As bullion values began to show signs of erosion, the bullion investor had become a little less enthusiastic about purchasing silver bullion coins at the pace that had been seen in 2011. Still, though, this did not dissuade the U.S. Mint much, as there were plenty of investors and numismatists who wanted to get their hands on brand new American silver eagles in 2011.
To meet those demands, the U.S. Mint produced 33,472,500 uncirculated (“bullion”) silver eagles in 2012 – still more silver eagles than had been minted in any single year up through the late 2000s. Additionally, the U.S. Mint made 869,386 proof specimens and 230,872 burnished pieces for coin collectors. The San Francisco mint also struck 224,981 reverse proof pieces, further adding to the array of offerings for the American silver eagle enthusiast. The San Francisco Mint also struck a number of regular proof silver eagles. The striking of the San Francisco mint proof silver eagle is significant in that these became the first S-mint proof silver eagles since 1992.
Needless to say, coin collectors were quite eager to purchase special collectors’ silver eagles, especially after the complete absence of any numismatic silver eagles (including proofs) just a few years earlier in 2009.