2012 Proof Platinum Eagle

Today August 9, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2012 Proof American Platinum Eagle. This coin continues the design series featuring the core concepts of American democracy as found in the Preamble to the Constitution.

This year’s reverse design depicts the concept “To Provide for the Common Defence”. The spelling of the word “defence” is based on the spelling within the original Preamble.

Previous designs of the series depicted the concepts “To Form a More Perfect Union” (2009), “To Establish Justice” (2010), and “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” (2011). The final two designs after this year will be “To Promote General Welfare” (2013) and “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity” (2014).

The 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle reverse design features a minuteman from the Revolutionary War to represent the protection and defense of the country during its early days. The minute man holds a rifle and book intended to symbolize the importance of knowledge in defending the nation. A stylized American flag is present in the background. An American Eagle privy mark is placed on the left side of the circular area of text. This privy mark is from an original “coin punch” identified at the Philadelphia Mint and has appeared for all coins of the current design series. The reverse was designed by Barbara Fox and sculpted by Charles Vickers.

The obverse design of the coin features the rendition of the Statue of Liberty by John Mercanti that have been used for each release within the American Platinum Eagle series.

A maximum mintage of 15,000 coins has been established by the US Mint with an initial ordering limit of 5 coins per household. The initial pricing for the coin will be $1,692 based on an average platinum market price in the $1,350 to $1,449.99 range. This will remain subject to potential weekly changes based on market price of platinum.

Previous Preamble Design Series Coins

The American Platinum Eagle Preamble design series received an enthusiastic response from collectors when it debuted. The 2009 coin was issued very late in the year, following the announcement of the cancellation of the Proof Gold and Silver Eagles and the earlier announcement of the discontinuation of fractional proof and uncirculated Platinum Eagles. Additionally, platinum bullion cons were not issued by the US Mint during the year. These factors all contributed to heightened enthusiasm and demand for the coins. Initially priced at $1,792 per coin, the entire maximum mintage of 8,000 sold out in about a week.

The following year, the US Mint increased the maximum mintage to 10,000 and the starting price was higher at $1,892 per coin. Once again, a sell out of the entire maximum mintage was achieved in about a week.

For 2011, the US Mint ramped up the maximum mintage once again, this time to 15,000 and the initial pricing was higher still at $2,092. The start of sales was fairly strong, but the pace of orders soon slowed. The coins have now remained available for sale for over 14 months with last reported sales of 14,760, still below the maximum mintage level. Pricing for the coin has fallen in line with the market price of platinum.

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  1. Brad says

    Tom P,

    Good catch, I just saw that myself.

    Julia Grant should follow soon. There’s bound to be less than 100 left of her, too.

  2. Steve says

    I love our military, but I am tired of the recent military themes on our numismatic coins. Yawn. How about a new theme…

  3. says

    As I’ve complained about in other comment threads on this topic, this design is really a letdown after last year. It’ll be interest to see how it performs once we get next week’s sales report.

    I also appreciate these First Spouse updates, guys. I don’t collect the series but have been paying attention to their performance.

  4. DCDave says

    OK design, but mintage of 15k, forget it. They should have made it 10k.

    Also not into the FS (except a few), but appreciate the updates.
    Wonder when the FS proofs will sell out. Probably a multiple of the UNCs (ie. 1.5X mintage) since this must have been pre-ordained in 2011.

  5. Wlyson says

    “They should have made it 10k.”

    How do you figure? They can barely crack 5k with the higher limit.

  6. joe says

    Okay…anyone know which has a lower mintage: the Hayes or Garfield FS coin? And what are their respective mintages?

  7. says


    The best place to go when looking for sales/mintage information (outside of the official program info provided by the Mint) is Michael’s sales report writeups on Coin Update. The latest one is here: http://news.coinupdate.com/us-mint-sales-report-uncirculated-silver-eagles-debut-1519/

    In discussing uncirculateds (as opposed to proofs), Lucy Hayes concluded sales at 2,243. Garfield was listed in the last sales report as having sold 1,973. It’s possible the Hayes sellout provoked a run on Garfield and the final sales numbers for Garfield ended up near Hayes, but my suspicion is that sales for Garfield probably ended somewhere in the 2,000-2,050 range (and probably closer to 2,000).

    So at first blush, the Garfield coin seems to be the “key date” if production were to stop here.

  8. Brad says

    The backorder seemed to last a little longer on Garfield than it did on Hayes. The production numbers may have been about the same, and after Hayes surprised everyone with a sellout, it took a little longer for the extra unsold Garfields to be snapped up. Next week’s sales report should be interesting to see.

    I’m speculating here, but I’d guess that the Lucy Hayes proof might be the next one to sell out, if the Mint scaled back production for the last two proofs like they did for the uncs. Maybe 3,500 proofs for Hayes and Garfield?

    It seems the Julia Grant unc should be getting close to being sold out as well. At this point though, with two coins already having beat it by a wide margin, it won’t really have much of an impact on the secondary market price. At least, not at first.

  9. chris says

    off topic :

    Just wondering if any one has rec’d their Silvertown sets. I picked up one set of PCGS-70s and the coins are in non-70 shape. Too many marks and abrasions and yet PCGS gave them the top grade. Anyone else see this issue ? I am considering returning these for a refund.

  10. VA Bob says

    I hear the designs for next year are a toss up for an image of section 8 housing or food stamps… should be interesting! 😉

  11. Louis says

    That’s a bummer. I have one coming and hope it is not like that. I would give them a call.

  12. VA Bob says

    chris – You just highlighted my personal disdain for TPG’s. They (seemingly) pump out 70’s for the big volume dealers and then after the rush, crack down on the little guy…. for full price. How can one take their “opinions” seriously when they wholesale their credibility? I truly hope the whole TPG fad fades away or is replaced by something less arbitrary and safer for the consumer, sans gimmicks.

  13. Hidalgo says

    @ Brad – I would agree that fewer of the Garfield FS unc coins were sold than the Hayes FS unc coins. But very easily, about 300 of the Garfield coins could have been sold, making the numbers sold for both coins similar. If fewer than 2,243 of the FS Garfield coins were sold, then there’s a new low.

    Now with that being said, we may still see more mintage lows in the FS series. If the 2012 FS coins are sold like I think they might be, then demand will drive mintages. I think there’s a possibility for the FS coins to be opened up for orders, like the San Francisco ASE anniversary sets, and the US Mint would fill the orders based on demand. The US Mint would not have waste time, energy, etc. to mint a number of coins based on what they think the public wants. And the US Mint would not have a supply of unsold coins on their hands. Considering the popularity of the FS series (or lack thereof), we may see more lows in the future…..

  14. Wylson says

    Some people just don’t seem to understand that a 70 by the TPG grading services means no post-production defects, not perfect PQ. Good Grief!

  15. ClevelandRocks says

    I’d like to read an article by Michael about the latest Garfield UNC sell out, the FS remaining proofs, and his thoughts about the 2012 FS delay in sales. I personally highly doubt the series will make it to Jackie Kennedy in its current form.

  16. TomP says

    The Hayes and Garfield F.S. sets were minted/initially sold during the time the Presidential and F.S. coins were in doubt of continuation. I remember buying both F.S. sets on their first offering day for fear of cancellation and later regretting the rush after the price of gold dropped soon thereafter. I wonder if their uncertain status at the time of minting influenced the mintage totals?

    Another factor between the Hayes and Garfield mintage difference could be the number of returns and rejects.

    Could the Alice Paul be released in the month or two before the election? Gee, that would a coincidence.

  17. DCDave says

    Question for Michael: Is it possible the Mint could “sell out” the platinum proof sooner than the 15k stated max like they do the FS?

  18. John C says

    I placed an order for ten of the Garfield uncs on 8/9/12 at 1:00 am. Should be interesting to see if I get them. I have an order number and the status says on hold with a back order date of 8/24. My worry is that it was only a few hours away from the sellout and therefore will not be fulfilled.

  19. KEITHSTER says

    Ya looks like the 2011’s on it’s way out. Backordered till 8/25 got one for my nephew a week or so before they announced the new one or I’d have gotten him that one had I known when they were comming out. He was a navy man you know. Had a hard time talking mom into letting me take some money she had for him in the bank to get him one.Had to let her know that if it did’nt work out I’d just give him the money when the time comes.Not soon we hope as she’s not doing to well. The funny part is once [ got it and was showing it to her she liked the look’s of it but when handing it to her ploop right into her cup of hot caco my heart sank I rushed it to the bathroom to wash it off ah but the airtight had held nothing on the coin.But if you ever run into one with a slight brown stain around the rim of the plastic you’ll know the rest of the story on that one.Who knows maybe it will oxidize to a nice caco brown in a few 300 years or so? Anyway Good luck too All…..

  20. says


    I second the notion on interest in an article discussing the first spouse situation.

    I’m becoming suspicious that the Mint may have decided to just ignore the law and stop production of the First Spouse series. It seems unlikely to me, but perhaps sales have faded so low that they are now losing money on the coin sales? That’s the only thing I can think of.

  21. VABEACHBUM says

    And let’s not forget that there are folks out there who also are collecting the related products: The Spouse Medals and the Spouse Medal / Dollar Coin Sets – which I like for the educational value. Not word one on any of those, either; not even listed on their product schedule.

    Seems to me that they would be so much easier to manufacture and sell, but especially since the 2012 designs finally have been approved and announced to the world. Suspicious, to say the least.

  22. Ikaika says


    I am not sure if the mint can ignore the law and stop the FS series. Maybe there needs to be another Bill from the senate/house to stop the series. One thing we can be sure of: the mint is not doing much to save the FS or the ATB series. I have been an avid supporter of both and would be very disappointed to see them terminated. We still have ways to go before the last coins are issued.

  23. Shutter says

    I am not sure if the mint can ignore the law

    The mint is already ignoring the law (wrt sale of bullion ATB), and their boss has been known to ignore laws in his personal and professional life.

  24. JohnT58 says

    How about this idea? If the mint were to make the FS coins out of silver with an overlay of gold in order to retain the appearance of the series, they could then sell the coins for a reasonable price ($50?). That would make them more affordable to the masses and the mintage would take off.

  25. TomP says

    The 2011 Plat. proof went on backorder/delayed shipping status. With a last sales total total of 14,760, it should be on it’s way out.

    I had been eyeing the plat. coins since 2007 but couldn’t be convinced to divert from gold and silver for a long term investment. The 2011 attracted my interest because I really liked the design and needed a special gift for my wife. I especially liked the coin’s theme ‘to insure domestic tranquility’ which I could enjoy in this household. Purchased the coin on the first day, weighing the previous early sell-outs and the great new design appeal versus the increased mintage total of 15,000. My wife was quite pleased with the coin, but to ‘insure domestic tranquility’, I haven’t volunteered the info to her there had been a $400 price drop. LOL

  26. says

    I have been an avid supporter of both and would be very disappointed to see them terminated. We still have ways to go before the last coins are issued.

    I would also be disappointed if the AtBs were ended. It’s one of my favorite programs even if Perth’s been suctioning up all my money for some time.

    And while I don’t have the money for the First Spouse coins, there’s a guy in my group who started collecting them around Julia Grant and has been disappointed that they’re fading away.

  27. Larry says


    It’s nice for a change, to see the FS series get a little more than its usual share of attention, for whatever reason. I’ve collected the series, PF & Unc., since the start, and can’t see the Mint discontinuing it after so long. It’s not like the individual Presidential signature sets, which were no comparison in price, or the cancellation of the fractional bullions in ’08, which cost me a ton as a buyer on issue, only to see the Mint reissue it at almost a half lower. The money invested in the FS by a full series collector is a serious amount to be left in limbo if a cancellation occurred. What really ticks me off is the Mint’s spacing of its “costly coin sales”, as I call them. There is approx. 4 months left in the year, during which time all 4 FS coins will be issued for the year. For
    both PF & Unc., or 8 separate coins, we’re looking at somewhere upwards of $7,500.00. Add that to recent issues like the Platinum, etc., and once again we have some pretty poor economic spacing by the Mint, especially if they want to keep their regulars interested. Other minor problem that comes to mind as a FS collector, start to finish, is the failure of the mint to issue a subscription plan for this series, e.g., ’95 Olympics, or some form of display box(es). These coins, in the OGP, take up a lot of space, with their boxes, for relatively small discs!! Well, thanks for letting me vent a bit of steam, and Good Luck! -Larry

    P.S., Best thing of all about FS was the fact that the Dolley Madison’s were left on order for a long time at their offering price, while the current issues were selling substantially higher. It was a great opportunity to pick up coins (gold) at a bargain. This was before the grid pricing system, of course. -LVC

  28. says

    Since this got off topic and on to FS Garfield, let me say that I will hold out until the mint produces a companion Odie gold.

  29. brother dke says

    Just got my order of three 2012 PAE. The Mint is totally doing down in quality control. I had to send all three back. I’m not even going to bother getting replacements 🙁

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