Since 1986, the American Eagle Silver Coin and American Eagle Gold Coin have had the same obverse and reverse designs. The programs are beloved among investors and collectors due in large part to the obverse designs. The American Eagle Silver Coins feature Adolph A. Weinman’s historic Walking Liberty, while the American Eagle Gold Coin bears Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ iconic Lady Liberty design. Recently, coin designers and collectors have expressed an opinion that the reverse designs on the coins were due for a revamp as the coin program powers towards its 35th anniversary release in 2021.
Responding accordingly, the US Mint announced in Fall 2019 that new images were coming to the reverse of both coins in 2021. The design changes will be introduced on the 35th-anniversary release, but are not a one-time move. Instead, the US Mint is looking to position the American Eagles for continued dominance in the decades ahead. After a meeting to consider designs on June 23, 2020, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee sent one recommendation each to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for final consideration.
CCAC Redesign Recommendations
When the CCAC convened a virtual meeting on June 23, 2020, the 11-member committee was joined by United States Mint Director David J. Ryder to consider a total of 39 designs for the reverse fields of the American Eagle silver and gold coins. When the meeting concluded, the CCAC had one design for each coin chosen to send to Mr. Mnuchin for consideration to replace the existing images on the coins. The designs chosen by the CCAC include the following:
- American Eagle Silver: The proposed design chosen by the CCAC shows a life-like image of the American bald eagle. The eagle’s head is shown in left-profile relief. All of the details of the bird are captured in life-like detail, from the individual feathers on its head to its hooked beak and piercing glare. The design rocker has several inscriptions that include “United States of America” at the top and “1 Dollar 1 oz. Fine Silver.” The design rocker also features seven stars with three in front and three behind the head of the eagle. There is one star in the bottom rocker as well. Above the head of the bird in the design field is “E Pluribus Unum.”
- American Eagle Gold: To replace the family of bald eagles, the CCAC recommended a design with an eagle in flight. The depiction of the American bald eagle in flight includes intricate detail down to the individual feathers of the eagle as it spreads its wings and glides over the rising sun below. The design rocker features inscriptions of “United States of America” and “1 oz. Fine Gold – In God We Trust.” Within the design field there are inscriptions of “E Pluribus Unum” and “$50.”
Two Other Design Recommendations
The possible redesigns for the reverse of the American Eagle Silver and American Eagle Gold Coins are down to two images for each of the coins. While the CCAC made its own recommendations for each coin, there are also two redesign recommendations from the United States Commission of Fine Arts. This group made its own recommendations for the reverse of each coin. While its American Eagle Gold Coin is a significant departure from the existing image, its American Eagle Silver Coin recommendation is similar to the existing design from John Mercanti. The commission recommended the two following images:
- American Eagle Silver: Considered a modernization of Mr. Mercanti’s existing heraldic eagle, the commission recommended a new design with a more realistic, life-like image of the bald eagle. This bald eagle is in front-facing relief looking to the left. It clutches a cluster of arrows in its talons with an olive branch wrapped around the arrows. The inscriptions around the design rocker include “United States of America” and “One Dollar 1 oz. Fine Silver.” Within the design field, there is the inscription of “E Pluribus Unum” above the bird and a half-moon of 13 stars below.
- American Eagle Gold: The commission’s recommendation for the American Eagle Gold coin is similar to the CCAC’s suggestion. This time, the bald eagle is shown coming in to land on its perch. With its wings flexed out behind its figure to slow its descent, the bird reaches out with its powerful talons to clutch a branch. The inscriptions featured on the design rocker for this image include “United States of America” and “50 Dollars 1 oz. Fine Gold.” Within the design field just above the rocker are inscriptions of “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
The Selection Process for Redesign
The process for selecting new designs on American coins involves designs being submitted for consideration by both the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the US Commission of Fine Arts. The two groups review possible designs and make recommendations to the US Secretary of the Treasury for final review. It is up to the Secretary of the Treasury, at current Steven Mnuchin, to make a decision. In the case of the American Eagle redesigns, two designs have been recommended for each version of the coin.
American Eagle Bullion from Provident Metals
Provident Metals has 2020 American Eagles from both metallic series available at the moment in our In Stock Bullion. 2020 is the final year these bullion coins will feature the existing images. If you have questions, Provident Metals’ customer service is available at 800-313-3315, online using our live chat, and via our email address. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and check our blog each week.