle 1-ounce silver Proof coin (17EA) on March 23 at noon Eastern Time.
The obverse of the ASE features Adolph A. Weinman’s full-length figure of Liberty in full stride, enveloped in folds of the flag, with her right hand extended and branches of laurel and oak in her left. Its reverse features former Mint sculptor-engraver John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle bearing a shield, with an olive branch in its right claw and arrows in its left.
American Eagle 1-ounce silver Proofs are struck on .999 fine silver blanks and bear the W mintmark, indicating their production at the U.S. Mint at West Point. Each coin is encapsulated and packaged in a satin-lined, blue-velvet presentation case with a certificate of authenticity.
The 2017 American Eagle 1-ounce silver Proof is priced at $53.95. Orders will be accepted at https://www.catalog.usmint.gov and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468), while hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT. Information about shipping options is available at https://www.catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html.
There is no household order limit for this product. Customer demand will determine the number of coins minted.
American Silver Eagle Finishes, Compared
Over the years, the Mint has issued ASE coins in an array of finishes. In addition to the basic bullion finish, there have been five numismatic treatments: Uncirculated; Proof (mirrored field, frosted devices); Reverse Proof (frosted field, mirrored devices); Burnished (frosted, but with a depth of reflective luster); and Enhanced Uncirculated (with three finishes, one mirrored and two in different degrees of frostiness; this one is sometimes incorrectly called “Enhanced Proof”). The photos at the top of the foregoing press release are official U.S. Mint photos of the 2017 ASE Proof coin—but because the fields reflect a white background, it’s impossible to detect any mirrored quality.
To supplement the press release, I went hunting for a photo that more clearly depicts the Proof quality of a silver Eagle. Doing so reminded me how incredibly difficult it is to capture these distinctions with a camera—which in turn made me think it would be helpful to have accurate images that can be referred to, as needed, for future posts. I sifted through scores of APMEX product pages to find them, and even there, it was often hard to see any difference between, say, bullion and Uncirculated. The results are arranged as a group below, and then added individually for closer study. It will be interesting to know how the finishes shown here compare with readers’ experiences.
Press release comprising the first half of this post courtesy of the United States Mint.