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Proof Coins -- Medals, NCLT, Artwork?


Art

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Here's another item from my blog. Thought some of you might enjoy it and/or have some comments of your own to share.

 

Wednesday June 3,2009

 

I ordered my US Clad Proof set the other day and I've had some thoughts about proof coins rattling around in my head ever since. Modern proof coins are certainly works of art in that they represent the ultimate in the display of designers' and engravers' talents as well as the best of the minting process. The details of the coin designs are clearly displayed and the cameo effect of the finish adds great depth to a nearly flat surface. Even non-cameoed proof coins exhibit a depth that eludes even the true first strikes of production coins. I don't believe that there's a coin that isn't far more attractive in proof. I'll even go so far as to say that certain coins only reach a stage of beauty in their proof versions. The Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony dollars for example.

 

Over the years there have been a number of discussions about whether proofs are truly coins and therefore a fitting part of a collection. I guess to some purists they're more like medals because they're never really intended for circulation. Perhaps these folks would characterize them as Non-circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) along with the American Silver Eagles and many other bullion or collector-only coins. I can see some validity to this point. But I can honestly say that I have found proof coins in circulation and so that muddies the medal and NCLT waters. I have never been able to understand how a person can feel that a proof coin is really only a medal and still avidly collect Kennedy Half Dollars. Afterall the modern Kennedys are non-circulating coins issued only for direct collector purchase from the Mint. And at a stiff premium I might add. Ditto for the Sacagewea dollars. And for that matter what about the 1996-W Roosevelt dime. It certainly was never issued for circulation.

 

Anyway, I like proofs. To me they're coins and works of art. I collect them as part of my modern sets. How do you feel about them? Are they treasured works of art that enhance your collection? Are they just another money making gimmick from the mint? Maybe they've just been there and you've never stopped to think about how special they really are. Take a nice long look at some proof coins both moderns and 20th Century issues. I think you may be surprised at just how beautiful they really are.

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Okay, splitting hairs time. ;) Maybe they should be called NMFCLT. (Not meant for circulation legal tender.) ;)

 

 

:ninja:;);) I like that acronym. Let's see if it catches on.

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Art I have to say the difference between a Proof coin and a Medal is if you realy wanted to you could spend or exchange (At a bank/mint) the proof coin (as long as it is legal tender) But you might have some difficulty spending a medal. I love proofs as well and I specialy like my small collection of Roosies and Lincons :ninja: but I woudnt ever call them medals LOL

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