Edge notches on American Eagles moved in 2022, 2023
- Published: Feb 3, 2023, 8 AM
The anti-counterfeiting edge notch introduced on 2021 American Eagle 1-ounce gold and silver coins was relocated for the 2022 and 2023 issues with little public announcement by the United States Mint.
The anti-counterfeiting device appears on all versions of the redesigned 2021 American Eagle 1-ounce gold and silver coins.
The notch interrupts the reeding on the edge roughly at the 6 o’clock position, as oriented to the obverse, on those 2021 issues.
The anti-counterfeiting notch first appeared in June on the 2021 gold and silver bullion coins bearing enhanced obverse renditions of the designs originally introduced in 1986 paired with completely new reverse designs.
The notches appear also on the subsequently introduced redesigned gold and silver American Eagles with Uncirculated and Proof finishes.
Execution of the notch was achieved by the collar die, which bears a raised element in the reeding configuration that results in the incuse notch on the finished coin.
The notching was introduced as an anti-counterfeiting device under the tenure of former United States Mint Director David J. Ryder during his second stint as the bureau’s chief executive.
Between his departure as Mint director in 1994 and his return to the post March 21, 2018, Ryder spent more than 25 years in the development of anti-counterfeiting devices for coins and paper money worldwide.
For the 2022 American Eagle 1-ounce gold and silver bullion coins and the Uncirculated and Proof coins, the anti-counterfeiting notch was relocated to roughly the 7 o’clock position.
On the 2022 American Eagle gold coins, the notch, when the coin is viewed from the obverse, appears below and left of the U.S. Capitol. For the 2022 American Eagle silver issues, the notch in the edge appears just below the sun.
For the bullion, Uncirculated and Proof issues of the 2023 1-ounce gold and silver coins, the edge notch is relocated once again. The notch appears at the 3 o’clock position, as viewed from the obverse.
Dealing with fakes
The overt anti-counterfeiting detail was added to the collar die as a deterrent to counterfeiters forging fakes of the .9167 fine gold coins and .999 fine silver American Eagles.
No edge notch is executed on any American Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 fine gold $50 coins struck to date.
The genuine planchets arrive alike from the outside vendors to the U.S. Mint for producing all surface finishes of the 1-ounce gold and silver issues. Differing treatment of the planchets after receipt, as well as the treatment of the dies, creates the different finishes.
For years, the U.S. Mint has dealt with counterfeit American Eagle gold and silver pieces, whether struck on blanks with a homogenous alloy of base metals resembling the color of genuine coins or on base metal blanks plated with a thin layer of gold or silver.
Weights of the counterfeits usually deviate from the standards for genuine releases.
Some fakes have appeared on the market in counterfeit third-party grading service plastic encapsulations containing bogus grading inserts often bearing serial numbers of genuine coins legitimately graded and encapsulated.
According to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White, the normal American Eagle 1-ounce gold coin’s collar die imparts 161 reeds, while the edge dies for the American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion dollar carry a reed count of 201.
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