american silver eagle 30th anniversary

Silver Eagles are among the most popular coins because they allow all Americans to collect and invest in beautiful precious metal coins—the ultimate safe-haven asset in times of economic and political uncertainty.

History of the American Silver Eagle: From Surplus to Shortage

Decades after the last World War ended, the federal government had a stockpile of silver for military use and was ready to sell. However, every time the government unloaded the white metal into the markets, prices plunged, sending a shiver of fear through the mining industry. Finally, after years of suspending the sell of silver from the National Defense Stockpile, the Senate and House approved a bill that would allow for the sale of stockpiled silver in the form of Treasury issued bullion and numismatic coins. On July 9, 1985, President Reagan signed the Liberty Coin Act authorizing the American Silver Eagle coin.

Since they were first minted in 1986, American Silver Eagle coins have enjoyed immense public demand. By 2002, a new source of silver for the coins had to be legislated because the Defense National Stockpile was nearing depletion. The result was the Support of American Eagle Silver Bullion Act, which President Bush signed on July 23, 2002 and allowed the Treasury to buy silver on the open market for the coins. On several occasions, demand for silver eagles has outpaced supply, forcing the U.S. Mint to halt production. At the height of the Great Recession—when investment in the coins surged—no proof silver eagles were even minted.

Design: The French Connection

Famed medalist Adolph A. Weinman designed the obverse of the American Silver Eagle, which originally appeared on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar from 1916 to 1947. Lady Liberty strides toward the rising sun donning the American flag as a cape, its star-spangled folds flying in the breeze. She extends her right hand toward the bright future in front of her and holds sweeping branches of oak and laurel—the symbols of military and civil glory—in her left. Numismatists have asserted that French designer and medalist Louis Oscar Roty’s 1897 design for the 50-centime and 1-, 2-, and 5-franc coins influenced Weinman. Called The Sower, the coin also features a walking personification of Liberty.

Inscriptions of “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2016” surround this breathtaking depiction of Lady Liberty, considered by many to be one of the most gorgeous designs on American coinage.

On the reverse is American sculptor John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle behind a shield clasping the arrows of war in one talon and the olive branch of peace in the other. The image closely resembles the coat of arms of the United States. Inscriptions of “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “1 OZ. FINE SILVER,” “ONE DOLLAR,” and the “W” to designate minting at the West Point Mint form a border around the eagle.

The 2016 Silver Eagle 30th Anniversary Edition Proof Coin

american silver eagle 30th proof packaging

American Silver Eagles are among the most popular silver coins out there, but this particular 2016 Silver Eagle Proof is especially in high demand because it celebrates the 30th anniversary of this coin’s original release. Unlike any other Silver Eagle, this coin features a sleek, smooth edge with “30th ANNIVERSARY” incused in italics. All other Silver Eagles since 1986 have reeded edges.

Interesting Facts about the 2016 30th Anniversary Edition Silver Eagle Proof Coin

  • The U.S. Mint constructed a special three-piece, segmented collar to incuse “30th ANNIVERSARY” on the edge of the coins.
  • 2016 is the only year the American Silver Eagle Proof coin will have smooth edges with an inscription. Coins minted in 2017 and after will have reeded edges.
  • American Silver Eagles can be used as legal tender. Their nominal value is $1.
  • Silver Eagles can be included in a Precious Metals IRA.


2016 silver eagle 30th anniversary proof coin

2016 Silver Eagle Proof 30th Anniversary Edition Specs:

Year of Issue: 2016
Country: United States
Denomination: Dollar
Condition: Proof
Purity: 99.99% pure silver
Weight: 31.1g
Dimensions: 40.6mm
Edge: Smooth
Mint Mark: W – West Point

Celebrate the Silver Eagle’s 30th

Would you like to celebrate the American Silver Eagle’s 30th Anniversary by adding one to your collection? We were lucky enough to get a limited supply of this special Silver Eagle Proof coin graded at a MS70 by PCGS! Call 1-888-812-9892 for more details.