What are the Emergency Production Silver Eagles?

Posted by Toby Adkins, Numismatic Scholar for on Jan 26th 2023

The popularity of the American Silver Eagle Program is at an all-time high. Now that the Mint has seemingly returned to normality, more and more collectors have been asking about the Emergency Production issues. What are they? When were they struck?

The year 2020 will be forever remembered in history. The Covid-19 pandemic would ravage our world and almost everything would change. The effects would also ripple through the world of coins and even the U.S. Mint would not escape. The San Francisco Mint and the West Point Mint were temporarily shut down due to safety precautions concerning the pandemic. This would affect the ways coins were produced, the number of coins produced, and even how coins could be ordered. All Mint shops closed, and Mint tours would be a thing of yesteryear.

  This is when the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints would be called in to supplement West Point on the production of American Silver Eagles. The rising price of silver, and palpable fear had more and more people looking to purchase the Silver Eagles. To help the supply, Philadelphia would begin striking the bullion silver dollars. Ultimately, only 240,000 would come out of Philadelphia's production. Both NGC and PCGS would certify the silver dollar with a parentheses (P) and labeling the coins as "Struck at Philadelphia" and "Emergency Production". By this time, the parentheses coins had almost a cult following with Silver Eagle collectors, and the 2020 Emergency Production coins are highly sought.

 When everyone thought the Mint was done, another surprise came to the forefront. Not only did Philadelphia produce Emergency Production coins but also did San Francisco. Nearly 2 million bullion Silver Eagles would be released from the San Francisco Mint. Immediate certification would also earmark these beautiful coins as "Emergency Production" and be labeled as "Struck at San Francisco" from the third party graders.

The year 2021 would also not be outdone. The demand for silver still ran strong and another round of "Emergency Production" coins would be produced, this time starting in San Francisco. They would limit the output this year and strike exactly 1 million coins. It was not long before Philadelphia would once again be pressed into the Emergency Production striking. Limited to just 495,000 coins, the last Type 1 Emergency Production would be even more popular.

 Not only did the parentheses and Emergency Production verbiage catch the ear of collectors but so did the draw of the last of a design. With 2021 marking the end of the Type 1 American Silver Eagles, this year would also be the 35th anniversary of the series. Anniversary coins have always had a special appeal but add in a design change, a parentheses, and emergency issues, it seemed destined to be a great collectible. The "Emergency Production" American Silver Eagles are very popular and a proud addition to any collection... if you're lucky enough to have one! Happy collecting!