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Is Enhanced American Silver Eagle Uncirculated or Proof?

By March 19, 2013

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2013 American Silver Eagle Enhanced Uncirculated Bullion CoinThere has been a lot of chatter on forums and blogs as to whether the 2013-W American Silver Eagle Enhanced Uncirculated bullion coin is truly an uncirculated coin or is it a proof coin. Although an official coin collecting "governing body" does not exist, according to the ANA definition of proof, "Proof refers to a manufacturing process which results in a special surface or finish on coins made for collectors... Carefully prepared dies, sharp in all features, are made... Specially prepared planchets are fed into low-speed coining presses... carefully struck more than once to accentuate details." From what I witnessed at the West Point Mint facility last week, this coin really fulfills the definition of proof.

When I asked the U.S. Mint officials why the coin is considered an "uncirculated" and not a "proof" coin, the mint responded with the following statement:

Most of our premium coins, both uncirculated and proof, are struck multiple times on specially prepared dies. Therefore, using the number of strikes is not always an indicator of what is proof and what is uncirculated. The horsehair brush automated process creates a reflective surface of artwork elements but cannot achieve a smoothness of the felt pad. The felt pad cannot polish relief and is generally used to polish the field of a proof die, resulting in a mirror like finish. The auto polishing with a horsehair brush results in a brilliant uncirculated finish. The dies then go through a laser frosting process to achieve a heavy laser frost or a light laser frost in areas as described above.

What do you think? Is this a proof coin or an uncirculated coin? Vote in the poll below or leave a comment to share with all of us.

Image © 2013 James Bucki. All rights reserved.


March 21, 2013 at 6:40 am
(1) Tom says:

Typical of the Mint’s attitude towards collectors. We know nothing, they know everything!

March 21, 2013 at 7:04 am
(2) Nut2Butt says:

Yeah right, the mint is doing everyone a big favor. My immediate thought is silver content and fineness.

Sorry just don’t trust the “gub-mint”

March 21, 2013 at 8:46 am
(3) Lester Self says:

I think it’s bit of “BOTH” I will buy one/ two Sets, just because they have us hooked and they know it! the last 2 coin set was a flop as far as collectoe keeping, because they didn’t cut it off, these should be like the 5 coin set and only allow so many to be made, to make them rare/r…I think I’m allowed to my opinion, and that be that…Thank you Sir to allow us to comment with you on things…

March 21, 2013 at 8:52 am
(4) Edward Durfee says:

It sure looks proof from your image. I voted proof and see that I am in the majority to feel it is. I can only hope they limit the mintage and allow the market to set the price. I could see a $95 for the set but know that is not going to happen so would not pay more than $195 unless it is limited.

March 21, 2013 at 9:51 am
(5) Gerald Shearman says:

Actually, I’m not one hundred percent sure. But in my opinion, if the coin were to be labeled “Proof”, I think the value would to increased just because of the shear oddity of it.

March 21, 2013 at 10:30 am
(6) CB says:

there needs to be a fourth option in the survey: Something new, a un-named hybrid.

March 21, 2013 at 10:36 am
(7) Jim Bucki says:

CB has a great idea.

If you think of a “new” name, leave it in a comment.

I was thinking “Multi-Surface Proof” (MSP) or “Special Proof” (SP) .


March 21, 2013 at 10:47 am
(8) Mercury says:

“A rose by any other name is still a rose”, so I’m not too concern with what the mint will decide to call it. What gets my goat is when the mint says, “these coins will not be sold separately”, and then changes their call.

March 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm
(9) NJ says:

The question is will the price be more then a proof.
Just another way to squeeze the collector.

March 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm
(10) Sam says:

Why don’t they just call it an uncirculated proof and let it go at that. It appears that are just trying to confuse us collectors and charge big dollars to buy some thing new.

March 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm
(11) Tom says:

Where is the option to choose “It doesn’t matter to me because I am buying one regardless”?

March 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm
(12) Bret says:

I think the fact that the planchets are being “hand fed” into the press and individually inspected tells me this is more a proof and uncirculated.

March 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm
(13) Skip says:

Regardless of the nomenclature, it’s just another example of how out of touch the US Mint is with consumers at large, and collectors in particular.

March 22, 2013 at 10:07 am
(14) Teach says:

I would call the coin a – segemented proof ( SP ).

March 24, 2013 at 12:58 am
(15) idunk says:

I’m with with you Tom, doesn’t really matter to me, I’m buying one regardless. The mint can call it anything they want.

March 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm
(16) Matt R says:

If it looks like a proof and feels like a proof, it’s a proof. I do like the idea of giving it a special name like, as someone else suggested, a “multi-surface proof.. Either way I’m buying a couple.

March 29, 2013 at 12:32 am
(17) Terry says:

Reminds me of the reverse proof. Maybe call it intertwined proof. I think the old way of having
a mintage limit should return. First come/first serve.
1 set per household. 100,000 – 150,000 mintage limit. It will not sell out in 1 day and everyone should have a chance if they try the 1st day of sale!

April 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm
(18) gscflash says:

“BULL” ~~ The dern thing is a Proof!! Why is the mint SOOO afraid
to call it so ??? Ya know They have squeezed every dern variety out of the Eagle. I akin this to Superman– how they milked him for decades- then killed him & brought him back..etc.. How will “This” be listed in
coin books– IS their a section /listing for “Enhanced Unc” ? How about in Grey sheet..etc..? Then– as usual-ALL the 1st of these jokes
will go to Large coin dealors 1st…. so we start Another enjoyable round(s) of 1ST Strikes-Early Releases- First Releases- Cameo
Proof(s) PR69-Ms69-PR70-Ms70– then let’s Reverse Proof/Unc it-
May as well Burnish it— & Just for you “Special People”– will have
the “Overworked Director” Hand (??) Sign them for you Peasants for
a small Nominal fee !! Sorry– If I sound a little Cynical– I been buyin from Mint over 30 yrs… Now they just rape & trick us PEONS. Why don’t they invent a New Collector coin (S) ? I know 50% of people
I know, including me– tthat quit collecting at least the Eagles- as
their just Too Many varieties & unaffordable to get a complete Eagle
COLLECTION… let alone alot of people cannot keep up with giving to the kids etc…AND it still continues– when will the Eagles stop ??
As with alot of things the Mint produces- I’ll just wait awile after issue.. then pick it up in coin shop.. Cheaper.. later. Gotta go– gotta buy me some more Chinese Silver Pandas that are slabbed & MS69 &
Early Release @ lower mintage for $50 Bucks Ea. !!!!

April 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm
(19) william says:

Hi. I’m just starting to collect silver eagle coins.. I think the set would
be nice for a starter. I hope I can get a set before the mint runs out.
Do you think this would be a limited #ed set?

April 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(20) James says:

I have NOT heard a thing about these. Can someone tell me when these are supposed to come out.

April 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm
(21) Jim Bucki says:

James & William: There will be no ordering limits. However, you will only be able to order them for four weeks beginning May 9. I think these will be a fine addition to anyone who collects American Silver Eagles.

April 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm
(22) Dave says:

I think this is just a proof coin, period. As long as a significan area of
the coin exhibits a mirror surface, then it is a proof coin. This is just the mints way of producing another gimmick coin. What’s next? – A colorized coin from the mint? As most of your true collectors have noted, we are looking for coins with beauty and rarity. Just like real estate repeats location, location, location – so it is with coins – its mintage, mintage, mintage! The least the mint could have done is to
use this coin for a special occasion. I’m still hoping for a special issue
celebrating 100 years of the buffalo nickel. But in the end I will probably buy a set. Thanks for the info.

July 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm
(23) John says:

The coin pictured is definitely a proof. it displayed frosting and a deep cameo. Normal uncirculated coins aren’t struck in cameo.

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