A significant change to the world’s most popular silver bullion coin is in the works. On April 8, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recommended a change in the design of the reverse side of the American Silver Eagle, the premier silver coin on the market today, with sales expected to reach 50 million units in 2014 alone.
The US Silver Eagle has not changed since its 1986 inception, with each coin containing 1 troy ounce of silver that is 99.9% fine. The designs remain unaltered — Weinman’s Walking Liberty design is on the front and Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle design is on the reverse. The CCAC-proposed design changes only concern the reverse. 44 unique designs were reviewed, but the clear-cut winner was a design previously considered for the 2015 US Marshal Service gold commemorative coin — another eagle-themed design, this time showing an eagle in flight, grasping an olive branch.
The next steps in the process are time consuming. The CCAC will ask the US Mint to prepare several examples of American Silver Eagles using the new design, each having slight differences. These designs will be again put before the CCAC for another round of selection and discussion. The selected Silver Eagle design then will move to the CFA, the Committee of Fine Arts, for review. After this committee, the Treasury Secretary of the United States will make the decision to keep the current design or to change to the new one.