Proof Coins Vs Uncirculated Coins
Proof coins and Uncirculated coins are both popular among Precious Metal collectors for different reasons. Proofs are almost always going to command a higher premium than an Uncirculated coin, but they also offer better presentation, quality and lower populations.
Uncirculated coins are generally the best way to invest in Precious Metals at a modest price point. The price of these coins reflects the value of their Precious Metal content. With Proof coins, much of the cost will be due to markups.
PURPOSE AND UTILITY
The biggest asset of Proof coins lies in their collectibility. These coins generally enjoy an exceptionally high-quality presentation. Where raw coins are kept loosely in sleeves or tubes, Proofs are usually encased for protection and may even be presented in a case, folder or commemorative box. Aside from a certificate of authenticity, Proof coins also exceptionally well suited for display. While any new coin will have luster, the mirror-finish of twice-struck Proof coins gives them an increased shine and an allure all their own.
VISUAL APPEARANCE AND PRODUCTION
Uncirculated coins are struck once, and a single clean strike looks clear and complete. Proof coins, though, are struck twice. The difference is that the coin art becomes crisper and more defined. Intricacies are brought out and the mirror finish unique to Proof coins is created. The attractive allure of Proof coins is one of the primary reasons they are so popular.
MINTAGES AND SCARCITY
Taking the American Silver Eagle as an example, Proofs are usually produced in quantities roughly 5-20% of that of their Uncirculated counterparts. Since Uncirculated Coins tend to be the primary product, bulk sales of Proof coins are less common.