U.S. Mint releases 2016 30th Anniversary Silver Eagle proof coins

After seven months of Silver Eagle rationing, the U.S. Mint has released its exclusive 2016 30th Anniversary Silver Eagle proof coins.

These newly minted coins have never been circulated and are made with specially polished and treated dies. Each coin bears the “W” mint mark, reflecting its striking at the West Point Mint, and contains 1 oz of .999 fine silver.

According to New Orleans investment firm Blanchard, the process of creating the sharp relief and mirror-like background of these coins requires manually feeding coin blanks into presses. Each coin is then struck multiple times, so the detailed artwork seems to float above its shining background.

The obverse shows Adolph A. Weinman’s full-length figure of Liberty enveloped in folds of the American flag. Liberty is extending her right hand and holds branches of laurel and oak in her left hand. In a press release, Blanchard explains that this symbolizes civil and military glory.

The reverse features a heraldic eagle with shield. The eagle holds an olive branch in its right talon and arrows in its left talon, representing America’s desire for peace and defense of Liberty. Thirteen stars for the 13 colonies float above the eagle’s head.

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