The Difference Between Proof and Reverse Proof Coins

Published on 05/18/2017 by APMEX

Examples of a proof and reverse proof coin

What is a Proof Coin?

Proof coins, known for their polished appearance, with frosted devices and mirrored fields, are manufactured specifically for collectors. These coins are produced in relatively low quantities and are considered more beautiful and more valuable than their common, uncirculated counterparts. They may be easily recognized by their special packaging and mirror-like appearance, which is achieved by using specially polished blanks when striking the coin. Reverse proof coins differ from proof coins in their appearance but are similar in their packaging and manufacturing.

Growing Appeal of Reverse Proof Coins

In recent years, reverse proof coins have added another layer of appeal to proof coins. Rather than featuring a frosted device and a mirrored field, reverse proof coins feature a frosted field and a mirrored device. The visual effect of the reverse proof is remarkable. The design on a standard proof coin may appear like a crisp black and white photograph, but the design on a reverse proof will appear like the negative of a black and white photograph. The specially polished blanks used in striking the coin are responsible for this effect.

Reverse proof coins are often released in conjunction with special anniversaries. The first reverse proof coin issued by the U.S. Mint was the 2006 Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle, released for the 20th anniversary of the series. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Mint issued the 2006 Reverse Proof American Gold Eagle and the 2007 Reverse Proof American Platinum Eagle.

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