The collecting public has been enamored with the American Silver Eagle reverse proof. By making the fields look matte and the effigy of Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design in a stunning mirror finish, the coin has become a favorite with collectors. Prior to this year, the U.S. Mint produced the American Silver Eagle for the 2006 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle set, 2011 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle set, and the 2012 75th Anniversary of the San Francisco Mint set.
This year, the reverse proof was included in the “2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Set.” The coins were struck as the U.S. Mint branch facility in West Point, New York. The coins feature the “W” mintmark.
Included with the reverse proof coins was a coin that the U.S. Mint called “enhanced uncirculated.” While it looks like a proof coin, the enhanced portion are the selective frosting of elements. Introduced earlier this year, the new laser frosting technique allows the U.S. Mint to selectively apply the frosting texture to areas of the dies in a matter that leaves fine details of the coins. For the enhanced American Silver Eagles, the selective frosting leaves the folds of Miss Liberty’s skirt mirrored and is used to show off the flag she is holding. Weinman’s Walking Liberty image is one of the best designs every to appear on a U.S. coin. Enhancing it in this manner just makes it pop in a way Weinman could never imagine.
In a recent conversation with Acting Mint Director Richard Peterson, he said that the U.S. Mint’s most successful coin launch in recent history was the American Buffalo reverse proof coin. The coin was first offered for sale at the World’s Fair of Money this past August, the U.S. Mint did not have enough inventory in order to meet the demand.
The 24 karat gold coin that was first issued in 2006 featuring the 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel, was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the design by James Earle Fraser. Fraser, who had a reputation as being a finicky artist, would likely be happy to see his Type 1 Buffalo nickel design as a gold reverse proof coin. Black Diamond never looked so good!
Although it has not been announced, Peterson suggested that the Kennedy half dollar may see an enhancement. Since 2014 will be the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Half Dollar, expect the U.S. Mint to do something for this anniversary. It would not be a surprise to see a set with reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated coins.