1988 Proof Silver American Eagle - 1 Troy Oz .999 Pure

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The 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin

In October 1986, the American Silver Eagle bullion coin program was initiated after the signing of the Liberty Coin Act by President Ronald Reagan. This marked a resurgence of interest in US Mint silver bullion coins. The 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin, with its one Troy ounce of .999 fine silver, or 99.9% pure silver, possesses both melt value and numismatic value. 

For investors, the bullion version is a solid choice for silver stacking, offering a store of value, and hedging against inflation, while also having liquidity. On the other hand, collectors find the proof version captivating, with its exceptional detail, mirror-like finish, and limited mintage.

Introduction to the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin

The year 1988 witnessed the continuation of a United States Mint numismatic legacy - the American Silver Eagle Proof coin. This remarkable coin was born from the revival of interest in precious metals, particularly silver and gold, spurred by the signing of the Liberty Coin Act in 1985. President Ronald Reagan's signature on this act paved the way for the American Silver Eagle bullion coin program, which began in October 1986. Among the coins minted during this era, the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin stands out as a shining example of both artistry and craftsmanship. It embodies the essence of American numismatics, blending melt value with historical significance.

The 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin holds immense significance for the numismatist community. This numismatological marvel combines the artistry of the US Mint with the passion of numismatists. Numismatologists, those dedicated to the study of coins and currency, cherish the numismatic value of this coin. Its intricate design and limited mintage make it a prized possession in the world of numismatologies. The numismatist's collection is incomplete without this numismatological gem, which beautifully embodies the intersection of art, history, and numismatic passion. In the realm of numismatology, the 1988 Proof coin is a shining example of numismatic excellence.

The American Silver Eagle Proof Coin 

Often referred to as the U.S. Mint Silver Eagle Proof coin or simply a Proof Silver Eagle, this coin is a testament to the meticulous process involved in its production. It distinguishes itself from its bullion counterpart with its impeccable shine, intricate details, sharp edges, and mirror-like surfaces. Each proof coin is individually hand-pressed, requiring multiple strikes to achieve the desired quality. These coins are never intended for circulation and are often sold in elaborate packaging that adds to their overall appeal and price.

While proof coins offer exceptional quality, they also come with a higher price tag compared to standard precious metal coinage. The cost of producing proof coins is greater, and this is reflected in their price. Numismatists frequently describe proof coins as "rare," "collectible," and "extremely valuable." Proof coins are typically labeled with the initials PR or PF to indicate their proof grading status.

Minting Locations and History 

The history of the American Silver Eagle Proof coin's minting locations is also noteworthy. Before 1995, all proof coins were minted at the San Francisco Mint and bore the mintmark S, signifying their origin and proof condition. However, from 1995 onwards, proof American Silver Eagles have been minted at the West Point Mint, and they are marked with the mintmark W on the reverse side of the coin.

1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin Design 

The design of the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin pays homage to the classic Liberty Walking imagery created by US Mint coin designer Adolph A. Weinman. This design was originally featured on the Walking Liberty silver half dollar from 1916 to 1947. The Liberty Coin Act of 1985 breathed new life into this neoclassical American design, leading to its resurgence.

On the obverse side of the 1 dollar (S $1) 1988 Proof coin, Lady Liberty gracefully strides from right to left. She wears a Phrygian cap symbolizing freedom, and her flowing gown appears to be made from the American flag. Laurel branches (same as Bay leaves) and oak branches in her left hand represent civil and military glory, respectively. The sun in the background emits 13 rays, symbolizing the thirteen founding colonies of the United States. The year 1988 is inscribed at the bottom, and "In God We Trust" appears to her right. The word "LIBERTY" graces the outer edge of the coin.

The reverse side of the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof edition coin features a design by US Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti. This design, often referred to as the Type-1 design, showcases an American bald eagle with its wings outstretched. The eagle clutches an olive branch with 13 leaves in its right talon, symbolizing peace among the colonies and states, and six arrows in its left talon, symbolizing military power. Above the eagle's head are 13 5-pointed stars, representing the original thirteen colonies. 

The motto "E. Pluribus Unum" is displayed on a banner in the eagle's beak as the eagle is protected by a liberty shield. The S mintmark for coins minted in San Francisco is located near the olive branch, while the reverse side artist's initials JM confirm the coin's authenticity near the arrows. The reverse side also says "1 oz. Fine Silver ~ One Dollar" and "United States of America." 

1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin Specifications 

The 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin is composed of .999 fine silver (99.9% pure) with a copper alloy, weighing 31.103 grams, which is approximately 1 Troy ounce. Its diameter measures 40.6 mm (1.6 inches), and its edges are reeded. This particular year saw a mintage of 557,370 proof coins, making it a notable addition to any collection.

Storing a 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin

To ensure the protection of your 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin, it is essential to store it properly to prevent damage, loss, or theft. These special proof coins come in original government packaging (OGP) and are accompanied by a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA). This packaging safeguards the coin from physical harm and simplifies verification and resale in the secondary market.

Options for storage include a home safe, a bank safe deposit box, a secure vault, or a reputable depository like the Money Metals Depository. The latter is often the safest and most cost-effective choice for storing precious metal coins.

Buying and Selling 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof Coins 

When purchasing a 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin, several factors should be considered. Start by checking the current spot price of silver, as this will provide a baseline for assessing the coin's cost. Research the average asking price from reputable dealers to ensure a fair purchase. Reputable dealers will provide transparent pricing, including the spot price, premiums, and bulk purchase discounts.

When selling a 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin, knowledge of the day's silver spot price and the coin's average premium is crucial. Sell only to reputable dealers to guarantee a smooth transaction and prompt payment. Be aware that some dealers may have minimum selling requirements, such as a minimum sale amount of $1000.

Money Metals does not have a minimum buyback dollar amount, and we pay within days of receiving your precious metal items and verifying them. Money Metals Exchange lists the sell-to-us price on most product pages and you can call in directly Mon-Sat during normal business hours to speak with one of our customer service representatives at our phone number: 



In conclusion, the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin represents a blend of precious metal investment and numismatic collectibility. Its stunning design, meticulous production, and historical significance make it a prized possession for both investors and collectors alike. Whether you choose to stack silver for financial security or appreciate the artistry of numismatic coins, the 1988 Proof coin offers a unique opportunity to own a piece of American history.

Money Metals Exchange has been in business since 2010 and has maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has received thousands of 5-star reviews from satisfied customers all over the United States. Money Metals has been awarded the prestigious title of Best Overall Precious Metals Dealer by Investopedia multiple years in a row. 

If you have any questions (FAQ) about the 1988 American Silver Eagle Proof coin, another year of the proof Silver Eagles, American Eagle proof sets, a gold American Eagle coin, silver coins, commemorative coins, world coins, storing your precious metal items in the Money Metals Depository, prices, buying or selling to Money Metals, payment method, shipping, insurance, delivery, or anything else, give us a call:


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Product Specifications
Mint Facility: US Mint
Denomination: $1.00 USD
Date: 1988
Quality / Type: Proof
Purity: 99.9% silver
Metal Weight: 1 troy ounce (31.103 grams)
Diameter: 1.598 inches (40.6 mm)
Edge: Reeded
Obverse: Walking Liberty
Reverse: Eagle with Shield
Sell to Us

We are buying this item back daily, and we pay you promptly!

Our current buy pricing is $45.44 each and we will buy up to 20 at this price. Simply call us on any weekday to lock pricing at 1-800-800-1865.

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Reviews (2)
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  • michael t.
    June 7th, 2024
    1988 proof silver eagle
    excellent condition, will enhance my proof eagle collection... timely service thank you
  • Mark F.
    February 27th, 2024
    1988 Proof Silver American Eagle
    Awesome, really like this coin