American Silver Eagles and American Gold Eagles — the U.S. Mint’s most successful coin programs — are getting their
first makeover in 2021 after 35 years of the same designs. Collectors can look
forward to the widest range of U.S. Mint Silver and Gold Eagles in 2021 that
have ever been issued in the same year. This means not just coins with various
finishes, but also coins with two different design types in those finishes,
something that has never been done with these two series.
Over a year ago when the U.S. Mint announced that it would
introduce a new reverse design on both the American Silver Eagle and American
Gold Eagle in 2021, most collectors expected the 2020 silver and gold eagles to
be the last coins to feature their original reverse designs. As collectors know,
those are respectively former Chief Engraver John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle and
Miley Busiek’s family of eagle designs.
While the reverses are changing in 2021, the obverse of both
coins that respectively reproduce the Adolph Weinman Walking Liberty half
dollar and Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle obverses will not change.
At the beginning of October 2020, the Mint revealed the
designs that had been selected for both coins after being submitted for a
design competition, reviewed by the design review committees and selected by
the Secretary of the Treasury. For the Silver Eagle coins, the new reverse
depicts an eagle about to land from a flight as it grasps an oak branch between
its claws. The design is the creation of Artistic Infusion Program artist Emily
Damstra and was sculpted by recently retired U.S. Mint artist Michael Gaudioso.
Damstra said she added the oak branch because oak is the national American tree
and a symbol of strength.
For the Gold Eagle coins, the new reverse features AIP
artist Jennies Norris’ bold design showing a close-cropped, left-facing profile
of a bald eagle with a strong, curved beak and thick plumage who has an intense
gaze. The artist said this gaze symbolizes “pride and wisdom passed down
through generations of time.” Norris is a former raptor handler, and this is
her very first design selected for a U.S. coin. The design was sculpted by Mint
sculptor Renata Gordon.
Then in late October the Mint clarified that the existing
design will still be used for the first half of the year with the new reverses
expected to debut around mid-year. Officials also indicated that bullion and
collector coins will be issued of each reverse design type.
2021 eagle releases
On January 11, the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers will begin
receiving shipments of the bullion examples of 1 oz silver American eagle and the
four sizes of Gold Eagle coins (1/10th, ¼, ½ and 1 oz) with what NGC
is calling on its 2021 labels, “Heraldic Eagle T-1” for type 1. Around
mid-year, they will release bullion coins with the new type 2 reverses. In
addition, there will be collector coins of each type as well.
Now that the Mint has also provided some of the specific
details of its 2021 product schedule, we know that in terms of collectors coins
a 2021-W type 1 American Silver Eagle Proof will be issued likely sometime in
the first few months of the year that will be the last Proof coin of its kind.
Then in the summer, the Mint will release 2021-W and 2021-S Proof
Silver Eagles with the type 2 design as well as a burnished uncirculated example
with the new reverse design. And for collectors there will be a special
two-coin Silver Eagle set including Reverse Proof examples of both reverse
As for the Gold Eagles, there will be type 1 2021-W Gold
Eagle Proof coins issued starting on March 11 followed during the summer with type
2 examples of each of the four denominations of Gold Eagles. In addition, there
will be a special two-coin set with type 1 and type 2 examples of the $5, 1/10th
ounce Gold Eagle also issued in the summer. There will also be a type 2 reverse
burnished uncirculated 2021-W gold coin.
Silver and Gold Eagle Prices
The Mint recently announced it was raising prices for many
of the collector coins it sells directly to the public. In some cases, such as
the bronze medals and silver Proof sets and 5 oz. silver coins, the premium increases
were quite substantial.
Based on current spot and recent Mint prices, collectors can
expect to pay about $32 for ungraded Silver Eagles, $67 for the Burnished
Uncirculated coins, $73 for the Silver Proof coins and about $83 for special
finishes like the coming 2021 Reverse Proof silver eagles. These prices may
change if spot increases (especially for the bullion coins), and the other
prices are for coins sold by the Mint to the public in their original
As for the Proof Gold Eagles, based on current Mint prices
for the 2020 coins, expect to pay about $2575 for the 1 oz, $1305 for the ½ oz,
$665 for the ¼ oz and $280 for the 1/10th oz as well as $4,780 for
the 4-coin Proof set. The burnished uncirculated coin should be about $2540.
For the bullion coins sold by dealers, expect to pay about
$120 or more over spot for the 1 oz., $80 over spot for the ½ oz, $60 over spot
for the ¼ oz and $40 over spot for the 1/10th oz. Keep in mind that
many experts expect gold spot to rise in 2021 as the federal debt continues to
expand and more stimulus is implemented, so the underlying spot price for gold
will likely surpass $2,000 per oz. That also means the premiums for the collector
versions of these coins will likely be higher in 2021.
This content was originally published here.
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