On April 10, the U.S. Mint began producing the 2021 American Eagle Reverse and 2021 silver bullion coins at the West Point Mint, New York.
U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder and West Point Mint superintendent Ellen McCullom executed ceremonial strikes. Chief engraver Joseph F. Menna, retired chief engraver John Mercanti retired his Reverse of 1986 Heraldic Eagle reverse on the silver coin after 36 years.
The silver American Eagle's obverse is based on Adolph A. Weinman’s rendering of Liberty, which was first introduced on the Walking Liberty half-dollar in 1916. It was adapted for silver American Eagle use in 1986.
To refresh the design of the Reverse 2021 production's obverse, Mint Medallic Artists used original plaster models and tools from the 1916 half-dollar to create the new design.
Some elements are returned to their original positions by the 2021 silver coin, including the flag folds and sun's rays.
The font used for the inscription is the same as that on the 1916 coin. Weinman's artist initials appear on the 2021, in the field below IN GOD We TRUST. Weinman's initials are placed on the reverse of the Walking Liberty half-dollar series. They are located in the field below left wing of the eagle.
John Mercanti's Heraldic Eagle reverse, which was introduced in 1986 on the silver American Eagle series, has been retired to make way for an eagle design created by Emily S. Damstra, U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist.
Enhancements in gold
The 2021 American Eagle, Reverse 2021 Gold Coins has a revised obverse design. It is based on Augustus Saint-Gaudens original $20 gold double-eagle.
Mint medallic artists used the bronze cast of the 1907 gold coin to refresh the design of the 2021 coin.
The relief on the bronze cast is higher than what the Mint could reproduce on coins during the production of the original $20 gold piece. These details have been added to the new sculpt.
Saint-Gaudens' vision was reflected in the 2021 gold coins. They have modifications to the Capitol and stars, as well as the olive branch and other elements. The sun's rays have been restored to their original shape and location. From 50, the number of stars has been restored to 46 on the 1907 coins.
For a stronger effect, Liberty's eyes have been enlarged. This design also changes the position of Saint Gaudens' initials.