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.

9 thoughts on “The Price of 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle 3-Piece Sets is Spiking

  1. Hey Adam,

    I saw an interesting coin related article I thought you might be amused by.

    To promote the upcoming movie, Fox teamed up with the Franklin Mint to put the Silver Surfer’s image on 40,000 quarters, which they then planned to use in an advertising promotion.

    Unfortunately, they failed to check with the US Mint before doing so, since it is illegal to turn federal currency into an advertising item. So now the US Mint is pissed, and the price of the quarters on eBay is in the $100 range.

  2. Hey Adam,
    You were totally correct in your comment about getting more of these sets at that price! The 3 coin coin set was limited to I think 200,000 sets, now that may seem like alot but for us coin junkies we know better! The reverse proof is also, I believe, A major factor in the climb in price because it was the first time the U.S. Mint has struck a coin in this fashion! If you also look at any one of these 3 coins that has been certified by pcgs or ngc(pcgs especially) and graded as a 70 then your really talking high dollar! In order for the 2 coins that are not reverse proof to be certified as 20th Anniversary they had to be opened from there original mint packaging by either pcgs or ngc. When you consider this along with the low mintage…how many sets were actually A: sent in for certification B: sent in to either pcgs or ngc and not one of the other grading services and finally D: were sent in unopened by there owners(if your 3 coin set was opened when pcgs or ngc got it then the only coin that would be classified as 20th Anniversary would be the reverse proof, the other two would only receive 2006 classification) you end up with what Im guessing is A low number of coins out there that can be positively I.D. as a 2006 20th Anniversary 3 coin set! I imagine that the numbers will continue to climb to unheard of amounts for not only the reverse proof but for the other two as well as long as you have your pcgs or ngc 20th Anniversary certification!
    To Ray about your silver surfer comment,it’s funny that you should mention that in this forum as I came into owning one of these by pure fluke..I was at a car wash near my home in may and upon getting change for a $5.00 bill I noticed one of the quarters had something attached to it…being a coin junkie I put that quarter in my wallet and forgot about it(not knowing anything about this publicity stunt) then just 3-4 weeks ago I was watching the news and a story came on about the silver surfer movie and then about this quarter deal! I nearly fell out of my chair reaching for my wallet!…I dont,as a general rule, collect these types of altered coins and mainly its because there too me just that altered and hold no value,to me anyways!
    But Im thinking I’ll hold on to this one just because of the way I found it and how pissed the mint got over it!(anyone who can piss the goverment off in such a way is ok by me…lol!)

  3. Last Saturday, I was watching a coin site on cable and the 20th Anni. Silver coin set was mentioned. The person hawking the coins, made mention that one of the coins with a W was selling for $15,000 to $20, 000 each. I just checked your site, since I have two of the sets, and see that you cannot believe all you hear with these sales pitchs
    Here I thought I was in “the money” Such is life.

  4. Re Adam Nash’s article:

    Reverse Proof has “P” mintmark not “W”

    Re jeffrey la fever’s comment:

    250,00 units produced not 200,000. This from the US Mint’s
    website back in 2006.

    • Actually, this is for a very interesting reason.

      It seems that the price spike led to significant fraud. As a result, the only true 3-coin sets were the certified ones, which continue to trade for very high prices. A sealed 3-coin box set still trades at a premium, but it must be in the original shipping box, unopened. See the comment above for more detail.


  5. What are the prices of these sets now? And how can you tell if they are an opened set or not? Should I only buy the PCGS or NGC ones? Thanks so much.

    Great blog!

    • Unopened, they are priced around $350 to $400. Shortly after I wrote this blog post, some “bad actors” started cracking open other sets to get the two eagles (uncirculated and proof) and contaminating sets. As a result, the price for certified sets continued to go up, and the regular sets dropped to about $300. Since then, they’ve gone up with the price of silver. Still, for a set that cost $100 from the Mint, significant price appreciation.

  6. Adam whats the complete story on the black 2006 3 coin set. Having one coin or two being black, and not pcgs or ngc graded. How many sets like this are out there.

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