Smooth Edges for Collector 2016 American Silver Eagles

December 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the first issue of American Silver Eagles. To acknowledge the event, Congress has dictated changes to the program for next year’s collectible versions.

2015-W Proof American Eagle Silver Coin

In 2016, collector versions of the American Silver Eagle will have a smooth edge with incused lettering. All issues, like the 2015-W Proof Silver Eagle shown above, have had reeded edges.

In commemoration of the anniversary, the proof and uncirculated editions will be struck with a smooth edge instead of the standard reeded style. In addition, edge lettering on these silver coins for collectors will indicate the anniversary status.

These changes were authorized by Congress under the multi-faceted Public Law 114-94 (FAST Act).

"Proof and uncirculated versions of coins issued by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to subsection (e) of section 5112 of title 31, United States Code, during calendar year 2016 shall have a smooth edge incused with a designation that notes the 30th anniversary of the first issue of coins under such subsection," reads SEC. 73002 of Public Law 114-94.

The legislation was signed into law on December 4, 2015 by President Obama.

Faced with this new requirement, officials at the United States Mint do not expect to begin selling the collector coins until summer. New tooling and dies will be required for the change with testing to follow before the two versions proceed into mass production.

As an added note, since the new law requires all proof and uncirculated American Silver Eagles issued by the U.S. Mint in 2016 to feature the new edge and lettering features, U.S. Mint store shelves will be stripped of previously available Silver Eagle products. That will happen at noon ET on December 30, 2015. Products to be taken off sale include:

  • 2015-W Proof American Silver Eagles
  • 2015-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagles
  • 2013 Congratulations Sets
  • 2014 Congratulations Sets
  • 2015 Congratulations Sets
  • 2014 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Sets
  • 2015 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Sets
  • 2014 Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets

American Silver Eagles debuted in 1986. Since those inaugural issues, Adolph A. Weinman’s depiction of Liberty has graced the obverse of each silver coin. The reverse features United States Mint Sculptor/Engraver John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle with shield.

In addition to the proof and uncirculated Silver Eagles for collectors, the United States Mint also produces bullion Silver Eagles targeted for investors. These bullion coins will continue to feature the standard reeded edge in 2016. They are set to launch on January 11, 2016.

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