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Is The American Silver Eagle Getting A New Design?

April 29, 2014 7 Comments

Earlier this month the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) met to discuss a proposal to change the reverse design of the American Silver Eagle, the United States Mint’s flagship bullion product and arguably the most popular bullion coin in the world with sales this year on pace to reach 50 million units.

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Chosen Design For The New American Silver Eagle

Since 1986, the American Silver Eagle has featured the same design – Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design on the obverse and former Chief Engraver John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle design on the reverse.

With the popularity of the Silver Eagle increasing every year since 2007, any changes will be met with intense scrutiny. During the two-hour conference call, many members expressed articulate viewpoints with one member even recalling Coca-Cola’s 1985 “New Coke” debacle. Based on the transcripts, it’s safe to say that the committee is very aware of the weight of this discussion.

Following the hours-long discussion a vote was cast and among all of the entries, one particular design garnered the bulk of the votes. Initially, there were a total of 44 eagle designs under consideration. Before the meeting commenced, the 44 designs were pared down to a less-daunting collection of 16 designs. Each design has never been featured on a prior coin and in the end, one eagle design was chosen via a vote. The winning design had originally been considered for the upcoming 2015 $5 U.S. Marshals Service Gold Commemorative Coin, but instead was proposed for the reverse of the American Silver Eagle.

Although this design was chosen, this is just the beginning of the process. There will be many design revisions ahead, but all will be working from the original design as a starting point. The inscriptions will be changed, using inscriptions that are currently used on American Silver Eagles. Much scrutiny will be placed on the eagle’s talons and their contents – with suggestions ranging from no olive branch, to an olive branch and arrows as a recognition to Mercanti’s original Silver Eagle design. The eagle’s beak will be altered to allow more separation from the edge of the coin as well as a slight rotation of the design to suggest an eagle in flight.

After these design tweaks are completed, they will come before the CCAC yet again for discussion. A final design will be chosen, at which point it will be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for final review. Following the CFA’s review, the Treasury Secretary has the final say over whether the proposed design will be adopted or whether the Silver Eagle will stick with its current design.

Below are the 16 designs that were considered by the CCAC with number 41 being chosen as the winner.

eagle-01 eagle-10

eagle-16 eagle-18

eagle-19 eagle-22

eagle-23  eagle-24

eagle-25 eagle-30


eagle-36 eagle-38

eagle-39 eagle-40

eagle-41 eagle-44


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Comments (7)

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  1. Lavender Lady says:

    The American Silver Eagle doesn’t need any changes made to it. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

  2. ron says:

    41 is a nice design but where is in God We Trust?

  3. Mick J. says:

    Wow, Those are all great designs, Some better than others, The CCAC chose the correct design, It is clearly the best. I do however agree with Lavender Lady, Because it surly is not broke. I like many, many collectors of American Moderns Love Eagles, I say take the 41 design, Make A new coin! Shoot I want a $50 Gold, and A $5 1 OZ. Silver already. They would sell briskly, I believe. Make the die! 🙂

  4. Karla M. says:

    I Love the idea of a new eagle design for the reverse of the Silver American Eagle! With due respect to John Mercanti’s design, I think it is

    time for a change. I never really thought that Mercanti truly depicted the valor, & strength of America’s Bald Eagle. I believe that the Eagle

    in flight is the best way to capture the True Essence & Beauty of this Magnificent Creature! I have no doubts that this new design would be

    received Very Well, by the majority of SAE buyer’s….Possibly to the point of a buying frenzy! It also has a Great chance of bringing a whole

    New group of SAE buyer’s & appreciators!

    My Vote, for what it’s worth, is a resounding Yes, for the New Eagle!! I do agree that it needs some design editing, such as, fitting in all the

    Original title’s, & motto’s. Especially “In God We Trust”! I also like the idea of a “Slight Rotation of the design to suggest an eagle in flight”.

    Please excuse my lengthy reply! For Many years now, 29 to be exact, I have felt that Mercanti’s Eagle just didn’t give the impression of a

    Real Eagle, & I’ve talked to Many others who feel the same way. I’ve also tried to respond to the other replies within my lengthy text. As far

    as the, “If it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality, if that’s how coin designing should be….We’d still be using Barber’s coin’s yet today! And what

    a Boring Numismatic World That Would Be! Don’t’cha Think?!!?

    Best Wishes to All My fellow Coin Enthusiasts!!

  5. Larry the Marine says:

    Leave it alone. People always want to change something. The silver eagle is an icon as well as a beautiful designed coin..
    You people that want a different type of coin, buy yourselves some Euro’s..

  6. I believe there is some good in leaving some things alone ,but I feel the eagle change better portraits our United states iconic bird.

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