Once again, the American Silver Eagle bullion coins achieved record annual sales amidst the unrelenting demand for silver bullion. The United States Mint would offer the standard proof and uncirculated collectible versions of the coins, with sales cut short due to the impact of legislative changes for the program.
The US Mint opened sales of the 2015 Silver Eagle bullion coins on January 12, 2015. On that date authorized purchasers were able to place their orders for the coins, subject to the US Mint’s standard allocation program which rationed the available supply. Opening day sales reached 2,958,000 pieces, down slightly compared to the prior year. For the entire month of January, sales reached 5,530,000, exceeding the first month total from the prior year.
Throughout the year, the bullion coins were produced at both the West Point and San Francisco Mint facilities, without identifying mint marks. Sales for the bullion coins increased in the summer months, as the Mint was able to expand the weekly allocations available to authorized purchasers. By year end, bullion sales would reach an even 47,000,000 pieces, establishing the sixth annual sales record in seven years.
The US Mint opened sales for the 2015 Proof Silver Eagle on January 2, 2015. This starting date was about three weeks earlier compared to the prior year and occurred before the start of sales for the bullion version of the coin. The proof coins were struck at the West Point Mint and carried the “W” mint mark. The initial price was $48.95 per coin and there were no stated product or household limits imposed. Opening sales for the product reached 262,377 units, down from the more than 300,000 units compared to the opening sales for the prior year.
The Proof Silver Eagle would also be included within the 2015 Congratulations Set, offered starting on January 26, 2015. This year, the US Mint did not offer the Limited Edition Silver Proof Set.
On March 26, 2015, the US Mint began sales of the 2015-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle. This represented a collectible uncirculated version of the coin struck on specially burnished blanks and carrying the “W” mint mark. This uncirculated version of the coin was also available within the 2015 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set.
The sales of the collectible versions of the Silver Eagles would be impacted by Public Law 114-94, enacted on December 4, 2015. Section 73002 of the Act specified that proof and uncirculated Silver Eagles issued during calendar year 2016 were to have a smooth edge incused with a designation for the 30th anniversary of the series. As a result of the legislation, the US Mint was forced to conclude sales of all 2015-dated collectible Silver Eagles before the end of the year.
Final sales for the individual proof 2015 Silver Eagle reached 699,623 pieces. The individual uncirculated coin reached sales of 201,188. Sales of the supplemental products concluded with final sales of 7,895 for the 2015 Congratulations Set and 22,691 for the Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set.
2015 Silver Eagle Mintages
Bullion Mintage: 47,000,000
Proof Mintage: 707,518
Uncirculated (Burnished) Mintage: 223,879
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)