Making Moderns column from Aug. 10, 2015,
Collectors of Proof American Eagle platinum coins are a small
but zealous group.
The U.S. Mint was late to issue platinum coins, not starting until
1997. American Eagle platinum bullion coins were continuously offered
from 1997 until 2008, then halted.
A 1-ounce bullion coin was sold in 2014, but none has yet been sold
in 2015. The American Eagle platinum bullion coin, like the American
Eagle gold and silver bullion coins, is minted with a solitary,
unchanging design each year.
Proof American Eagle platinum coins, however, are treated
differently than all other U.S. bullion coins.
The 1997 Proof issue used the standard bullion design. Since then,
every year, the reverse design has been changed.
Coins minted between 1998 and 2002 display the “Vistas of Liberty”
designs, which showcase America’s diverse landscapes.
Sales declined from 2003 through 2005 when coins with new designs
but no pre-set theme were released.
A new three-year series began in 2006, showing allegorical
representations of the three branches of government — Executive,
Legislative, and Judicial.
In 2009, as platinum bullion coin sales were suspended, a most
ambitious series of Proof platinum coins for collectors was launched:
“The Preamble Series,” a six-year series illustrating core concepts of
American democracy. Themes were inspired by narratives prepared by the
chief justice of the United States at the request of the Mint.
Despite the interruption of bullion issues, the Proof American Eagle
1-ounce platinum $100 coin has been issued every year. This continuity
adds to the collector appeal of the series, as do the well-executed
annually changing designs.
Another big reason for collector enthusiasm is that the coins hold
their value. Sold by the Mint each year at a premium of $350 to $400
above platinum spot price, they maintain this price in the secondary market.
Older issues have appreciated, as have coins graded Proof 70 by
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and Professional Coin Grading Service.
The main reason these coins hold their premium is that mintages of
Proof American Eagle platinum 1-ounce coins are low. Most are below
10,000. The 2013 and 2014 issues are below 6,000, and can still be
purchased at or near their original issue price.
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