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proof vs. mint


lcarothers
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Proof coins are struck with special dies and are usually struck more then once to really give them a mirror look. mint coins are just regular coins put in sets and they are uncirculated. proof sets from the 60's and 70's aren't worth much while others are.....mint sets usually hold a little more value because people want proofs therefore the mint makes more of them..

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I don't know if this explaination would be the fastest, but one quick way of illustrating the difference between a proof and unc would be an aluminum foil. You can see the bright "polished" surface against the dull grey on the opposite side. There isn't really a trick to it, it's just a matter of polishing and finishing.

 

Now going back to the explaination of such differences in coins, proof coins usually have their surfaces polished and struck a few times to give the best mirror finish, like what LostDutchman said. :ninja:

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The proof planchets (blanks) are polished as are the dies. The devices (the parts of the coin that will end up being raised) are blasted by beads to give the 'cameo' or frosted appearance. The coin itself is struck two to four times to ensure complete metal flow into all parts of the die. The dies are inspected (and replaced) more often than with mint strikes. The old mint sets were just business strikes (coins for circulation) which were pulled from the normal assembly line and placed in Mylar envelopes. With the 2005 Mint sets, these dies were also bead blasted across the entire die to give the coin the 'satin' finish.

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Proof dies are specially prepared and will usually include all the details of

the master dies. They are often basined which means their fields are polised

to a plane or a near plane. Modern dies are also frosted on the devices using

various techniques. The dies are then chrome plated to help retain the frost.

Planchets for proof coins are often polished or other steps will be taken to as-

sure that planchets defects won't be seen in the finished product (eg- burnishing).

Coins are then struck at least twice to fully bring up the detail of the die.

 

Uncirculated coins are simply run off at high speed on quad presses. Planchets

recieve no special handling and the coins are dumped into bags and shipped

to counting houses.

 

Since 1965 mint set coins have recieved a great deal of special handling. They

are struck under increased pressure on the old vertical single presses using

new dies. Sometimes these dies will recieve a little extra preparation and can

strike proof like coins. Struck coins are washed and dried and moved with

some care to the mint set filling machinery which is mostly automated now.

Planchets rarely recieve extra effort also. While some are apparently proof

planchets in recent years many of these are burnished. Even more special die

prep and chroming are used on the 2005 mint sets.

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