San Francisco 2011 Silver Eagles

In response to the continuing high demand for silver bullion coins, the United States Mint recently began production of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins at the San Francisco Mint. In a press release issued yesterday, they indicated that they would begin taking orders for the coins struck at the San Francisco facility effective May 31, 2011.

As some background, the US Mint produced Silver Eagle bullion coins at the San Francisco Mint from 1986 to 1998. For the years 1999 and 2000, the bullion coin were produced at both the Philadelphia and West Point Mint. From 2001 until just recently, production has taken place exclusively at the West Point Mint. For the entire duration, the bullion coins have not carried a mint mark.

The Proof Silver Eagles have also been struck at various facilities, but have always carried the proper identifying mint mark. From 1986 to 1992, proof coins were minted at San Francisco with the “S” mint mark. From 1993 to 2000, proof coins were minted at Philadelphia with the “P” mint mark. (This is with the exception of the specially issued 1995-W Proof Silver Eagle.) From 2001 to present, proof coins were minted at the West Point Mint with the “W” mint mark. (The reverse proof issued in 2006 was minted at Philadelphia with the “P” mint mark).

The positive aspect of the expanded Silver Eagle bullion coin production is that there should be more bullion coins available to meet public demand. Since the 2011-dated Silver Eagles were first made available to authorized purchasers on January 3, orders have been subject to an allocation program. The available supplies have been rationed amongst authorized purchasers, limiting the number of bullion coins that could be ordered.

At a House Subcommittee hearing held in April, Terrence Hanlon, the President of Dillon Gage Metals Division, had estimated that the US Mint losses about a third of potential bullion sales because they cannot meet demand. This is likely one of the drivers of the high premiums for Silver Eagle bullion coins, which have been as high as $5 per coin over spot, even when purchasing in large quantity. Purchases in smaller quantities result in even higher premiums.

In this light, increasing production is certainly a positive step.

A possible unintended consequence of the increased production might be the creation of 2011 San Francisco Silver Eagles. In the US Mint’s press release, they indicated that coins would be produced using the same manufacturing process and packaging used at West Point and no mint marks would be used. This would result in no visible difference between the coins from each facility.

As discussed in this Coin Update article, in the past sealed Silver Eagle Monster Boxes have carried stickers and plastic strapping denoting the production facility. If these identifying packaging elements continue to be used, sealed boxes could attributed to one facility or the other. Even if these packaging elements are modified, identification through other means may be possible.

An earlier article from CoinWorld mentioned the possibility of authorized purchasers picking up coins directly from the San Francisco Mint. Shipping documentation might also provide substantiation for the origin of the coins. The authorized purchasers or coin dealers could then send the sealed monster boxes off to third party grading companies, which could encapsulate individual coins, noting their origin.

The coins could then be marketed as something special and sold at a premium, even though it is not really justified. If the expected production of “up to several hundred thousand coins” per week takes place, the resulting mintage would be into the millions, possibly surpassing some of the lower mintage years for the bullion series. And, of course, outside of the box or holder, these coins will be no different than the tens of millions of coins struck at the West Point Mint.

Hopefully, this is something that the US Mint has considered and will take steps necessary to avoid the situation.

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  1. Anonymous says

    No mint mark difference = No premium. This holds true for any reasonable person. However, someone's going to spin this to make a profit.

  2. Anonymous says

    In the US mint press release, it indicated: "Adding production at the US Mint at SF provides manufacturing flexibility across the bullion and numismatic product lines to meet customer needs". This sounds like that there could be numismatic products- proof and/or UNC ASE from SF mint. I will be waiting for the special 25th anniversary set.

  3. Frank says

    First strike, green label with purple packaging – $35 extra…
    Anyone who buys coins and pays extra for things such as first strike is nothing but a moron.

  4. Triarii says

    The Mint doesn't want to do anything that would drive further demand and cause new supply shortfalls. They mustn't have many capitalists at the mint…just 5 year plan guys….

  5. Anonymous says

    First strike, green label with purple packaging – $35 extra…
    Anyone who buys coins and pays extra for things such as first strike is nothing but a moron.

    May 27, 2011 4:39 PM

    Agreed, although "moron" is a tad harsh! In the end, it's just BULLION.

  6. Anonymous says

    Buying five oz coins isnt good enough for the mint.Now they are trying to get us all to buy unopened monster boxes,what next,unopened PALLETS

  7. Anonymous says

    Put an "S" on the coin and I'm in for a $21K monster box. Otherwise, I'll be waiting for the proofs.

  8. Anonymous says


    Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading your articles.

    But… SHHHHHHH! You're giving the US Mint ideas about how to prevent entrepeneurs from making a fast buck on selling San Francisco minted silver eagles! LOL!

  9. Anonymous says

    I got the Yellowstone ATB 5oz today and again a flaw on the front of the coin. I had to return the Hot Springs and will have to return this one. The Mint quality control stinks. The tick this time is on the front under the "L" in liberty. Before it was the lip tick. Get it right Mint, PLEASE!!!

  10. Anonymous says

    Well, I guess someone has to say it, I'll say it then. I actually HATE the word and what it represents but that's just another means maybe to get the Mint's attention. I say boycott the offering. If they don't sell many, perhaps someone in authority will ask the hard questions which could be answered by collectors in a nano second. The question remains: does anyone care at the Mint? Probably not. The idea of TV sales, catchy newspaper ads, and shifty coin dealers are being given another round of items with which to snag the unsuspecting by adding a phony label on a regular coin, and calling for a premimum for nothing. If its made in SF, fine, the Mint has to distingush it, not by marking a shipping carton. Who advises the Mint on how to market junk?

  11. Anonymous says

    I live down the street from the S/F MINT. I hardly ever see very many people around there. They must have a tunnel for the cars and trucks to come and go.

  12. Anonymous says

    Hi Michael,

    I'm not sure whether it was done on purpose, but you deleted the link to Coin Update from your link list on the left-hand side of the blog. Any chance you can put it back? I usually click over to Coin Update after I finish reading your blog posts for the day.

  13. Anonymous says

    And I'm surprised I've never been able to find an easy link to the US Mint site except for a specific item page in a story.

  14. DSTIEBS says

    It does not make any sence not to put the mint mark on it. Where ever a coin is made it should carry the mint mark.

  15. Anonymous says

    The bullion silver eagles don't carry a mint mark no matter where they're made. So what if there made in SF or WP. These will be made by the tens of millions. Could we please get over it with the mint mark issue? Please re-read the 1st post. Are you reasonable, or are you a spinster.

  16. Anonymous says

    Pennies are made by the 100 billions and get a mint mark. And they are not bullion, yet. If pennies ever become bullion and are sold for 5 bucks each we will know our economy is in trouble.

    Still I would like to see a mint mark on all coins, one oz. proof silver ATB's, one oz. silver buffalos, and an all silver proof set with silver pennies and silver president dollars. I would also like a fat free and calorie free milkshake that tastes like its full of fat and calories and a Ford Expedition that does 0 to 60 in 5 seconds and gets 50 mpg while towing out a 50 ton cement truck buried in a swamp. So much for excessive dreamin'.

  17. Anonymous says

    I agree with @May 28, 2011 11:48 AM.

    There ain't going to be a mint mark placed on the San Francisco – minted bullion coin. Keep talking and wishing, but it won't happen.

    Get over it.

  18. Anonymous says

    But the slabbers will mark some coins as coming from SF and try to charge a lot more for them. We'll see how many fools are out there. So far looks like a lot.

  19. Anonymous says

    Mike, I was looking on us mint under unc silver eagles and noticed it is now saying that the mint mark unc coins have a soft matte finish. Is this some new information. My 20th silver eagle set says the unc coin has a satin finish. do you no if they are the same

  20. Anonymous says

    The only place the mint says satin finish is on the paper work that came inside the 20th silver eagle 3 coin set in 2006

  21. Anonymous says

    I look at Mint offerings as either Proof or Uncirculated(and that could mean Satin, Burnished, or Laser Blasting…I wouldn't get all hung up and concerned about it)

  22. Anonymous says

    I feel the us mint deserve a great deal of credit for the masterpeices they bring to us all ,to injoy for many years to come.

  23. Anonymous says

    The question is…"What does the Mint want to do?"

    If the Mint wants to increase sales of ASEs, then they should use a mint mark on all their bullion coins.

    If the Mint wants to expand operations to meet an unusually high demand for ASEs, then they should avoid mint marks as they did from 1965-1968.

  24. Anonymous says

    I have to complement the Mint on reaching out to customers with great products and ample opportunity for customer feedback. As far as the mintmark issue : the coins are bullion – i.e. bare silver. It is the collectors and the TPGs who hype up the value for personal profit / gain – not an issue for the Mint. Bullion is exactly that bullion, and is sold as such – by weight. Mintmarks on these units are irrelevant. For collector coins the USMint has ample offerings in its catalog.

  25. Anonymous says

    "Pennies are made by the 100 billions and get a mint mark. And they are not bullion, yet. If pennies ever become bullion and are sold for 5 bucks each we will know our economy is in trouble."

    Not so fast. 1981 and earlier pennies(cents) are 95% copper bullion and are sold as such. They aren't 5 bucks yet but they do trade for nearly 3 cents a peice currently for their melt value.
    Yes, the economy is in trouble- take a look at this for a moment.

    If mint marks were to be added to std. silver eagle bullion coins then all of their numis cousins are rendered equal(not worth collecting) in most cases.
    Say goodby to any silly notions that a mint mark will be added to these coins.

  26. Anonymous says

    4:50 am = Childish, get a life
    5:05 am = Web Police, you are no better then 4:05

    Now back to topic:

    I believe that there should not be any additional mint mark nor any additional premium even if a monster box from San Francisco gets graded. It might be neat to have but I wouldn't pay anything more than the bullion price.

  27. Anonymous says

    If you look at the release dates for 2011 the only coin left at west point due to be released is a proof silver eagle and maybe a unc silver eagle. they should have no problem making the bullion coins at west point. Something else is going on that they are not tell us t

  28. Anonymous says

    Since the Mint specifically indicated that this is the 25th anniversay of the American Eagle series, it would be most disappointed if they do nothing about it. Just need to be patient.

  29. Keith says

    I enjoy this blog and learn a lot from the many people that post; thank you.

    Question that I have is – what happend to just collecting the Silver Eagle for the enjoyment of a beautiful/nice piece of workmanship?

    I understand many people's views and know that my opinion is just that, yet, coin collecting is also for the enjoyment too.

  30. Stevieladeek says

    Re: Eagle 25th Anniversary…what I'd like to see is set like the 20th Ann. sets,BUT THIS TIME MAKE THE SILVER EAGLES WITH THE SAINT GAUDENS DESIGN AND THE GOLD EAGLES WITH THE WALKING LIBERTY DESIGN. I think those sets would be VERY popular!!

  31. Anonymous says

    I'd like to see something special done though. Make it a true collectors item with a low mintage and a 1 per household limit.

    Since we are daydreaming about a 25th Anniversary coin or set; what about an Ultra High Relief Silver Eagle??

    Too bad if the mint has something planned, it is all ready scheduled in their "internal" production schedule. None of our "wishlist" will make it to production.

    I will now put down the pipe and step back to reality.

  32. Anonymous says

    Who is head of the Mint now?
    Folks used to blog about Moy on a daily basis.

  33. Anonymous says

    There's only an "acting" director right now. Those who used to pick on Moy will wait until a new director is in place before starting to play the "blame game" again.

  34. Anonymous says

    The easiest way for the mint to make rare coins, is to cause a great deal of confusion at there time of issue.

  35. Anonymous says

    Is the Yellowstone 2010 P ATB Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated sold out yet ?

  36. Anonymous says

    Is everyone ready to buy the NEXT America the Beautiful 5 ounce P coin?

    It's Yosemite, and it will be sold online on June 9th. I'll bet the price will remain the same….

    The 2010 and 2011 ATB P coins are being sold with very little time between them. But considering there are 8 left to be sold by the end of the year, I can understand the frequency….

  37. Anonymous says

    @ May 30, 2011 4:59 PM

    Where are you seeing that the Yellowstone P coin is sold out? I went to the US Mint site and then refreshed my browser. Both times, I saw that the coin is still for sale.

  38. Anonymous says

    Looks like its gonna be one ATB 5 oz. unc. coin about every 3 to 4 weeks until the end of the year. Adjust your budget accordingly if you are in it for the long haul.

    Once again my hat's off to the mint for delaying the 2010 ATBs until silver prices skyrocketed. This delay by the mint allowed me to get in before a sellout which would have likely occurred in a few hours if the ATB's were released after they were struck last year on 15 dolla silver and subsequently sold for 100 bucks each. It was a win/win for me and the mint.

  39. Anonymous says

    I figure sales will be quite a bit slower for Yosemite. I'm beginning to doubt that all five of the 2010's will even achieve a sellout of all 27,000 units.

    I wonder what the limit on the 2011's will be?

  40. Anonymous says

    Didn't the First Spouse gold coins follow the same sales pattern? The first coins sold out quickly, then there was a declining interest. Are we beginning to see a pattern here with the ATB P silver coins?

  41. Anonymous says

    Didn't the First Spouse gold coins follow the same sales pattern? The first coins sold out quickly, then there was a declining interest. Are we beginning to see a pattern here with the ATB P silver coins?

    Initially, I thought the ATB series would not follow the same pattern as the FS series but that seems to be the case. However, initial sales prices for 2007 FS were under $500 for a half ounce of gold so people who purchased did well. Demand for ATB series has significantly fallen. The Mint cannot give the Yellowstone away and the Yosemite release is only days away.

  42. Anonymous says

    If silver ever reaches the highs of $125+ per ounce that some "experts" predict, then the ATB P coins will have been a wise purchase.

    I had said before the Hot Springs ever went on sale that the large profits some were dreaming of would not come to fruition, but several people on here bashed me and said I would be proven wrong. Maybe some people did listen to me, though.

  43. Anonymous says

    I think demand for the ATBs is from around 11,000-15,000 collectors,sellers and others, when you look at the bullion sales of ATB also every body stocked up on an average of 3 sets, if mint did not keep 1 per household limit it would have been a sold out in few hours and I belive this is same for any offering.
    Now what will the value fo ATB 1, 10, 15 years from now will up in air. I am buying this for my daughter who was born in 2010. The value will also be on the state of economy. If economy is as bad as it is today you may price them high but it will be difficult to find buyers.

  44. Anonymous says

    I may be in the minority but I think that the 5 Oz format is a very cool collector item. So, depending on availability of funds, will get one copy of the "P" style. I also have one copy of the 2010 bullion version.

  45. Anonymous says

    Will they be making the P hockey pucks for 2011?

    I thought the 2010 versions were made only because they had a shortage and wanted to give more people a chance by vapor blasting the worst ones to make the salable.

    Were P versions even authorized in the legislation?

  46. Anonymous says

    The US Mint needs to do a reality check if it wants to keep interest and demand high for the 5 ounce silver P "coasters."

    When the products continue to sell and a new silver P coaster is introduced only a few weeks after the previous one was introduced, then buyers are going to suffer burn out. Interest — and sales — will then wane. So what might seem to be a low mintage, i.e., 27,000, really might be extremely high if consumer demand is not there.

    Again, take a look at the First Spouse coins. What happened with a maximum mintage of 40,000???

  47. Anonymous says

    I seem to remember reading that the Mint had actually anticipated demand for the First Spouse coins to be in the range of current sales levels. They only set the maximum mintage at 40,000 because they wanted to be sure there were enough for everyone who wanted one.

    But, thanks to the group of buyers that Dave Harper at Numismatic News referred to as "The eBay Posse", all 40,000 coins were snapped up in mere hours. That caught the Mint off-guard. It's actually lucky for them that they had set the initial limit so high, since they would have missed out on all of that extra revenue had the limit been set at the actual amount they expected to sell.

    Once the excitement was over and interest plummetted to realistic levels, the eBay posse moved on to other things, leaving the First Spouse series to those of us who were actually interested in collecting them, not just in making a fast buck.

    The same thing will happen with the 5 oz. P coins when it comes to sales. It remains to be seen if demand will pick up on the secondary market once the coins are pulled off-sale by the Mint. Some of these coins just might see sub-10,000 mintages, if the series continues beyond this year. It's not like the Mint has not finished things they've started in the past, so this series just might disappear.

    Would that make the ones that DO exist more or less desirable? Once building a set of them is no longer possible, it might serve to make them less interesting, and just another piece of bullion.

  48. Anonymous says

    to the 9:11 post What do You mean IF the series continues beyond this year. This series is mandated by law. It has generated huge interest from collectors. Most of the things, if not all, that the mint dropped were things not mandated by law.

  49. Anonymous says

    The 5 oz. bullion coins are mandated by law. The "numismatic" versions with a "P" Mint mark are NOT. The Mint didn't even know at first if they were going to strike any collector versions at all.

    As I said before, they can be dropped at any time.

  50. Anonymous says

    The unc matte silver eagles are going to be made at s/f this year. there will be no more unc silver eagles made at westpoint.

  51. Anonymous says

    > The unc matte silver eagles are going to be made at s/f this year. there will be no more unc silver eagles made at westpoint.<

    Quick follow up questions: is the matte program going to continue past this year or is it "finish"ed?

    Also will the Mint re-release the uncirculated dollar coin set this year?

  52. Anonymous says

    The mint stated earlier that the anticipated demand for the First Spouse series would be 5-10K coins. Looks like their estimate was correct. It was the first year of issue in 2007 that vastly exceeded this. Now the 2007s are melt value.

  53. Anonymous says

    Hello Michael,

    Do you have the US Mint sales numbers for last week yet? How close is the Yellowstone P silver coin to a sellout?

  54. Anonymous says

    Is it me? Or is there an unusually high number of really annoying, dorky comments on this post?

  55. VABEACHBUM says

    Sadly, not just you… And, like Michael, I've pretty much had my fill of Captain Capital.

    Emphasizing mis-information in all caps does not suddenly make it true.

    Out of morbid curiosity, I sat down last night and carefully inspected the coins and COAs in my 2006 W UNC ASE Single Issue, my 2006 20th Anny ASE 3-Coin Set, and my 2006 20th Anny Gold and Silver Eagle 2-Coin Set. In all 3 instances, each 2006 W ASE coin looked identical, and was described identically in their respective COA. Finishes were described in "Plain English" as Satin; no mention of matte – ANYWHERE!!

  56. Anonymous says

    A soft matte like finish is not the same as a satin finish on those silver eagles.You had to buy one of the 20th sets to get the satin finish silver eagle. the soft matte like finish was in the single coin issue. Hope this will help you out.

  57. Anonymous says

    I just called the us mint, and they told me that the two kinds of finishes are not the same on those silver eagle

  58. Anonymous says

    I to am looking at my three coin silver eagle set,and single coins i got back in 2006. the set says unc satin finish, and the single coin in blue box with a blue bag doesnt say what the finish is,just says unc version. looked on us mint and it does say the single issue has a soft matte like finish.

  59. Anonymous says

    For those who keep insisting that there is a difference – and that the information is out there, please copy and paste the hyper-link for all to see.

    References to a random website that does not seem to exist… in Google, Bing, Yahoo – or this reality, just aren't getting it done. Otherwise, gotta go with the substantiated facts.

  60. VABEACHBUM says

    9:36 –

    The US Mint does not do "dot com." is the FAQ address. This site currently supports 179 US Mint FAQs. The search term Eagle produced 5 hits, with two of those hits discussing the ASE UNC Coins.

    One of those two hits includes this language: "… American Eagle Uncirculated Coins are hand-loaded into the coining press, struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark of the United States Mint at West Point. Uncirculated coins have a soft, matt-like finish."

    However, not a single one of the US Mint FAQs nor any other, separate sources will document that the Mint had created distinctly different coins for the 2006 W ASE UNC single coin vs the 3-coin ASE set vs the 2-coin Gold and Silver set. And with regards to that Mint employee source; yeah, a 1 to 3 year employee of the latest, contracted customer service provider who is headquartered in Plainfield, Indiana. About as far away from any one of the 4 mints – and the truth – as you can get.

    CAP MAN and others seem to be hung up on semantics and literal interpretations. In this instance, the "matte-like" found on the FAQ and the "satin" used on 2 of the 3 COAs are one and the same, and can be used interchangeably. Next thing you know, they will tell us that the 1 oz coin in the AGE UNC 4-coin set is different from the single 1 oz AGE UNC Coin, which is different from the 1 oz AGE UNC Coin found in the 2-coin Gold & Silver set.

    There was no secret coin production. And if there had been, the top TPGs would have figured it out long before now, and would have told us just how over-priced they were. Time to move on!!!

  61. Anonymous says

    NGC saysthey will only grade unc silver eagles with mint state labels. hope you no what you are looking at.

  62. Anonymous says

    What? You're not putting the "S" mint mark on the San Francisco minted Silver Eagle? You guys are a bunch of freeking jug heads. Moy is gone and the moronic decision making continues……What's next meat heads? Fork the collector I guess?

  63. Anonymous says

    An "S" mint mark would of really spiced up this bullion series. Let's hope for a 25th anniversary present this year. ASE's have been putting me to sleep lately.

  64. j. oneal says

    the mint mucks the public again under the oppressive, vindictive law that allows it to sell to only 25 ‘chosen ones’ who then sell to dealers who sell to us, the peons afer three mark ups on the price. CALL YOUR SENATOR. GET THIS LAW CHANGED TO MAKE SALES EQUAL TO ALL. With the metals market the way it is now, the mint would have no problem selling all its coins and making plenty cash, which is the important thing, right?

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