At our coin club meeting, our speaker brought in a 2009 Ultra High Relief gold coin. In hand, the coin is more impressive than pictures can show.

I tried to take pictures with the camera on my iPhone, but the room light was too low for a good picture.

The coin is presented in a capsul that should have been made better. Capsuls from the US Mint have “seams” on the top and bottom of the rim. Since the rim of this coin is an important design element, I would have thought that the Mint would have looked to use a cleaner design. But the edge lettering is readable through the capsul and a nice element to the coin.

Augustus Saint-Gauden’s Liberty design seems to almost come to life on the coin. It is almost as if Miss Liberty is walking off the coin. The brightness of the coin leaves a great impression.

The eagle on the revese appears as if it is flying swiftly over the coin with a rising Sun in the background. The yellow of the gold is so appropriate for the image that I could not imagine this image being struck in any other metal. Whomever engraved the coin did a good job preventing the motto from detracting from the coin’s look.

The coin is presented in a felt-lined wood box that screems there is something special inside. That box was placed inside a protective box. Both the protective box and Certificate of Authenticity was placed in an outer box. It gives the coin a regal treatment that is well deserved.

Regardless of what you think of the Mint’s recent performance issues, they did a wonderful job with this coin and packaging!

Recently, it has been reported that several of these coins were graded MS-70 by the top two grading services. This does not surprise me given the information as part of the exhibit that was at last year’s Worlds Fair of Money in Baltimore. One thing that was said was the presses were run manually and struck twice with 65 metric tons of force. It was also said that they were going to limit the number of coins struck per die set. Thus, unless the dies are worn, this coin should never grade below MS-69.

I find it interesting that people are removing the coin from the wonderful presentation to have it placed in a cold-looking slab. Compared with the design of the packaging, the slab cannot do this coin justice, regardless of its grade. I think it will detract from the coin’s beauty and the impact the packaging is designed to provide. If I can afford one of these coins (and I am going to try), it will stay in its orginal US Mint packaging.

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