Silver Eagle Coins

Silver eagle coins are one of the many types of coinage offered from the United States mint, and the diversity of collections offers many areas of interest for collectors. The legal tender denominations were available in three cent, half-dime, dime, twenty cent, quarter dollar, half dollar, and dollar. Silver dollar coins are the most popular collector's item today. The most famous is the Morgan Silver Dollar. This coinage is large and richly colored. First minted in 1878 until 1904, then again in 1921; the mints that were producing were in the cities of Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City. Until 1965; all dimes, quarters, and half dollars were minted with 90% silver alloy and 10% copper. Three out of the above mentioned seven denominations are obsolete; these were the three cent, the half dime, and the twenty cent. The three cent coin was developed to make the postage of three cent stamps easier. They were also the smallest coin ever minted. The half dime was replaced by the nickel. The twenty cent piece lost its popularity because of its resemblance to the quarter. It was only minted for four years, and the last two years only proofs for collectors were produced.

Silver was considered to be a rare and noble metal; the metal was also a desirable medium for exchange in history. During the early years of US coinage, the precious metal was scarce, and at times was even more valuable than gold. There was even a break in the production of silver dollar coins from 1804-1836 because of the rarity of the metal. The discovery of the "Comstock Locke" in 1850 in Nevada found mass quantities of the metal that could restart the production of the coin. At most times in history, the coinage was not 100% of the precious metal. Silver eagle coins, however, boasted a full 100% silver totaling a full troy ounce. This was never intended to be circulated as money. It will always be worth at least 5 times its face value. In the early days when the metal was worth more than the face value, hoarding of the coinage occurred. Consequently, the value of a dollar rose significantly and became a higher value than the metal used to create the money. In 1918, there was a huge melt of the metal and in 1921 production of the coinage began again.

There have been many start and stop dates of production throughout United States history. The silver eagle coins were only minted in three mints nationwide; these were Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point. The most readily available silver dollar coins are the Morgan and the eagle. Since they are relatively inexpensive, many people can afford to collect these replicas of history. There are however, certain dates of production that will raise the worth of the coinage. The most important dates are the 1889 and 1893 Carson City; the 1893, 1895, and 1903 New Orleans; the 1893, 1894, and 1895 San Francisco; and the 1893, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1921,1928 Philadelphia; and also the 1995 West Point. Of these, the 1895 'P' is one of the rarest and can be worth at least $11,000 in excellent condition. The highest worth on a dollar is the 1893'S' which values at over $250,000 in its highest grade condition. Collecting these items can be fun and rewarding. Continually searching auction sites or classifieds for those who are unaware of the worth of these items is a good idea. Many coins have been found this way, and can be discovered to be worth tremendous amounts of money. It is important to remain in good spirits when coin collecting, and not to concentrate too much on only gathering coins that can bring riches.

Christians are supposed to remain detached from the material things of this world; especially money and the desire for riches and power. "For the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right. The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: But a wise man will pacify it. In the light of the kings countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain. How much better is it to get wisdom than Gold?" (Proverbs 16:12b-16a). Silver eagle coins and silver dollar coins can still be traded as a medium for exchange in some parts of the world where the metal is scarce and has a high value. In the US, it is only used in bullion, commemorative and proof sets and no longer in legal tender. Around the world, however, mints are producing coinage and legal tender to include higher percentages of silver. It is interesting to see how diverse the worth and value of a single metal can be when traveling around the globe. One mans garbage truly can be another man's riches.

Silver Eagle Dollars

Collecting silver eagle dollars is one way to begin precious metals investing. Aesthetically beautiful American eagle coins are a safe liquid investment backed by the U.S. government and can be collected as a hedge against inflation or an easily transportable way to safeguard assets. Silver eagle dollars are minted bearing distinctive original designs. One face of the coin contains an engraved image called "Walking Liberty," made famous by Adolph A. Weinman, a well known 20th century German sculptor who immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. The statuesque "Ms. Liberty" stands as a permanently etched reminder of America's quest to remain vigilant in achieving "liberty and justice for all." The reverse side of the coin, which bears the image of an American eagle, was designed by engraver John Mercanti of the United States mint.

While the Walking Liberty image is elegant and imposing, the image of the American eagle presents a regal symbol of the nation's strength and keen vision to maintain a fierce watchfulness over the United States and the world, as a keeper of democracy and a defender of freedom. As the hallmark of this brilliantly designed coin, the image of an engraved bald eagle and shield reflective of the American flag makes collecting silver eagle dollars a past time which engenders pride and patriotism. The eagle's wings are outstretched in a menacing way, and etched directly above his head are thirteen perfect stars to commemorate the original 13 colonies. Nearly a full troy ounce of silver bullion is included in each coin; officially certified by the United States government. While precious metal coins are lovely to look at and costly to own, nothing can compare to the glory of God engraved upon our hearts. "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and mans device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:29-30).

The transportability of collectible silver eagle dollars makes them a perfect choice for beginning collectors and those who have amassed vast stores of precious metal currency. Coins of this quality make excellent graduation gifts, wedding gifts, or as an addition to diversify portfolios. Investment companies consider precious metals one of the safest and highest-yielding instruments around, particularly in coins and bullion, probably due to their ease of portability. While some collectors may prefer jewelry, by contrast coins weigh .999 grams in pure molten metal. Retail jewelry may have added alloys or nickel; but by trading in liquid assets like silver, investors have access to easily convertible cash.

Coin collectors, also known as numismatists, and professional traders buy and sell minted currency for aesthetic or monetary value. Some online traders also offer American-minted currency for serious collectors who want to assess the value of personal collections for insurance purposes or to place them on the market. The price for precious metal collectible currency minted from gold, platinum, and silver rises and falls with the commodities futures markets. While the face value of each coin is just $1, as a commodity, a full troy ounce of bullion can fetch from nearly $15 to $20. Precious metal dealers may offer coins in units of 100; however the U.S. Treasury Department offers pure coins in single units. With commodities futures topping the highest returns in the last twenty-five years, these highly collectible silver eagle dollars could figuratively be worth their weight in gold in no time. In an uncertain economy and a volatile market, traders would not want to invest 100% of assets in high-yield metals; but diversifying a portfolio with 25% in liquid assets, such as gold or silver might be a good idea. Precious metals tend to hold or increase in value and can be stored in a safe deposit box with little risk of being lost in a bank merger or closure.

Another advantage of owning U.S. silver eagle dollars is that they do not require registering or reporting, which means that ownership remains confidential and is not regulated or monitored by the federal government. Collectors or dealers can own as many coins as they are able to buy without reporting quantities or serial numbers to the feds. The fact that coins are not reported means that ownership is safe and secure, although owners and dealers may devise methods for keeping track of the quantity of coins. Storing coins, as opposed to managing paper assets, certificates, or securities may present a problem; and some collectors may invest in custom cases or store larger quantities in safe deposit boxes under lock and key.

U.S. silver eagle dollars may be advertised online at the United States Mint website, coin dealer websites, in the financial sections of most major newspapers, or through numismatic e-newsletters and websites. The U.S. Mint's official home page features an online catalog containing collectible Presidential coins, gold and silver American Eagles, platinum bullion, and other gift-boxed precious metals for sale to the general public. As the market for precious metals increases, collectors and dealers should see an even greater increase in the value of silver eagle dollars. With the threat of the U.S. dollar's demise, precious metal jewelry, coins and bullion may eventually become more of a global currency. In which case, collectors and investors will be glad to have held on to minted coins. Regardless of how collectors tend to use precious metals currency, the fact remains that a safe secure investment can easily provide a hedge against inflation or a stable liquid asset to withstand short- or long-term domestic and foreign economic woes.

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