PDA

View Full Version : uncirculated vs. bullion Silver Eagles



Silver Tiger
21st May 2008, 18:40
Supposedly, the Mint produces three different types of Silver Eagles: proof, uncirculated and bullion. I know what proof coins are, but I don't know the difference between the last two, uncirculated and bullion.

Thanks.

Renegade
22nd May 2008, 00:55
The 3rd one is news to me!

Renegade

tekhen
22nd May 2008, 10:06
proof and uncirculated are numismatic(collector) coins
bullion coins are for investment

Proof and uncirculated eagles can be purchased directly from the mint.
Bullion eagles are distributed through a network...

http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/american_eagles/index.cfm?action=american_eagle_bullion

Renegade
22nd May 2008, 10:58
Well, what I have always thought, and I see no evidence at the US Mint sight that contradicts it, is that there are Proof and Uncirculated Silver eagles. I see nothing there or anywhere else that indicates there is a third variation for bullion only. I believe they are all meant for there bullion content first, the proofs are extra because they are made prettier, all are uncirculated, and some of the BU's will grade higher, as is the case with any MS type coinage. I have never seen a third, or bullion only version of a Silver Eagle. Where are you guys seeing this?

Renegade

tekhen
22nd May 2008, 11:31
Well, what I have always thought, and I see no evidence at the US Mint sight that contradicts it, is that there are Proof and Uncirculated Silver eagles. I see nothing there or anywhere else that indicates there is a third variation for bullion only. I believe they are all meant for there bullion content first, the proofs are extra because they are made prettier, all are uncirculated, and some of the BU's will grade higher, as is the case with any MS type coinage. I have never seen a third, or bullion only version of a Silver Eagle. Where are you guys seeing this?

Renegade

The uncirculated carry the West Point (W) mark and are burnished..
http://catalog.usmint.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=14433&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=13738

bullion carry no mint mark and are struck differently

The differences in the 3
http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/?action=american_eagles

goldminer
22nd May 2008, 20:23
Silver bullion is defined as .999 fine or better silver. Since Ag Eagles contain one oz. of .999+ fine silver, each coin is "bullion". And as posted above, all of them are sold as either "proofs" or Mint-state (uncirculated) condition.

Renegade
23rd May 2008, 00:02
I agree with goldminer (as always it seems), I own a fair amount of SAE's, none are proof or w mintmarks, but ALL are BU.

Renegade

My Pants Are Cold
23rd May 2008, 21:34
The US mint's web site lists (http://catalog.usmint.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&identifier=1000) a proof Eagle that can be purchased from the US mint, and an uncirculated Eagle that can be purchased from the mint.
And on another page... (http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/index.cfm?action=american_eagles) "In 2006, the United States Mint added another member to the American Eagle family of precious metal coins. Collectors can purchase American Eagle Uncirculated Coins in silver, gold and platinum directly from the United States Mint.

Like its proof counterpart, the American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin is available in a one-ounce size, while the American Eagle Uncirculated Coins in both gold and platinum are available in one-tenth, one-quarter, one-half and one ounce sizes, as well as a complete four-coin set containing one coin of each size. The American Eagle Platinum Uncirculated Coins carry the same reverse design as the American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins.

In a process similar to that used to create the magnificent American Eagle Proof Coins, American Eagle Uncirculated Coins are hand-loaded into the coining press, struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark of the United States Mint at West Point."


Sounds like three flavors to me as well.

Renegade
23rd May 2008, 22:13
Come on guys, it ain't that hard. Look at the catalog at the US Mint site. They have proof and uncirculated, there is no 3rd variation of SAE listed. They are all bullion because they are sold based on the value of the metal they contain.

Renegade

My Pants Are Cold
24th May 2008, 01:33
Come on guys, it ain't that hard. Look at the catalog at the US Mint site. They have proof and uncirculated, there is no 3rd variation of SAE listed. They are all bullion because they are sold based on the value of the metal they contain.

Renegade

"American Eagle Uncirculated Coins are hand-loaded into the coining press, struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark of the United States Mint at West Point."

None of my Eagles have that mint mark. And none are proofs, so...

Renegade
24th May 2008, 10:42
Geez,

OK, let me know when they show up in the catalog pal.

Maybe the bullion ones you are talking about are the ones that say 1 troy ounce on the back.

Just so you know, it's been standard practice to make the same coins in multiple mints, with different mintmarks since the dawn of american coinage!

Renegade

My Pants Are Cold
25th May 2008, 03:35
The description of the uncirculated eagle makes it sound as though there is something else. Take a minute to read it and you'll see. This sentence in particular - "This coin offers silver precious metal purchasers a new collectible version of the popular American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin and features a finish similar to its bullion coin counterpart."
The words "new","similar" and "counterpart" convey the idea that they are different from a standard bullion coin.

tekhen
25th May 2008, 06:46
more info.....

uncirculated and proof = collectibles
bullion = investment

In the US there are different tax laws between collectibles and bullion.

Hence, 3 versions.

Renegade
25th May 2008, 09:31
Criminy!

All I know is, regardless of the description interpretation one uses, the catalog has 2 variations of SAE's, not 3.

Tell you what, call the mint and ask for a roll of the cheap "for bullion only Sae's, then let us know how that worked out for ya.

Renegade

tekhen
25th May 2008, 11:06
Criminy!

All I know is, regardless of the description interpretation one uses, the catalog has 2 variations of SAE's, not 3.

Tell you what, call the mint and ask for a roll of the cheap "for bullion only Sae's, then let us know how that worked out for ya.

Renegade

Renegade,

Criminy is right... You cannot buy a tube or "green monster box" from the Mint. You can only purchase uncirculated and proofs from the Mint. (these do not come in rolls)

Again, The US Mint sells bullion to a network of Authorized Dealers...from there the public can purchase.

I've attached the the links...what am I not explaining?

Renegade
25th May 2008, 11:52
What is the difference in what the dealers buy in uncirculated and the ones the mint sells. They are packaged differently for bulk shipment to dealers,but I think the coins are the same. I see no evidence of a third type of SAE's at any of the dealer sites. Aren't all SAE's uncirculated? I could be wrong about this, yet as I have said, I cannot find any evidence of a third variation for sale anywhere. they state Bullion, which by definition describes all Silver Eagles, they state proofs, which is an obvious declaration, and they state Brilliant Uncirculated, which is not a variation of the coin, rather a level of perfection determined by grading of some of the coins as a result of the normal stamping process and condition of the dies used, after manufacture. They are sold on the US MINT website as uncirculated, so the brilliant denomination is determined later by dealers and grading services. As far as the hand loading thing goes, I'd be willing to bet all SAE's are hand loaded.

Renegade

Relayer
25th May 2008, 13:39
The US Mint sells Investment Grade Silver Eagles only to dealers. They are not stamped with the W mint mark.

The US Mint sells to individuals, Proof and Uncirculated Silver Eagles, of which both are stamped with the W mint mark.

tekhen
25th May 2008, 13:44
What is the difference in what the dealers buy in uncirculated and the ones the mint sells. They are packaged differently for bulk shipment to dealers,but I think the coins are the same. I see no evidence of a third type of SAE's at any of the dealer sites. Aren't all SAE's uncirculated? I could be wrong about this, yet as I have said, I cannot find any evidence of a third variation for sale anywhere. they state Bullion, which by definition describes all Silver Eagles, they state proofs, which is an obvious declaration, and they state Brilliant Uncirculated, which is not a variation of the coin, rather a level of perfection determined by grading of some of the coins as a result of the normal stamping process and condition of the dies used, after manufacture. They are sold on the US MINT website as uncirculated, so the brilliant denomination is determined later by dealers and grading services. As far as the hand loading thing goes, I'd be willing to bet all SAE's are hand loaded.

Renegade

Yes... I would consider all uncirculated.
As for 'brilliant' I agree. As this is not a term used by the US Mint but the various grading services to add an extra premium.

From the US Mint homepage...

"The term "uncirculated" refers to the specialized minting process used to create these coins. Although they are similar in appearance to American Eagle Bullion Coins, these new uncirculated coins are distinguished by the presence of a mint mark, indicating their production facility, and by the use of burnished coin blanks, which are hand-fed into specially-adapted coining presses one at a time.

Each American Eagle Uncirculated Coin is carefully inspected before it is encapsulated in plastic. With its pristine finish now protected, each American Eagle Uncirculated Coin is placed in a traditional, satin-lined velvet presentation case. A Certificate of Authenticity is included with each American Eagle Uncirculated coin.

These magnificent coins sell at a fixed price and are available directly from the United States Mint. American Eagle Gold and Platinum Uncirculated Coins are minted in one-tenth, one-quarter, one-half and one ounce sizes, and they are also available in a four-coin set, including one coin of each size. The American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin is only minted and sold in the one ounce size."

They state the difference in shipping.. so no GMB ot tube.

As for the process I will not guess on that. From what they state it is a different die used to stamp the round.
1) a die for bullion
2) a die for unc
3) a die for proof

clr8ter
25th May 2008, 13:45
Wow, I can't believe that so many people do not get this. I think the problem is that everyone was calling the bullion version "Uncirculated". Then last year the Mint came out with an official "Uncirculated" version. Forget about the word "Uncirculated", as I think they all meet this criteria as delivered from the Mint.

PROOF-----Very shiny, most $, comes in a capsule in a nice box, available directly from the Mint.

UNCIRCULATED-----Burnished planchet (blank), less $ than the proof, has "W" mint mark, comes in a capsule in a nice box, available from the mint.

Both of the above are in the Mint's online catalog.

BULLION-----I am not sure of a difference in finishes, NO MINT MARK, less $ than Uncirculated, comes originally from the mint in a green Monster Box of 500, 20 pcs. in a tube or roll, NOT AVAILABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE MINT, from coin dealers only.

Count them up, 1...2...3 versions.

Renegade
25th May 2008, 14:15
OK, so given that there are actually 3 variations, and as I said before, I could be wrong; so it is quite possible from the evidense you guys provide that there may be, or is, another one that is not sold individually from the mint website. I know there is an uncirculated philly version, as well as a west point version, so now my question would be is there a premium of one over the other because of quality of the coin, or different mintage numbers, etc,,,,,I would think in that case there would be less "w" versions since west point is also tasked with manufacturing all of the proofs as well as some uncirculated. Is that correct?

Sorry for the misunderstanding here fellas, I'm old school and stubborn, not to mention that almost all of my SAE's are much older than 2006. Maybe I've learned something useful here.

Renegade

Silver Tiger
25th May 2008, 15:58
There appears to be 3 possible differences between the Mint uncirculated coins and dealer bullion coins:

1. The uncirculated coins use burnished planchets. Well, I looked up burnished and it simply means polished or to make smooth. Are bullion planchets not polished before being struck also? This difference is still too vague for me.

2. The uncirculated Mint coin has a "W" on it. There are countless cases of Mint marks being struck on various coins. For instance, there might be two different half dollars, one with a "P" and one with a "D" with no difference between the coins themselves (except having come from different Mints). So, this difference is again too vague and pointless even if true.

3. A different or more "careful" process was used for the uncirculated coins. Again, I can't imagine the processes are that different between the Mint uncirculated coins and dealer bullions coins. Let's say for clarity that the Mint uncirculated coins DO use a more tedious process than the dealer bullion coins. If the more intense process resulted in no difference in the appeareance of the coin itself, then the mere fact that the process was different would be meaningless--that is IF the process is verifiably different than the bullion coins. Again, the third "difference" to me is of course too vague.

I can understand that the Mint would only allow bulk orders (bullion) to certain dealers and allow individuals to purchase single coins. Also, there may be different channels that each type of coin goes through (West Point vs. another Mint, comes in protective case or a green monster box, can order them directly or can't), but that doesn't mean the coins themselves are materially different from each other. So until these issues can be further cleared up, I'm still a little hesitant to say there are three types of Silver Eagles.

clr8ter
25th May 2008, 16:39
The differences are obvious. Proof (shiny) vs. Uncirculated (Matte w/mintmark), vs. Bullion (Matte, No mintmark). For people into coin collecting, the mintmark or lack thereof is hugely important. If you're simply into bullion, forget everything and get the cheapest ones you can find. The other versions are considered collector versions, and some hope they will increase in value as time goes on.......

Silver Tiger
25th May 2008, 16:54
So the only difference is the "W"? That pretty much tells me there is no tangible difference at all.

JesterJay
25th May 2008, 19:32
And do you know what the "W" stands for?

"W"ow, you paid extra for that?

Ha, I KILL me!
JesterJay




So the only difference is the "W"? That pretty much tells me there is no tangible difference at all.

My Pants Are Cold
25th May 2008, 23:48
Maybe I've learned something useful here.


Whew, that only took three days. :rolleyes:

Renegade
26th May 2008, 00:39
I DID say "maybe"!

I'm still not convinced.

Renegade

tekhen
26th May 2008, 03:13
Although the only "distinguishing" difference per the mint is the mintmark, the burnished=uncirculated has a duller finish than the "bullion" IMO. The unc. is also packaged differently.

Here's an idea.. go to your local dealer and request to see
1) an ASE out of a tube
2) the uncirculated ASE with the 'W' mintmark, which started on 2006
3) a Proof ASE

from the mint...
"The term "uncirculated" refers to the specialized minting process used to create these coins. Although they are similar in appearance to American Eagle Bullion Coins, these new uncirculated coins are distinguished by the presence of a mint mark, indicating their production facility, and by the use of burnished coin blanks, which are hand-fed into specially-adapted coining presses one at a time.
Each American Eagle Uncirculated Coin is carefully inspected before it is encapsulated in plastic. With its pristine finish now protected, each American Eagle Uncirculated Coin is placed in a traditional, satin-lined velvet presentation case. A Certificate of Authenticity is included with each American Eagle Uncirculated coin"


As for price...
proof = $$$ - lowest mintage
unc = $$
bullion = $ - highest mintage

I hope this brings clarification.

waynetheking
26th May 2008, 06:14
the mint that is. stop making AG's as of this weekend??

Robin
26th May 2008, 17:52
Yep, it seems.

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB121149011951015323-lMyQjAxMDI4MTIxMzQyOTMwWj.html



Curb on Coin Sales
Angers Collectors
U.S. Begins Rationing
Popular 'Silver Eagles';
How $1 Fetches $19
By IANTHE JEANNE DUGAN
May 23, 2008; Page A1

The government rationed food during World War II and gasoline in the 1970s. Now, it's imposing quotas on another precious commodity: 2008 dollar coins known as silver eagles.


The coins, each containing about an ounce of silver, have become so popular among investors seeking alternatives to stocks and real estate that the U.S. Mint can't make them fast enough. In March, the mint stopped taking orders for the bullion coins. Late last month, it began limiting how many coins its 13 authorized buyers world-wide are allowed to purchase.

"This came out of nowhere," says Mark Oliari, owner of Coins 'N Things Inc. in Bridgewater, Mass., one of the biggest buyers of silver eagles. With customers demanding twice as many as they did last year, Mr. Oliari would like to buy 500,000 a week. But the mint will sell him only around 100,000.

The coins have a face value of $1. But the mint sells them for the going price of silver, plus a small premium, to a handful of wholesalers, brokerage companies, precious-metals firms, coin dealers and banks. The dealers mark the coins up a bit more and sell them to the public. Currently, the coins are fetching about $19 apiece, with some sellers seeking more than $20.

For Coins 'N Things alone, the shortage is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales of silver eagles. The firm sells about $1 billion worth of precious metal every year, including silver, gold and platinum coins. Mr. Oliari, a 50-year-old numismatist who has been in the business since 1973, sniffs: "You can't print what I want to say about the mint."

The mint, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, has offered little explanation beyond a memo last month to its dealers. "The unprecedented demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins necessitates our allocating these coins on a weekly basis until we are able to meet demand," the mint wrote. A spokesman declined to elaborate.

'Poor Man's Gold'

The rare shortage offers a glimpse into the growing love of a commodity known as "poor man's gold." With more silver mined than gold traditionally, silver has always been far cheaper than gold and today has less than 2% of gold's value.


U.S. Mint
The popular silver eagle coin
But silver is growing in popularity, and some investors are betting that its value will surge as inventory shrinks. Big investors are loading up on silver eagles, which are the only American silver coins allowed in individual retirement plans. For small investors, they are an accessible way to get into the metal boom.

"Unlike gold, these coins can be bought by regular citizens," says J.R. Roland, a Brownsville, Tenn., judge who recently began buying the coins -- and trading them on eBay. "In these economic hard times, silver coins are a great way to invest."

In March, sales of silver eagles surged more than ninefold from the previous month, to 1.85 million. This year, the mint has sold 6.8 million, representing more than twice last year's pace. Still, numismatists are clamoring for millions more as the price of silver soars. It has more than doubled in the past three years and now trades at around $17 a troy ounce, which is slightly heavier than a traditional ounce.

Linda Wood, a 57-year-old Pittsburgh accountant, scours eBay, coin shops and flea markets in search of silver eagles. One by one, she has accumulated about 300 in the past few months and stores them in a bank safe-deposit box.

Traditional coin collectors may be impressed with the government's written description of silver eagles as "one of the most beautiful coins ever minted." But Ms. Wood isn't in it for aesthetics. She became a silver bug after she and her husband saw the value of their individual retirement accounts decline by $2,500 -- a "significant" chunk. "I just need bullion," she says. "I wouldn't care if the coins were ugly."

Amid the mint caps, shady silver-eagle hawkers are thriving. Some coins are priced at $25 and higher. Mr. Roland says that he had to wait a month after ordering some on eBay recently, because the sellers didn't even have the goods. "I can't wait long, because you never know what's going to happen with the price," he says.

In Manitowoc, Wis., Dan Zirk, owner of Manitowoc Card & Coin, has sold twice as many silver eagles as he did last year. So he has stashed away his remaining handful of 2008 coins, betting the price will rise. "I want $22 apiece," says Mr. Zirk. He says customers, meanwhile, are asking for earlier years and other forms of silver.

Lady Liberty

The government began producing silver eagles in 1986, basing its design on Adolph Weinman's 1916 "Walking Liberty" half dollar. The front features a flag-draped Lady Liberty striding toward the sunrise, carrying branches of laurel and oak symbolizing civil and military glory. On the reverse, a design by John Mercanti features an eagle with a shield, olive branch, and talon and arrows.

The coins are made at an armored facility in West Point, N.Y., alongside the military academy. Dealers say they heard the mint had run out of planchets -- round metal disks ready to be struck into coins. The disks are used for various coins, and the companies producing the blanks also are busy, limiting the mint's ability to increase production. The mint won't comment on the planchets.

Coins Divvied Up

Each Monday morning now, the mint divides its silver coins into two pools. It divvies up the first equally among authorized purchasers. The second is allocated proportionately, based on the buyer's past purchases. The mint limited purchases once before -- in the late 1990s, when investors loaded up on silver, wrongly anticipating that a failure by the world's computers to adjust to the new millennium would cripple the economy.

Jim Hausman, head of the Gold Center in Springfield, Ill., one of eight companies in the U.S. authorized to buy silver eagles, estimates that the rationing will cut his expected annual sales of four million silver eagles in half.

And the result, he says, is almost un-American. Increasingly, investors are taking a shine to alternatives. The Royal Canadian Mint saw its sales of silver Canadian maple-leaf bullion coins rise 40% last year, to 3.5 million, according to a spokesman.

Some investors expect the craze to end badly. They draw comparisons to what happened to silver in the 1970s. A rich Texas family poured billions of dollars into silver, and prices surged above $50 an ounce in 1980, only to plunge again after government intervention.

"It's akin to what happened when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market," says Wendell Curry, who owns McAllen Gold & Silver Exchange in McAllen, Texas. "The silver hawks are now trying to corner silver American eagles. And it's making it harder for mom and pop to buy these for their grandchildren."