As reported back in January, the American Eagle gold and silver coins are slated for a Reverse make over in 2021. Next year represents the 35th anniversary of the release of the series, making a change of the Reverse of the gold proof and silver bullion coin timely. Coming out of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) meeting last week, we now have a glimpse of what that new Reverse could look like next year.
A total of 39 different candidates for the new Reverse were released by CCAC. All of the candidates show a depiction of the American Bald Eagle, a requirement by law. All however depict a far different version of the Eagle over the current design.
The current silver American Eagle has a Reverse designed by John Mercanti, featuring a heraldic eagle with a shield, clutching an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its right and left talons respectively. It has become somewhat iconic for collectors. The bullion coin, aside from new finishes, has remained virtually unchanged since 1986.
The United States Mint has already said that the 2021 silver Eagle will have a Reverse change that will integrate security enhancements. Counterfeiting of these coins has increasingly become an issue as counterfeiters themselves have become increasingly more sophisticated in their dark art. In recent years, an influx of bogus silver Eagles have flooded into the country, most notably from China. The Mint wants to curb that if not stop it all together.
What exactly those anti-counterfeiting measures are that the Mint implements is not clear. Officials have, understandably, been quiet about what will be done. It is possible that techniques used by other Mints around the world could be used. For example, the Royal Canadian Mint uses micro engraving on the silver and gold Maple Leaf bullion coins as well as each die for the coins having a textured Maple Leaf on it. Similar features could make their way to the American Eagle and then will likely make their way into other bullion coins.