US Coins

Proof 2018-W platinum American Eagle starts series

When the Proof 2018-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin goes on sale Jan. 25, a new era begins for the series: the obverse will change annually for the next three years.

An example of the Proof 2018 American Eagle was placed on exhibit Oct. 17 at United States Mint headquarters in Washington during the Mint’s second annual Numismatic Forum. 

The coin will be a radical departure from past Proof issues in the series, in that the obverse, not the reverse, will be changed annually to tell an American story.

The 2018 issue inaugurates a three-coin sub-series dubbed the “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series.”  

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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.

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 design 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.”

Recapping the top stories of 2017”We revisit what we thought were the most captivating stories of 2017.

As 2018 strides on stage, we reflect on the major story lines Coin World covered in 2017.

The Proof American Eagle platinum series was introduced the third week of June 1997. The bullion version, which has borne 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.

The 1997 obverse bears a portrait of Liberty inspired by the Statue of Liberty and designed by then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti. The Soaring Eagle reverse was designed 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. The annually changing reverse designs generally were issued in a multi-year thematic program.

Kunz’s 2019 obverse design “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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