From the Mar. 3 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Is the proof silver American Eagle the most popular Mint collector product?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
I wouldn’t say it is the most popular collector item from the U.S. Mint. Many people don’t collect them, but many do buy them as a silver investment.
I do collect them. I have at least one of every American silver Eagle ever minted, including the elusive 1995-W proof.
Likely the most popular today, especially with the collecting community; however, in my lifetime, I would say the 1964 Kennedy half dollar release, and subsequent issues, was the most popular U.S. coin issue with the general public.
Indian Trail, N.C.
I believe the proof set sold more units. The proof and uncirculated silver Eagles are my favorites.
I have been collect the silver American Eagles from the beginning.
At the start because of the beauty, but now for both the beauty and increase in value.
If you look at the price increase and demand, then the early dollars or cents would be the most popular. What is the demand for an 1804 $1? Or the 1793 or 1794 cents?
I buy them because they are a way to own silver that will likely be acceptable for barter and they are indeed beautiful.
Each time I buy them I wonder why $2.50 over spot is a large percentage markup. My purchases are limited by this reality.
I have not done a scientific study, but folks do seem to like them. The main reasons I believe is that they are big, clunky and – silver. Additionally, the price is right. I suspect that the “purists” among us who profess not to like modern coins probably buy them using the old ploy, “I’m buying it as a gift for someone else ...”
R. S. “Bart” Bartanowicz
I’d vote for the Lincoln. Problem is “squeezing” the die/hub rather than stamping eliminates one source of error, putting the date on the master eliminates more, but the low cost I think still makes the cent the most popular collectible.
One of my key words comes to mind: affordability. If one can afford proof, instead of unc., more power to them. When making the purchase, consider the sale value of the item. Of course, this can be more than I think it can be.
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands
Judging by the sales/mint numbers, no, probably not. Sadly, I have not seen where the Silver Proof Eagle has increased much in value over the years. About all of them hover around $50 each, even when spot silver rises. Except for some Silver Eagle proofs with special finishes, reverse proof, enhanced etc. issues, and of course the 1995-W that was only available in the Gold set.
I would say that the Bullion version of the American Silver Eagle is one of the most recognized and popular products that has intrinsic value that the U.S. Mint produces. It’s a shame that the Mint produces a wide variety of collector junk clad that uninformed people buy only to have its value, with few exceptions, continually decrease over time, and does not instead focus its efforts (because of Congressional Bureaucracy), as other world mints like the RCM and Perth Mint have, with Semi-Numismatic issues in precious metals like silver, with limited issues that have both collector value and intrinsic metal value.
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