The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. It was first released by the United States Mint on November 24, 1986. It is struck only in the 1 troy oz denomination which has a nominal face value of one dollar and is guaranteed to contain one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver. It is authorized by the United States Congress and its weight and content is certified by the United States Mint. The American Silver Eagle bullion coin may be used to fund Individual Retirement Account investments. The United States Mint also produces a proof version for coin collectors. The Silver Eagle has been produced at three mints. One is the Philadelphia mint, and some of those issued there carry a "P" mintmark. In the early years of the series, the San Francisco mint issued proofs and these bear an "S". More recent proofs are from the mint at West Point, New York. The latter have a "W" on the reverse, as illustrated here.
The Silver Eagle coins were sold out in the first week of July 2015. The Mint said its facility in West Point, New York, continued to produce coins and it resumed sales at the end of July 2015. This was the second time the mint's silver coins had sold out in the past nine months. The Mint ran out of 2014-dated American Eagles in November 2014. In 2013, the historic drop in silver increased demand for silver coins, forcing the mint to ration silver coin sales for 18 months.