Issued since 1986, the American Silver Eagle is one of the world's most desirable bullion coins. However, it's become increasingly popular as a collectible coin over the years. The crossover appeal of the American Silver Eagle can be traced back to the release of proof specimens during the inaugural year of the series, which has since spawned myriad numismatic-oriented specimens, including reverse proofs and pieces with burnished finishes.
One of the most important key dates in the series is the proof 1995-W 10th Anniversary American Silver Eagle, which was included as a free bonus in the 1995 10th Anniversary Gold Coin Set containing American Gold Eagle coins from the West Point Mint. The four-piece gold set includes each of the four 1995-W proof American Gold Eagles, including the one-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce, and tenth-ounce pieces. The set sold for $999, which represented a notable premium for these coins back at a time when the price of gold was hovering around $385 per ounce. While these prices may look decidedly inexpensive as compared to today's gold price of more than $1,750 per ounce, relatively few people bought these 1995-W 10th anniversary gold coin sets when they were originally issued.
Ultimately, only 30,125 of these special coin sets were sold, including the proof 1995-W American Silver Eagles that were packaged along with them. In short order, collectors realized just how rare the 1995-W American Silver Eagle proof was and demand for this coin shot through the roof, as did prices. The proof 1995-W American Silver Eagle trends for around $3,000 in grades of Proof-68 to Proof-69. However, Proof-70 specimens regularly command much higher prices, and that was certainly the case for a gorgeous specimen graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service. This stunning example has flawless surfaces, watery-black reflective fields against white devices and frosty lettering, and absolutely amazing eye appeal. This specimen sold for $15,600 in a June 2021 Heritage Auctions sale.