A Dave's Collectible Coins Article

Proof vs. Uncirculated Coins: What Makes Proof Coins So Unique

Proof coins are some of our favorite coins out there, and though they are pretty self explanatory as to what they are and anyone from a novice coin collector to an experienced coin enthusiast can recognize them, there are some nuanced details to proof coins that might come as surprise to many. Proof coins are in fact very, very different from circulated coins or even special mint sets. Truly, proof coins are a totally unique breed of coin altogether that we love and appreciate for many reasons.

What Sets Proof Coins Apart

There are several, interesting aspects about proof coins that really do make them unique and make them stand out in our eyes. The key ones are:

A lot of work goes into making a proof coin, and the standards for them are much higher than for coins made for circulation. A proof coin is made with a specially polished and treated die for one thing. In fact, by treating the die in a special way, the coins it produces have a different appearance that makes them very beautiful and quite eye catching. With the technology we have today these dies are able to acid treat the high points of the coin and polish treat the background of the coin, resulting in a mirror like finish for the backgrounds and a brushed look for the high points of the coin. Incredibly beautiful and instantly recognizable.

Proof coins are struck twice, and in some cases they are struck even more than twice. This is quite unlike other types of coins which are usually only struck once. Not only are proofs made using specially treated dies for the exact and only purpose of making proof coins, but each coin is struck two or more times by the coin die to really give it an exact look and finish. By striking it more than once the metal is forced into all the crevices of the die, thereby giving a very fine detail to the image on the coin that stands out as next to impeccable.

Proof coins are sometimes rare and are usually more expensive. Because of the extra effort, time, labor and production costs in making a proof coin, the respective government mints often sell them at higher prices that the same coins would sell for if they were simply made for circulation. In many instances the production of proof coins is limited too, which creates a rarity and a premium for such coins. This makes proof coins an excellent choice for any coin collector.

Proof Coins are a Coin Enthusiast’s Favorite

Proof coins are desired by coin collectors for many reasons. Probably the biggest asset of proof coins is found in their desirability as a collector’s item. These coins generally carry an exceptionally high quality presentation too, which simply makes them fun to look at and enjoyable to have by anyone, whether they are a coin enthusiast or not. Proofs are simply very different from other coins. Whereas currency coins are kept loosely in sleeves or tubes, proofs are usually encased and often times kept in a case and/or folder with all the trimmings. Aside from a certificate assuring authenticity included with every proof coin, proof coins also display in an exceptional manner to anyone’s eye. While any new coin should have its own amount of shine and glitter (as is the case with new coins that are uncirculated) the twice struck characteristics of proof coins give them an increased amount of glimmer and luster that really adds to the overall appeal of these coins.

Proof coins are traditionally gifts, presents, and keepsakes and are most often bought for the sentimental value, and sometimes for the investment value too. Since proof coins tend to be of such high quality in their makeup and how they’re presented, gold and silver proof coins are one of the most in-demand collectibles in the entire market because of the added value of the metals used in the coins themselves.

All in all, proof coins are a sure buy for coin collectors, both novice and veteran numismatist alike. These coins stand out and are quite pleasant and are remembered years after they are made.

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