The Price of 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle 3-Piece Sets is Spiking

Not sure why I checked this today, but I did.  It’s interesting enough to share, and even if you aren’t into coins, you might find this market behavior interesting.

In 2006, the US Mint celebrated the 20th anniversary of the US Silver Eagle (also known as the American Silver Eagle, or ASE).  They released a 3-piece set of silver eagles, which included the following coins:

  • 2006 “W” Uncirculated Silver Eagle
  • 2006 “W” Proof Silver Eagle
  • 2006 “W” Reverse-Proof Silver Eagle

They were released late in the year, around Halloween, and while I had pre-ordered two sets, they were sold out on the US Mint website quickly.

The coins are beautiful, as to be expected, but at $100 a set, you were paying quite a bit for the novelty of the reverse-proof.  The US Mint had not done a reverse-proof before.

In case you don’t follow coins, a proof coin is pressed twice, with special dies, to give it a mirror-like background and a frosty, well defined image.  The reverse-proof interesting produced a mirror-like image on top of a frosty background.

Given the sold out status, I wasn’t surprised to see the sets selling for $200-$250 in most coin shops and on eBay by December 2006.  I thought that by itself was a pretty steep markup.

Turns out I should have bought more at that price.

Checkout the following chart from eBay Marketplace Research on the last 3 months of prices for the set:

Look at that surge in mid-April!  Average price, as near as I can tell now, is about $580.  That’s 480% appreciation in 8 months.

I used the following query to sift out the single coins, the silver/gold sets, and the graded coins, which would muddy the results:

2006 AMERICAN EAGLE 20TH Set  -no -pr69 -pr70 -ms69 -ms70 -gold -ngc -pcgs -70 -69 

I also filtered out items above $1000, because those tend to be auctions for multiple sets in a single lot.

Anyway, I’m not sure what is causing the surge, but maybe its the release of the 2007 proof eagles.  Not sure.  Please comment if you have some insight.  I did find this thread on CoinTalk.