Learn How Silver Proof Coins Are Made at the San Francisco Mint

Learn How Silver Proof Coins Are Made at the San Francisco Mint


Written by John Rothans

Aug 27, 2021

You like to know a company’s history before you buy its stock, where your accountant went to school, and what inspired your favorite author’s new novel. You’re curious and thoughtful, especially when it comes to how you spend your time and money. Why not get to the bottom of where your silver coins come from, too? Learn how some of the most beautiful and time-honored Silver American Eagle Proof coins are made at the San Francisco Mint and how you can secure some for yourself.


Producing Silver Proof Coins in San Francisco

The San Francisco Mint, which opened in 1854 in response to the California Gold Rush, produces our country’s clad and silver proof coin sets, as well as commemorative coins as instructed by Congress. That includes the newly redesigned Silver American Eagle Proof coins. The San Francisco facility no longer mints circulating coins.

The capital letter “S” on the obverse (heads side) of select silver proof coins and other coins minted in San Francisco was used until 1975. The San Francisco facility made pennies for circulation from 1968 through 1974, nickels from 1968 through 1970, and dimes in 1975.

Proof coins made of silver or any other metal are the highest-quality coins produced by the Mint. “Proof” refers to the coin’s finish.

Proof blanks are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice. Striking a coin at least twice gives it a frosted, sculpted foreground to generate a “glamorous” shine, according to the U.S. Mint, as well as an intricate design and a mirror-like background.

Finally, proof coins are packaged in a protective capsule to showcase and preserve their finish.

The Newest Silver Proof Coins Made in San Francisco

This summer, the San Francisco Mint began producing the redesigned 2021 Silver American Eagle Proof coins. The redesigned Silver American Eagle Proof coins are also being produced at the West Point Mint in New York. Production is limited to 200,000 coins.

Minted since 1986, these coins have been updated with a refreshed obverse and a completely redesigned reverse (tails side) to mark this year’s 35th anniversary of the American Eagle Coin Program.

Like its West Point–minted counterpart, the obverse of the San Francisco–minted coin features a refreshed depiction of Adolph A. Weinman’s full-length figure of Lady Liberty in full stride, enveloped in folds of the flag, with her right hand extended and branches of laurel and oak in her left hand. The Mint uses advanced technology to create a design that now more closely reflects Weinman’s original vision and includes his traditional artist’s mark. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2021.”

The redesigned reverse depicts a branch-carrying eagle as it prepares to land. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “1 OZ. FINE SILVER,” and “ONE DOLLAR.”

Freelancer designer Emily Damstra created the design for the new reverse, and retired Mint artist Michael Gaudioso sculpted the design.

In addition to a redesigned reverse and enhanced design details on the obverse, the redesigned American Silver Eagle coins have been minted in high detail using new technology. The Mint says this new technology helps prevent the coins from being counterfeited.

U.S. Money Reserve specializes in government-issued gold and silver coins, including Proof Silver Eagles. Call now to learn more about American Eagle coins and to see how silver could play a pivotal role in diversifying your portfolio.


Sign up now for latest executive insights and latest news delivered right to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Articles

Why We Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th

Why We Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th

Did you know? While we celebrate July 4, 1776, as the birth of our nation, it was actually two days earlier, on July 2, that the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt a resolution for independence—one that was originally put forth on June 7! July 4, 1776, is the...

read more

Start diversifying today


As one of the largest distributors of precious metals in the nation, U.S. Money Reserve gives you access to our highly-trained team.

U.S. Money Reserve Gold Kit and Global Gold Forecast Special Report Thumbnail
The Ultimate Guide

Free Gold Information Kit

Sign up now to receive the ultimate guide to gold ownership, unlock special offers, and more.