I noticed on page 166 of the Feb. 4 Coin World Special Edition the
term “satinated” to describe several silver coins. What does this mean?
While most American collectors are familiar with the terms
“Brilliant Uncirculated” or “Proof,” which describe, respectively, a
finish and a method of manufacture resulting in particular finishes,
some world mints use terms that differ from those prevalent in the
United States and broader world market.
The coins in question, listed in the “New Issues” section of the
Feb. 4 Coin World, were produced by the Helvetic Mint for
Fiji, to commemorate various themes related to the Mayan calendar that
“ended” Dec. 21, 2012.
The Helvetic Mint is a fairly recent comer to the world coin
market, joining private mints like the Pobjoy Mint, the New Zealand
Mint and the Mayer Mint, among others, that issue noncirculating legal
tender coins, generally for smaller and sometimes distant nations.
According to Sabine Meyer of the Helvetic Mint, satinated coins
have a very smooth surface, having been softly brushed by hand in one
direction, with a result that is not shiny.
Upon questioning, Meyer said the process is more or less secret,
but would confirm that a coin requires six steps, after being struck
“as usual,” to become satinated.
The process involves different glass and sand bead blasting runs
and the aforementioned brushing by hand in one direction. All
satinated coins get a silver tarnish protection finishing.
I recently bought a 1988 1-ounce gold American Eagle that weighs
34.09 grams with a diameter between 32.82 millimeters and 32.86 mm.
Do you know where I can find the United States Mint production
tolerances for 1986 and forward for gold American Eagles?
I am concerned that my coin seems outside production tolerances.
Production tolerances for American Eagles are not readily
available. A weight of 33.931 grams is provided by the Coin
World’s annual Guide to U.S. Coins for a $50 1-ounce
American Eagle gold coin. A diameter of 32.7 millimeters is also
referenced. This is for coins minted from 1986 to date.
The measurements of your coin seem to be a bit higher than they
should be. It might be useful to compare other weights of different
coins to see if measures by your equipment differ consistently.
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