The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. It was first released by the United States Mint in 1986. It is struck only in the 1 troy oz denomination which has a face value of one dollar and is guaranteed to contain one troy ounce of .999 pure silver. It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content. The American Silver Eagle bullion coin may be used to fund Individual Retirement Account investments. The United States Mint also produces a proof version for coin collectors. Recently minted, uncirculated Silver Eagles currently sell for approximately US$18.
The design on the obverse has been borrowed from the “Walking Liberty” design by Adolph A. Weinman, which was originally used on the United States’ half-dollar coin from 1916 to 1947. This was probably the public’s favorite design on any United States silver coin; hence the choice of this design for the Silver Eagle. The reverse portrays a heraldic eagle and was designed by John Mercanti.