30th Anniversary Proof 2016-W American Eagle silver dollars debut Sept. 16

Coin bears special series anniversary incuse edge inscription
By , Coin World
Published : 08/02/16
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Introduced by Rep. William P. Huizenga, R-Mich., chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, the measure also grants the Treasury some discretion in changing the composition of 90 percent silver coins.

Edge device

The mandate for the edge design required special edge collar dies and tooling to be fabricated at the Philadelphia Mint to impart the edge inscription.

Coin World traveled to the West Point Mint to document production June 9 of Proof versions. The details of that visit that follow were embargoed by U.S. Mint officials until a release date for the coin could be announced.

The edge inscription marking the 30th anniversary says just that — 30th ANNIVERSARY — and with a lowercase "th." The lettering is raised in the collar die, making it incuse on the coin. The inscription is imparted on the plain edge during the striking process, from one section of a tripartite, or three-piece, segmented collar.

The three pieces of the collar engage together at the same time that the obverse and reverse dies come together with a blank planchet already fed between. The metal flows from the striking pressure into the edge collar, where the edge of the coin receives the imprint of the edge design, before the dies and edge collar retract.

West Point Mint press operator Jumel Alston said the die alignment is such that the celebratory wording will appear in the same location on each coin struck — at the 6 o’clock position, relative to the date viewed on the coin's obverse. The other two segments impart a plain edge.

The obverse and reverse dies are oriented with the obverse, or Walking Liberty side, as the upper or hammer die, and the reverse, the Heraldic Eagle side, as the lower, or anvil die. Alston randomly pulls struck coins after production for further examination, to ensure the dies are aligned properly and there is no rotation.

The tripartite collar has the inscription centered in the edge segment on which it appears. The edge on a struck coin also exhibits three single vertical lines of raised metal, from where the silver in the planchet was forced into the minuscule gap between the collar segments.

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