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While there are many ways for an investor to add precious metals to his portfolio, few are as visually rewarding as proof silver coins. These striking coins are valuable for silver content, as well as for their desirability by collectors and numismatists. Silver.com offers an extensive array of proof silver coins perfect for investors and collectors alike.
In earlier times, proof coins were simply a test run of metal blanks put through the minting process to check the dies and to provide an archival copy of issued coins. Now, however, proof coins, which are struck and handled in very specific ways to preserve their unique and beautiful characteristics, are minted in much larger quantities by governments all over the world specifically for collectors and investors who appreciate their unique value.
Proof coins get their value from their rareness; mints issue limited quantities of proof coins and proof coin sets. In addition, proof coins are exceptionally beautiful. The details and images on the coin are crisp and in sharp relief, and the smooth surfaces of the coin are mirror bright. Many proof coins also use frosting techniques to add depth to the deep cameos on the front of the surface.
When a mint prepares to strike proof coins, very specific precautions and processes are used to ensure their beauty and integrity. First, the mint inspects the dies and chooses only the best. Each die is thoroughly cleaned; some are treated with special chemicals used to create the frosted effect so admired in proof silver coins. The selected dies are cleaned frequently during the process.
The silver blanks used for proof coins are given special care. Each blank is cleaned and hand-polished with a soft cloth and fed one by one into the coin press. Proof coins are double struck under higher pressure settings than coins used for circulation in order to give them the rich, crisp detail proof coins are famous for.
Freshly minted proof coins are never touched by ungloved human hands. Instead, they are given careful visual inspection and then sonically sealed in special holders or cases, protecting them from handling marks or other blemishes.
Proof coins are graded by certification agencies; a perfect score is PR70. A proof coin with a grade of PR69 or lower indicates a flaw in the centering, strike or other detail of the coin. Proof coins are also designated CAM, DCAM, or UCAM, which refers to the depth of the cameo on the coin surface. Deep cameo (DCAM) was the highest grade until recent minting technology resulted in ultimate cameo (UCAM).
The US Mint’s flagship silver bullion coin is the American Silver Eagle Dollar. First minted in 1986, these coins weigh 31.1 grams and feature a graceful Lady Liberty walking into the sun on the front. The reverse features the iconic American Eagle designed by John Mercanti, the twelfth chief engraver of the US Mint. These coins are also approved for inclusion in a Precious Metals IRA. Other popular silver proof coins include the US Mint’s annual proof set that contains a selection of coins preserved in a handsome acrylic presentation box.
The Perth Mint, established as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint in 1899, issues exquisite commemorative coins and precious metal products. These commemorative silver proof coins are unique because of their stunning full-color reverse designs. The coins are struck from either one or one-half troy ounce of 99.9 percent pure silver and issued in limited quantities, often just 5,000, giving them the potential for high investment value to collectors. Each coin or coin set comes in a handsome presentation box with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Silver.com is pleased to offer select specimens from the Perth Mint’s Wildlife Series. These proof coins and proof coin sets feature archetypical Australian wildlife like koalas, brown bears, reptiles, colorful birds, and graceful sea creatures on individual proof coins of three, four, and five coin sets. Some are even adorned with precious stones, such as the Australian Opal Series.
The Perth Mint proof coins are especially compelling for collectors due to the talents of their design team and the quality of the minted coin; they usually sell out very quickly. If you are interested in adding these beautiful Wildlife Series proof coins to your collection or investment portfolio, be sure to check Silver.com’s excellent selection of coins from the Perth Mint.