Mint issuing three-coin platinum Proof Eagle series
- Published: Oct 24, 2017, 7 AM
In 2018 for the first time since the Proof American Eagle platinum coin was introduced in June 1997, the issue will depict completely new obverse and reverse designs.
The 2018 issue inaugurates a three-coin sub-series dubbed the “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series.” The Proof 2018-W American Eagle platinum coin will be offered by the U.S. Mint beginning Jan. 25.
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The obverse designs for the Proof 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum $100 coins for 2018, 2019 and 2020 were rendered by Justin Kunz.
The new common eagle reverse that will appear on the reverses of all three issues for the three-year program was rendered by another AIP artist, Patricia Lucas-Morris.
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The Proof American Eagle platinum series was introduced the third week of June 1997 with production commencing at the West Point Mint. The bullion version, which has born annually the same designs as the Proof coin for 1997, was introduced in September 1997, and future American Eagle platinum bullion coin releases will continue to use this design.
That inaugural obverse bears a portrait of Liberty inspired by the State of Liberty that was rendered by then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti.
The Soaring Eagle reverse was executed by then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers Sr.
Beginning in 1998, while the Proof coin’s obverse remained the same, a new reverse design was introduced annually.
For the 20th anniversary of the platinum Proof American Eagle in 2017, Rogers’ original Soaring Eagle reverse was resurrected for the Proof 2017-W platinum coin.
Kunz’s obverse designs are intended to reflect the artist’s interpretation of the core American principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as espoused in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
The 2018 reflects “Life, personified by Liberty teaching a small child she is holding on her right hip how to sow seeds in a farm field.
According to the U.S. Mint’s narrative: “The sword carried around Liberty’s waist symbolizes the power to defend life. The furrowed Earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of an environment that sustains life.”
The 2018 obverse was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Kunz’s 2019 obverse design, sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna, “portrays Lady Liberty keeping watch over prairies, lakes, and mountains as pioneers head westward. The wild terrain featured in the background evokes the quintessential American spirit to explore new territory and the freedom to pursue new landscapes, new ideas, and new ways of life. In the foreground, Lady Liberty’s lips are parted, suggesting freedom of speech. Her torch is an emblem of the guiding light that liberty provides, while the book represents the rule of law and its equal application.”
The 2020 obverse design, sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, “depicts Lady Liberty harvesting the fruits of her labor with a young girl at play nearby. The overflowing cornucopia she carries is a symbol of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual bounty only liberty makes possible — the good things that nourish the body, enliven the mind, and satisfy the soul. The home, orchard, and silo represent American hopes, values, and aspirations and bring to a close the narrative told throughout the backgrounds of the series — from furrowed Earth, to prairies and mountains, and finally to an agrarian field. The stubble field alludes to the ingenuity and exertion required to claim liberty’s promise.”
Lucas-Morris’ common reverse features an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. The common reverse design was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II before his July 31, 2017, retirement.
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