For the fifth time within a six year period, the United States Mint’s American Silver Eagle bullion coins achieved an annual sales record. As in the past, the record was reached amidst periodic suspensions and rationing which limited the number of coins available to the market. During the year, the US Mint also offered the standard numismatic proof and uncirculated versions of the coin.
The 2014 Silver Eagle bullion coins went on sale starting on January 13, 2014 under the US Mint’s standard allocation program, which rationed available supplies amongst authorized purchasers. Opening day sales reached 3,180,500, down from the prior year when opening day sales had achieved a record high. The decline was at least in part due to the lower number of coins that the US Mint made available to order. Throughout the first several months of the year, supplies continued to be rationed and weekly allocations were quickly exhausted. In the late spring, the demand for the coins began to abate, allowing the Mint to build an inventory. Starting on June 2, 2014, the allocation program was finally lifted and the coins could be purchased in unrestricted quantities.
After a few months of relatively low sales, a decline in the market price of silver led to an explosion in demand for silver bullion coins. During the months of September and October, nearly 10 million coins were ordered resulting in a temporary sell out and the resumption of the allocation program for the duration of the year. The 2014-dated bullion coins sold out on December 24, 2014 at a new annual sales record of 44,006,000 pieces.
Sales for the 2014 Proof Silver Eagle opened on January 23, 2014. As typical, this proof version was struck at the West Point Mint and carried the “W” mint mark. The coins were initially priced at $52.95 each with no stated maximum mintage and no household ordering limits. For the first time, coins ordered through the US Mint’s Online Subscription Program were eligible for a 10% discount, lowering the initial price to $46.75. Opening sales experienced a boost, likely due to the subscription discount. The Proof Silver Eagle was also available within the 2014 Congratulations Set, which went on sale January 14, 2014. The coin will also be included in the 2014 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set, which was released the following year in 2015.
Final sales for the individual proof reached 894,614 pieces. The 2014 Congratulations Set had sales of 7,529 units, and the Limited Edition Silver Proof Set had sales of 42,164 units. These products accounted for a total distribution of 944,757 for the 2015 Proof Silver Eagle.
The 2014-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle was offered on April 10, 2014. This represented a collectible uncirculated version of the coin struck on specially burnished blanks and carrying the “W” mint mark. These coins were priced at $43.95 or through the subscription program at the discounted price of $39.55. This offering unexpectedly sold out in December, although the coins continued to remain available within the 2014 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, which went on sale starting September 8, 2014.
The individual uncirculated coin had recorded sales of 224,532 pieces, with an additional contribution of 28,637 through the Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, for a total distribution of 253,169.
As a change of pace from recent years, the US Mint did not offer an anniversary or specially themed set involving the American Silver Eagles. This followed the issuance of special sets in 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2013, to recognize anniversaries for the series or to recognize certain mint facilities.
2014 Silver Eagle Mintages
Bullion Mintage: 44,006,000
Proof Mintage: 944,757
Uncirculated (Burnished) Mintage: 253,169
Mint Mark: none (bullion), W (proof, uncirculated)
Designers: Adolph A. Weinman (obverse), John Mercanti (reverse)
Composition: 99.93% silver, 0.07% copper
Weight: 31.101 grams (1.000 ounces)
Diameter: 40.6 mm (1.598 inches)
Thickness: 2.98 mm (0.117 inches)