How to Sell Silver Eagles

The US Mint began making American Silver Eagle dollars in 1986. Although the silver content qualifies the coin as having a face value of one dollar, the Silver Eagle is not classified as a “silver dollar” in the same sense that silver dollars minted in the late 1800s are. You can view Silver Eagles and read more about their history at the U.S. Mint's website.


  1. 1
    Understand your market. A coin collector (numismatist) values a Silver Eagle because of its history; where, when and why it was minted and if it is rare. A commodities broker is interested only in the value of the metal itself, which fluctuates in price. If you just want to make some money selling your Silver Eagles, and it is not rare, keep an eye on the price of silver and sell it for its value. The price of silver, and of Silver Eagles, fluctuates constantly. Don’t attempt to sell your silver coins to a commodities broker until you know what the current market value is.
  2. 2
    Determine how collectable your coins are. A numismatist looks for age, condition and rarity. Age is dependent on rarity and that is determined by how many are still in circulation after minting has stopped. Condition is important, so if you are thinking of selling to a numismatist, take good care of your coins. A coin collector will devalue coins that are scratched, worn or eroded.
  3. 3
    Read the history of Silver Eagles. A coin can be considered rare and very valuable because there was an error during minting. Make sure you are aware of all the peculiarities of Silver Eagles.
  4. 4
    Determine the value of your coin(s). You should also be aware of some facts about the Silver Eagles and why some are more valuable than others.
    • All of the uncirculated and proof Silver Eagles have a higher value than their issue price.
    • Bullion Silver Eagles were minted specifically for investment. A bullion Eagle doesn’t have any special collector proof or uncirculated finishes. They also don’t have a mint mark. If you have Eagles that don’t have a mint mark, then the U.S. Mint never sold the coins to the public—they were sold only to authorized coin dealers for the value of their metal content.
    • Proof coins were not made available to the general public; they were purchased directly from the U.S. Mint (and still are.)
    • Before 2006, an uncirculated Silver Eagle could not be purchased from the U.S. Mint.
    • Understand the mint marks. An “S” mint mark means the Eagle was made in the San Francisco mint between the years of 1986 and 1992. A “P” mint mark means that the Eagle was minted in Philadelphia from 1993 until 2000. West Point started minting Silver Eagles in 2001. Those have a “W” mint mark. Since 2001, all uncirculated proof Silver Eagles without a mint mark were minted at West Point.
    • Silver Eagles made in 1999 and 2000 were minted at both the Philadelphia and West Point locations without a mint mark. There is no way you or anyone else can determine which mint they came from.
  5. 5
    Find out what the meltdown value is. Your Silver Eagle definitely has a meltdown value (as all silver does) but if you have a rare Silver Eagle, you stand to gain much more.
  6. 6
    Locate a coin dealer. Search your local area for coin dealers; they can appraise your coin(s) and suggest a retail value. You can also search online or visit the coin dealer database on the US Mint’s website.[1]


  • Don’t clean your coin(s) until you have had an expert appraisal. Some collectors place a high premium on discoloration and will pay more for coins that are not in “mint” condition.
  • Store your coins separately so that they don’t get abrasion marks from other coins or objects.
  • If you discover you own one or more rare and valuable Silver Eagles, it would be wise to have them insured and keep them in a safe deposit box until you are ready to sell them. Depending on buyer demand, a rare Silver Eagle in mint condition can sell for more than $4,000.


  • Not only is it important to consult a coin expert to determine value, you also need to know whether or not your Silver Eagle is authentic. A reputable coin dealer can often spot a fake without doing extensive testing. Fake Silver Eagles (many of which are produced in China) don’t weight the correct amount because they are made from alloys that weigh less than silver. At the very least, a coin dealer or numismatist can use a strong magnifying glass to determine if your coin is real or fake.

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Categories: Selling Arts and Crafts