The Truth About 999 U.S. Silver Coins | What is 999 Silver?

The Truth About 999 U.S. Silver Coins

The United States mints coins for two reasons: circulation, which is using coins as monetary value, and commemoration, which is using coins to denote a specific event. Besides metals such as copper and nickel, the U.S. mints coins in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These precious metals are more valuable than copper and nickel and the U.S. most often uses these metals for bullion coins, which are coins that have a material value higher than their federal legal tender value and which the Mint releases each year since their introductions.

What is 999 Silver?

999 silver is a specific type of silver where there are very few impurities and no other metals are part of it. The number 999 is a reference to the fact that the silver is 99.9% pure. Other names for this kind of silver include fine silver, pure silver, and 9999 silver. Visually, 999 silver is shinier than silver alloys and keeps its color longer than silver alloys and sterling silver. 999 silver is also much softer than other grades of silver and silver alloys because pure silver is a soft metal.

Investors often use this kind of silver as their standard for collecting bars and bullion coins of the material because it is a simple process to calculate the overall value of the silver. To calculate the value of your silver, you can take the number of ounces of silver you have and multiply it by the spot price of silver at a moment in time. Before you sell your coins, remember to get them appraised by a professional. Professional appraisers can often tell you the value of your coins including any flaws they may have.

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What are the U.S. 999 Silver Coins?

Below are descriptions of different U.S. coins made of 999 silver so you can check your collections for these valuable pieces:

American Silver Eagle Coins

The American Silver Eagle is the official bullion coin of the United States. The U.S. Mint officially released the coin on November 24, 1986. The U.S. Mint makes only one kind of this coin, the one-troy ounce, which has a face value of one U.S. dollar and they always make it from 999 silver. The standard American Silver Eagle’s obverse face has a design by Adolph A. Weinman called the “Walking Liberty.” The reverse of the coins minted from 1986 to 2021 is an eagle behind a shield, and from 2021 to the present is an eagle on a branch.

Throughout its history, they release special editions of the coin to commemorate specific events. Below is a list of special mints of the American Silver Eagle:

  • The Philadelphia Set: Designed in 1993, the Philadelphia set featured several coins to commemorate the first minting of U.S. coins. The Silver Eagle’s design was the same, except it featured a single “P” print mark in commemoration of the location they made the coin.
  • The 1995-W Proof Silver Eagle: As part of the 10th anniversary for the American Eagle coins, the U.S. minted a set of five coins including a Silver Eagle at the West-Point Mint, a collectible Silver Eagle with a “W” print mark.
  • The United States Millennium Coinage and Currency Set: To commemorate the new millennium, the U.S. minted a set of money at the West-Point Mint including a 2000 American Silver Eagle which did not have the “W” print mark from the Mint.
  • The Reverse Proof Silver Eagle: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Silver Eagle program in 2006, the U.S. released a three-coin set with the regular Silver Eagle and a burnished, uncirculated coin which is the reverse of the typical minting process. It features a frosted background and mirrored raised surfaces.
  • The Pride of Two Nations Set: In 2019, the U.S. and Canada announced a partnership with their mints. The Silver Eagle has a reverse cameo proof finish, making the coin similar to the reverse proof from 2006.
  • The End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle: In 2020, the U.S. Mint released an American Silver Eagle to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II. The coin features a privy mark in the shape of a bird’s eye looking at the Rainbow Pool and lettering that says “V75.”

America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

The America the Beautiful Silver Bullion coins are a collection of minted coins with a face value of a quarter American dollar, or 25 cents, made from 999 silver. Each coin contains five troy ounces of silver, making them stand out from other coins by making them the largest silver bullion coins ever minted by the U.S. Issued from 2010 until 2021, each of the coins depicts a replica, though larger, of America the Beautiful quarters released during the same period. While they used the quarters in circulation, the bullion coins aren’t because of their size and value as collectibles.

Another difference between the quarters and the bullion coins is that the U.S. Mint stamped the quarters with a “P” print mark from the U.S. Philadelphia Mint while the bullion coins don’t have the stamp. The designs of the coins feature a relief of George Washington on the obverse face of the coin and a relief of a different national park or national site, one for each state, province, and territory of the U.S. on the reverse face. There are 56 coins representing each territory, state, and province in the U.S. including the District of Columbia.

Las Vegas offers many ways to appraise and sell your coins. Look through your collections and see if you have any of these rare and valuable coins. Get them appraised and bring them in to cash out on your discoveries and collections you don’t need anymore.

Image via Flickr by sirqitous