COVID-19 and the US Mint
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine, the US Mint announced partial shutdowns for its minting facilities. The West Point facility, which strikes the 2020 American Silver Eagles (ASE coins), closed in March after an employee tested positive for the virus. During the closure, there was a deep cleaning of the facility, and the mint reopened after a few days. Additionally, the San Francisco Mint also ceased operations on March 18th temporarily then reopened on May 4th. Because of these shutdowns, the US Mint had no choice but to utilize its Philadelphia location for striking some of the 2020 American Silver Eagle coins.
History of ASE and Gold Eagles
After the US government lifted the sanction against privately owning gold, the first bullion coins were the American Silver and Gold Eagles in 1986. President FDR outlawed physical possession of precious metals during the Great Depression. This was, of course, overturned. Now you can collect precious metal coins and bars like the ASE coins and Gold American Eagles, which are among the most popular to collect in the world.
Furthermore, in 2021 these coins in gold and silver are going to have new reverse designs that will better secure the coins form counterfeits. The ASE coins will still spotlight Adolph Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design on its obverse. The American Gold Eagle coin will also keep its Augustus Saint-Gaudens obverse design of Lady Liberty. Their reverse designs, however, will not remain the same. The official design has not yet been announced to the public as of this writing, but we eagerly await the unveiling of the new designs!
The History of the Philadelphia Mint Facility
The Philadelphia Mint was actually the first minting facility in the United States because Philadelphia was originally the nation’s capital. Additionally, it was the first federal building under the Constitution. The coins first struck here used copper, silver, and gold metals. The copper coins were produced in half-cent and single cent denominations. Silver coins were struck in denominations of half-dime, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar coins. Gold was used for the quarter eagle ($2.50 USD), half eagle ($5), and eagle coins ($10).
In 1793, the mint produced the first legal circulating coinage: 11,178 copper coins. Two years later, the Philadelphia Mint also became the first federal agency to employ women: Sarah Waldrake and Rachael Summers. These two women were hired as adjusters, which is a position that required weighing blank coins and filing them down if they were too heavy. The mint later expanded into new locations with the gold rushes in North Carolina and Georgia, then later with the California Gold Rush. Now the Philadelphia Mint can add minting coronavirus emergency issue ASE coins to its history.
Philadelphia Mints 2020 AsE Coins
For approximately two weeks, from April 8 to April 20th, the Philadelphia Mint took on the production of the 2020 American Silver Eagles. It is important to note that the 2020 ASE coins from the Philadelphia Mint will not look any different from any other location. There is no Philadelphia mintmark adorned on the 2020 ASE coins, but it is still possible to differentiate these coins from the other 2020 ASE coins because of their special labels.
Coin collectors don’t have to worry about differentiating the Philadelphia Mint and West Point Mint coins. Thanks to PCGS and NGC, the ASE coins are certified and graded. Rest assured that 2020 Silver and Gold American Eagles resumed production at the West Point Mint on April 21st. But that means the Philadelphia emergency issue coins are all that much more rare and limited.
Please note this coin was produced by the Philadephia Mint but does not carry the “P” mintmark.
- Made from .999 fine silver with a weight of 1 ounce
- Graded by PCGS as MS 70 with the First Day of Issue designation
- Comes in PCGS holder with Philadelphia Mint FDOI label
- Legal tender issued and guaranteed by the U.S. Government
- Obverse: Features a full-length image of Lady Liberty walking with outstretched hands towards the rising sun with her gown and the draped US flag billowing around her. She is holding olive and oak branches in one hand to symbolize peace and strength. Inscriptions: “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” and the year of mintage. Designed by Adolph A. Weinman.
- Reverse: Displays the US national coat of arms. Here, a bald eagle clutches an olive branch in its right talons and arrows in its left. 13 small stars fly above the eagle, representing the original colonies. The eagle has a shield bearing the flag on its chest. Inscriptions include the weight, purity, denomination, and country’s name around the rim. An updated design by John Mercanti.
The US Mint
The US Mint is known as one of the world’s most prominent mints with expertly crafted and wonderfully designed precious metals coins. This mint is also the only mint that legally produces American tender coinage since 1792. Additionally, the US Mint strikes commemorative coins and Congressional Gold Medals.
Highly anticipated coins such as the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Anniversary coins and 2020 ASE coins faced disruptions in production. During the temporary closures, the Philadelphia Mint and Denver Mint facilities briefly took the bulk of production. As of this writing, the West Point and San Francisco Mints are up and running once again.
Bullion Exchanges Your Trusted Precious Metals Retailer
The US Mint is a highly respected and world-renowned company. For more US Mint products, take a look at our inventory of gold and silver American Eagles, Gold American Buffalos, and America the Beautiful silver coinage.
Bullion Exchanges is a top-rated, trusted, and accredited retailer in Manhattan. When you purchase from Bullion Exchanges, we will securely package and deliver your order to your address. We are still working hard for our valued customers and are handling products with the highest care. If you have any questions, please contact us. We will be happy to assist you.