May 25, 2024

2009 Proof Silver Eagle Canceled

Yesterday, some very significant news broke which put to rest long standing speculation about the status of some of the United States Mint’s bullion and collector coin product offerings. Essentially, the United States Mint canceled all collectible 2009 Gold and Silver Eagle Coins, but announced the limited production of collectible proof 2009 Platinum Eagles and Gold Buffalo Coins, as well as bullion fractional Gold Eagles and one ounce Gold Buffalo coins. I will be breaking this announcement down into several posts over the next few days.

The United States Mint has offered Proof Silver Eagles since their bullion counterparts were first released in 1986. This coin has become a modern favorite for collectors and has been one of the US Mint’s core numismatic product offerings.

Last year, the US Mint was forced to end sales of the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle coin around August 2008. The coins are typically available through the end of the year and have been a highlight of the US Mint’s holiday gift offerings. The unannounced and unexplained unavailability of the coins was later revealed to be related to the “unprecedented demand” for silver bullion products.

Under law the United States Mint is required to produce American Silver Eagle bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. During 2008, higher demand taxed the resources of the US Mint and they had been forced to briefly suspend sales and subsequently impose a rationing program which limited coin sales at the dealer level.

As long as the US Mint was unable to meet full public demand for bullion coins, they believed it was their requirement by law to source all incoming silver blanks to the production of bullion coins and suspend production of collector coins.

The situation continued into the following year, but seemed to be abating when the US Mint finally lifted bullion coin rationing programs in June. Since this time, the US Mint has apparently been unable to build up enough inventory of silver blanks to produce collector coins.

The announcement marks a tremendous disappointment for collectors who have been assembling the Proof Silver Eagle series since 1986. There will now be a gap in the collection of at least one year. The US Mint states that they will attempt to obtain a greater supply of silver bullion blanks so production of collector coins can resume with the 2010 Silver Eagles.

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