Designing the most collected Silver Coin in the World
The American Silver Eagle.  The only silver bullion coin guaranteed by the United States Government, and the most collected silver coin in the world amongst collectors, and investors alike.

This is the bread and butter, this is THE coin.  Many collectors have started out on the Silver Eagle series, and continue collecting the new issues as they’re released. (Want to know why they’re so popular? We’ve got an article here for you that might be able to answer that question!)

The Reverse Design of the American Silver eagle

The reverse (tails side) of the American Silver Eagle was designed by Johnathan Mercanti. After the Liberty Coin Act was enacted, designs for the new Silver Eagles had to be made. An open competition was held, and Johnathan Mercanti’s design won. Mercanti decided to go with a type of eagle design that is called the Heraldic Eagle design. 

The Heraldic Eagle is a design that refers to the “heraldry” (the practice of devising, blazoning, and granting armorial insignia and of tracing and recording genealogies) in the age of Kings and Queens. Heraldic Symbols were essentially a ‘coat of arms’ like what you would see on shields and banners and such. Sometimes a lion, sometimes a unicorn, and so many other creatures and things that I couldn’t possibly name them all, but I think you get the picture. (Check out that link for a list of heraldry symbols!)

So when you see the term Heraldic Eagle, remember that it’s simply referring to the style of a coat of arms. This style of portraying the eagle was first introduced to the coinage in 1793 by Robert Scot, the very first Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. It was also featured on The Great Seal of the United States, the first instance of its use in American History.

Alright, back to the coin at hand. The American Silver Eagle.

This coin is a reference to the Great Seal of the United States and portrays the bald eagle (our national bird), with his wings proudly outstretched, representing protection. 

On his chest he supports a shield symbolizing that Americans rely on their own virtue and will uphold and fight for their own beliefs. The shield bears 13 stripes, representing the thirteen original colonies. The shield also represents Congress.

The eagle is gripping arrows in his left talons which represents armed might and power, and in his right he grasps an olive branch, which symbolizes peace.  With the eagle facing toward the olive branch, this means we strive for peace over war.

In his beak he commands a banner containing the original motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (Latin for “Out of many, one” referencing the original 13 colonies that became one united nation)

Above the eagle’s head are 13 stars. These 13 stars represent the original thirteen colonies of the United States. And lastly, we see UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1 OZ. FINE SILVER~ ONE DOLLAR along the rim of the coin.

The Obverse Design of the American Silver Eagle