1989 American silver eagles are bullion coins that contain one ounce of .999 fine silver. These large coins may look familiar to coin collectors, and that’s because these large silver pieces feature a design made famous on U.S. half dollars made during the years 1916 through 1947.
The Walking Liberty design, created by Adolph A. Weinman, has been considered as one of the most beautiful coin designs of all time. Upon its revival in 1986, after a 39-year hiatus, the Walking Liberty design helped to draw appeal to the new United States silver bullion coin program, which joined the gold American eagle coins that same year.
Nearly 6 million 1989 American silver eagles were made, with 5,203,327 uncirculated issues struck at the Philadelphia mint and 617,694 proof examples produced at the San Francisco mint. Numismatists will prefer the proof version whereas bullion investors will like the uncirculated issue, which carries only a very small premium over spot price as compared to the proof coin, which was expressly struck for collectors.
If you’re buying a proof variety, cherry pick for the best quality examples you can find, as many of the early American silver eagles have been removed from their original U.S. Mint packaging to be placed into albums and other holders. As a result, many exhibit splotchy toning, fingerprints, and other evidence of poor handling.