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Beginner’s Corner: The Proof Strike Type

Beginner’s Corner: The Proof Strike Type
Category: Beginner's Corner
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Posted: 01-21-2015 09:23:00 AM

Learn about the popular proof strike type in this week's Beginner's Corner.

Coin Proof Strike

Last week we covered what the “business strike” means, but this week we will be looking more from a collector’s view as we explore the “proof strike” type. The U.S. Mint defines the proof strike type as “a specially produced coin made from highly polished planchets and dies and often struck more than once to accent the design. Proof coins receive the highest quality strike possible and can be distinguished by their sharpness of detail and brilliant, mirror-like surface.”

All proof coinage is made for the same purpose – to provide collectors with a special strike of another issue, usually a business strike. To review, the raised parts on a coin are called the “devices,” while the flat area is called the “field.” In a proof coin, the field is mirrored while the devices are frosted. Historically, proof coinage came in matte-proof, satin-proof and brilliant-proof, while most of the proof coinage today is brilliant proof with frosted devices.

When it comes to strike on proof coins, they tend to be somewhat sharper than business strikes because most proof coins are fully struck more than once. Although there have been some exceptions in history, such as the Morgan Dollar Series proof issues of 1891, 1892 and 1893.

Proof coinage tends to be more expensive to purchase because of the extra time, effort, labor and production costs that goes into the making of the coins. And, most of the time, the production of proof coinage is limited mintage.

Now that you know about one of the most popular collector’s strikes, check back next week to learn about the small subset of collector’s strikes.

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About The Author

Kelsey Kay Howard Kelsey graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a B.A. in mass communications. She is new to the world of numismatics, but as the Marketing Specialist for MCM is dedicated to learning all there is to know.

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