During the COVID-19 outbreak, the US Mint was closed and stopped producing coins and silver which caused a scarcity of change in circulation. The Philadelphia and San Francisco mints were closed for prolonged periods of time, and eventually reopened, which allowed for the production of silver to begin once again. Premiums began to rise in price, and have continued to remain high since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is due to the fact that there was less silver being produced at the time, resulting in the increased rarity of silver coins. According to the US Mint, there was a coin shortage during the time of the pandemic due to the limitation of suppliers of metals. Since less metals were being made during the pandemic, coins could not be produced.
An example of how this shortage has affected our daily lives, and the lives of collectors, is the signs you’ve seen in stores the last few years which state that there is a change shortage and request that you use exact change when purchasing items. Another example is that in 2021, the Mint released the 100th anniversary 6-coin set which included five Morgan dollars, and one peace dollar. The Mint was in the process of producing a 2022 set, but had announced, due to the shortage in silver, that they would not be releasing the set this year. Hopefully, over the next few months, we start to see extraordinary premiums of $10-12 over spot on silver eagles start to come down to a more realistic premium.