One of the top numismatic stories this year was the discovery of the 2008-W Silver Eagle Reverse of 2007 Variety.
The Reverse of 2007 variety is most easily distinguished by the shape of the “U” of “United States.” Coins with the Reverse of 2007 will have a bowl shaped “U.” Coins with the regular reverse will have a spur on the right side of the letter. Other differences include the configuration of the stars and spacing between the words “Silver” and “One.”
The discovery was made by John Nanney in April about a month after the coins were initially released from the Mint. Prices for the variety quickly escalated in the following months. My last update on the Reverse of 2007 Variety was written near the end of March when prices were near their peaks. At the time, some were predicting that prices would crash once the initial buzz wore off.
Although prices have experienced some decline, they have held up surprisingly well. The number available for sale has contracted and demand seems to have remained steady enough to support continued high premiums. Currently there are less than 100 of the variety type available for sale on eBay. (This compares to 200-300 available during the initial months.)
Based on completed auctions for the prior week, prices have settled into the following ranges. I did not split out First Strike or Early Releases designations, which may account for some of the wide ranges.
- Raw: $430 – $490 (with a few outliers)
- PCGS MS70: $1,700 – $2,000 (these were the only two sales)
- PCGS MS69: $500 – $525
- NGC MS 70: $600 – $800
- NGC MS 69: $430 – $500
One interesting aspect to consider, to date sales of the 2008-W Silver Eagle have totaled 411,785 (387,483 individually and 24,302 in the Annual Dollar Coin Set). If the estimated mintage of 47,000 for the Reverse of 2007 Variety is correct, then the variety type accounts for 11.4% of the total current mintage.
So even though greater than 1 out of 10 coins carry the variety, the premium is greater than 15 times the price of the non variety. (These percentage and ratios will change as long as the 2008-W Silver Eagles remain on sale.)
At this point, I think the non-variety 2008-W Silver Eagles have a better chance for appreciation. There have been several clues that the Mint may soon sell out of the coin. This includes statements indicating that they will focus on production of bullion coins instead of collector coins, and the curious absence of Silver Eagle coins in the 2008 Gift Catalog.
While the Reverse of 2007 Variety may continue to hold its value and eventually start to creep upwards again, it probably won’t be appreciating by the leaps and bounds experienced in the few months following discovery.
Previous coverage of the Reverse of 2007 Variety:
May 29, 2008 – Update on 2008-W Silver Eagle Reverse of 2007
April 30, 2008 – PCGS & NGC Designation of Reverse of 2007 Variety
April 29, 2008 – 2008-W Silver Eagle Reverse of 2007 Mintage Estimate
April 21, 2008 – 2008-W Silver Eagle Reverse of 2007 Discovery