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How to Sell American Eagle Silver Coins  

The American Silver Eagle, renowned for its exquisite design and silver purity, holds a special place in numismatics and precious metal investing. Understanding their rich history and market value is essential for those looking to sell American Eagle silver coins. First produced by the U.S. Mint in 1986, the iconic American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. They are regularly bought and sold as one of the world’s most popular silver bullion coins.  

American Eagle Silver Coin 

The American Silver Eagle, authorized by Congress by the Liberty Coin Act in 1985, is a cornerstone of modern numismatics. The U.S. Mint first produced it with an iconic design featuring Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” on the obverse and John Mercanti’s heraldic eagle on the reverse.  

The reverse design was updated in 2021, introducing Emily Damstra’s realistic eagle portrayal and marking a new chapter in the coin’s history. It contains one troy ounce of pure silver.  

American Silver Eagle  
First Year Minted 1986 
Location Minted West Point, San Fransisco, Philadelphia  
Obverse Design “Walking Liberty” by Adolph A. Weinman 
Reverse Design (1986-2021) Heraldic Eagle and Shield by John Mercanti  
Reverse design (2021-Present) Bald Eagle Landing on Branch by Emily Damstra 
Silver Content 1 troy oz (31.103 g) of .999 fine silver 
Diameter 40.6 mm 
Thickness 2.98 mm 
Special Editions Proof, Burnished, and certified versions 
Table displaying specifications of the American Silver Eagle coin 

Preparing to Sell American Silver Eagles 

Successfully selling your American Eagle silver coins begins with meticulous preparation. It is essential to understand the nuances of different versions and their impact on the coin’s value. Following these three crucial steps can help you sell silver Eagle coins with the least number of complications.  

Assess Coin Condition and Authenticity 

The value of your American Eagle silver coins is influenced by their condition and type. Assess the overall condition by looking for flaws, marks, or damage to your coins. Compare to similar coins to get an idea of your Silver Eagles’ worth.  

Additionally, take note of the type of coin you have. Proof versions, known for their mirror-like finish and exquisite detail, often command higher prices. Similarly, burnished versions appeal to certain collectors with their unique matte appearance. Check the coins against official specifications to verify their authenticity.  

Certified coins are worth more than an uncertified coin of the same type and condition. When a reputable grading company such as PCGS or NGC evaluates and certifies American Eagle silver coins, it provides an authoritative guarantee of their quality and condition. Certification can significantly enhance the coins’ appeal to collectors and investors, as it removes any doubt about their authenticity and condition.  

Research Silver Eagle Market Value 

The market value of American Silver Eagle coins varies with the silver spot price and the coin type. 

The melt value is the first aspect to consider when pricing your American Eagle silver coins. The melt value is the basic intrinsic worth of the coin based on its silver content. American Silver Eagles are minted with one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver. To calculate the melt value, you need to know the current spot price of silver per troy ounce, which fluctuates daily. Once you have the current silver price, multiply it by the coin’s silver content.  

While the melt value provides a baseline, the actual selling price of American Silver Eagles can be higher. There is a premium put on top of the coin’s melt value, especially for proof, burnished, and certified versions. Special finishes and certified versions of American Eagle silver coins have lower mintages and populations, which add to their collectible value and demand among investors and collectors.  

Selling a Collection of Silver American Eagles 

Selling a collection of American Silver Eagles requires a strategic approach to maximize its value. When offloading a complete set or multiple coins, it is important to consider the collective worth, which can often exceed the sum of individual pieces, particularly if the collection includes a mix of standard, proof, and burnished coins.  

Highlighting the completeness and diversity of your collection can attract serious collectors willing to pay a premium for the convenience and rarity of acquiring a complete set. Additionally, leveraging a well-maintained collection’s historical and sentimental value can further enhance its appeal in the market, leading to a more profitable sale. At the time of writing, complete sets of the American Silver Eagle from 1986-2023 (39 coins) are regularly listed for 50% over the spot price.  

Obtain Documentation 

Securing official documentation for your American Eagle silver coins can assist in establishing their value when aiming to sell at a premium. Certificates of authenticity, grading reports, and original packaging can increase the selling price of your American Silver Eagles.  

You can acquire documentation through third-party grading services, authenticating the coins’ quality, purity, and condition. Certification provides a tangible guarantee to potential buyers. Services like NGC or PCGS certify the coins and offer detailed grading reports, adding to their credibility and market value. 

If your American Eagle silver coins are not already certified, certain dates and types could potentially benefit from the process. For example, a 1994 American Silver Eagle BU in great condition could sell for less than $100. If the same coin receives an MS-70 certification, it could be worth up to $8,000. Do adequate research to find out if your Silver Eagles are worth certifying.  

Without such certification, sellers may be disadvantaged, as the burden of proving the coins’ worth falls on them. This often leads to reliance on the buyer’s assessment and lower sale prices. Obtaining official documentation or certification can be a game-changer in commanding higher premiums and ensuring a fair, transparent transaction. 

Where to Sell American Eagle Silver Coins 

Selecting the appropriate channel is vital for a successful and profitable transaction when selling American Eagle silver coins. Each has advantages and is suited for coins, such as proof, burnished, or certified versions. 

Coin Dealer or Pawn Shop
This is a quick and straightforward method, particularly effective for standard versions of the coins. However, specialized versions like proof or certified coins might fetch better prices elsewhere, as dealers often offer lower prices to cover their overheads and profit margin. 

Online Marketplaces or Auction Sites 
Online platforms can be ideal for reaching a wider audience, especially for proof, burnished, or certified American Eagle silver coins. These platforms allow you to showcase the unique qualities of your coins, potentially attracting collectors willing to pay a premium. Sites like eBay allow buyers to bid on the coins, potentially increasing your profit from selling. 

Selling Directly to Collectors or Investors 
This method can be the most lucrative, especially for special versions of the coins. Networking in coin collector circles or investor groups can help you find enthusiasts who value and understand the worth of proof, burnished, or certified coins and are willing to pay accordingly. 

Sell to APMEX 
Selling American Eagle silver coins to an authorized dealer such as APMEX can create peace of mind through an easy process. You can get a quote online from product experts and experience quick processing and easy shipping, while avoiding the hassle of negotiating, managing inquiries, or dealing with potential scams.  

Steps for Selling American Eagle Silver Coins 

Selling to a Coin Shop 

  1. Find a Reputable Shop: Research and select dealers experienced in buying American Eagle silver coins, especially if you have proof or certified versions. 
  1. Contact and Arrange Meetings: Reach out to multiple dealers to compare offers—and schedule appointments to present your coins.  
  1. Negotiate: Be prepared to discuss the value, particularly highlighting any unique qualities, finishes, certification, etc.  
  1. Complete the Sale: Once you reach an agreement, complete the transaction with proper documentation for your records. Keep track of the profit or loss you acquire from the sale to report on your tax return accurately.  

Selling Online 

  1. Select the Right Platform: Choose a trusted platform that allows you to list your coins for sale. One that caters to coin collectors is beneficial if you’re selling proof, burnished, or certified coins. Sites such as eBay allow an auction, giving potential buyers the opportunity to bid on your Silver Eagles.  
  1. Create a Detailed Listing: Create an account on your chosen platform and create a listing of your coins. Include images and descriptions emphasizing the unique features of your American Eagle silver coins. 
  1. Manage Inquiries and Offers: Respond to potential buyers promptly and professionally. 
  1. Accept an Offer or Bid: After you accept an offer or someone wins the auction, complete the sale with proper paperwork to ensure adequate reporting.   
  1. Shipping and Handling: Ensure secure and insured shipping methods to protect you and the buyer. 

Selling to Collectors or Investors 

  1. Network: Attend coin shows, join online forums, or connect with local collector groups, especially if you have unique certified or proof American Silver Eagles
  1. Present the Coins: Showcase the coins’ quality, highlighting distinctive attributes like proof or burnished versions. 
  1. Make the Sale: Engage in negotiations emphasizing the Silver Eagles’ value and uniqueness. Conclude the transaction with proper documentation. 

Selling to APMEX 

  1. Contact Online or Over the Phone: Submit information about the items you want to sell in as much detail as possible.  
  1. Receive a Quote: Lock in a price quote based on the current market and the items you wish to sell.  
  1. Pack and Ship: Ship your products for verification.  
  1. Verification: Your products will be verified by a team of experts.  
  1. Get Paid: Receive payment and documentation for the transaction.  

Each selling method has its merits, and your choice should align with the type of American Eagle silver coins you have, their condition, and your selling goals. 

Paying Taxes  

When selling American Eagle silver coins, be aware of potential tax implications. Profits from the sale are subject to capital gains taxes, which vary depending on how long you have held the coins. Short-term capital gains apply if you hold the coins for less than a year. Long-term gains are applicable for American Eagle silver coins held for more than a year, subject to the collectible tax rate of 28% percent.  

You can also report any losses acquired when you sell American Eagle silver coins, which can offset other capital gains. Understanding tax implications is crucial for any seller, and you must report all profits or losses from the sale to the IRS. We recommend consulting with a tax professional to ensure compliance with all tax laws after you sell American Eagle silver coins.  

Achieving the Best Deal 

Selling American Eagle silver coins can be profitable and seamless with the right approach. Here are some final tips to help you maximize profits and ensure a smooth transaction: 

  • Store Coins Properly to Maintain Value: Proper storage is crucial, especially for proof, burnished, and certified coins. Use appropriate cases or holders to prevent damage and maintain their condition. Certified coins should stay in their encapsulation to preserve their condition and value.  
  • Time the Sale Strategically: The market value of silver fluctuates. Timing the sale to coincide with high silver prices can be beneficial. 
  • Be Cautious of Scams and Fraud: Avoiding scams or fraud is essential when selling high-value items like proof or certified American Eagle silver coins. Verify buyer credibility, use secure payment methods, and consider insured shipping to protect both parties. 
  • Highlight Special Features: If selling proof or burnished coins, emphasize these features in your listings or negotiations. These coins have a lower mintage and will demand a higher premium than the standard releases. If you are selling certified coins, include details about the grading and certification to justify a higher price. 

Following the tips in this guide can help you enhance the value of your American Eagle silver coins and navigate the selling process with confidence and security. 

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