The American Silver Eagle is an easily found but incredibly meaningful American coin. It is relatively new, first minted in 1986 and continued in circulation to this day, but it is the purpose of the coin that makes it so valuable to collectors. The Silver Eagles are the official silver bullion of the United States. They are made from one ounce of pure silver and as bullion pieces are used for investing in the silver market. But in recent years the coins have also found favor among collectors for their beauty and status symbol of America.
US silver coins have been around for some time but it is the status of the silver eagle that makes it so important to collectors. As the official silver bullion of the US it is unmatched in the pureness of its silver or the importance to the commodities market and economy. For that reason many coin collectors may opt to acquire an actual bullion piece for their collection. These pieces, which are still minted and circulated today, do not have a mint date on them. They carry a face-value of one dollar but as bullion are used as trade and investment objects with actual values depending on the global pricing of the silver market.
Collectors who don't wish to get involved with actual bullion or who would rather separate their collections from investment opportunities have another route to explore with the silver eagle coins. Since the inception of the coin the US mint has also produced "proof" versions of the coin. These versions are uncirculated and are minted specifically for collection purposes. Once they come off the mint line they are sealed in special display casings with certificates of authenticity and sold to collectors or third-party dealers. Unlike the bullion counterparts these have a mint date on them. The difference is these versions are not for spending or investing. These proof sets make it easier for collectors to get the coins in pristine condition and often in sets of multiple coins. For instance many dealers will offer sets with one coin per year of minting, or one coin for each decade since their inception.
The silver eagle is a symbol of the American economy. The coin is a centerpiece of trade and commodities and due to its importance and brilliant appearance has become an integral part of coin collecting. Unlike many of the older and rarer coins these are widely available thanks to the fact they are still minted and because the US Mint makes special sets just for collectors. But don't let the ease of acquiring one deter you. It will make a brilliant addition to any collection.