US Coins

Readers Ask: Collector seeks answers on set

The 1997 Impressions of Liberty set holds three 1-ounce Proof American Eagle coins: the 1997-W platinum $100 coin, the 1997-W gold $50 coin and the 1997-P silver $1 coin. It sells for well above its issue price.

Image courtesy of American Precious Metals Exchange,

I read Coin World and collect silver American Eagles. I was reading John Mercanti’s book, American Silver Eagles. In the book, Mercanti says that the 1997 Impressions of Liberty set has no Mint mark. I am looking to buy this set, but see some of the platinum coins have “P” or “W” in the set. I know something is wrong with this picture. I know the W is wrong, but not sure about the “P.”

What Mint mark should I look for on each coin in this Proof set?

John Mallory

Via email

The three-piece Impressions of Liberty coin set, which includes an example of the Mint’s inaugural Proof American Eagle 1-ounce platinum coin, was offered beginning on June 6, 1997.

The set was sold at $1,499 per set and limited to a release of 5,000 sets.

The coins were housed in a special hardwood case, with each coin resting in a hard plastic capsule. Each set was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity that Philip N. Diehl, director of the U.S. Mint, signed and numbered.

The cited reference is in error about the American Eagle coins in the set bearing no Mint mark. All three pieces in the set bear a Mint mark, as do all Proof American Eagles of all compositions, dates and Mints of origin.

The set contains a 1-ounce, .9995 platinum Proof 1997-W American Eagle struck at the West Point Mint and bearing the W Mint mark; a 1-ounce, .9167 fine gold Proof 1997-W American Eagle struck at the West Point Mint and bearing the W Mint mark; and a 1-ounce, .999 fine silver 1999-P American Eagle struck at the Philadelphia Mint and bearing the P Mint mark.

All three of the Proof American Eagles in the set were also available individually, and in addition, the 1-ounce gold and platinum coins were also available in four-coin sets that included the fractional versions of the coins.

U.S. Mint officials reported June 27, 1997, that sufficient orders had been received to exhaust the maximum release of 5,000 Impressions of Liberty sets. Mint officials claimed at the time that, had the ordering restriction of one set per household not been in place, the sellout would have been much sooner.

Buyers of the set who have held them since their original purchase could profit nicely if they were to sell them today, as the set retails currently at higher levels. A set sold on eBay in November 2013 for about $5,222 (the set was offered by an Australian seller). sold a set in March 2013 for $3,666.66.

Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins or other items for examination without prior permission from Coin World. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to or call 800-673-8311, Ext. 172.

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