Today, July 18, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2013 Proof American Platinum Eagle. This will represent the fifth release within a six coin series featuring the core concepts of American democracy as found in the Preamble to the Constitution. This year’s design represents the concept “To Promote the General Welfare”.
The reverse design by Joel Iskowitz features a depiction of Young America looking towards the future. The background of the image contains three interlocking gears, intended to symbolize the interconnection of power between the states and national government. One of the gears is adorned with thirteen stars. Inscriptions are placed in a circular border, which also includes an American Eagle privy mark from an original coin punch identified at the Philadelphia Mint.
As discussed in a previous post, within the design candidate evaluation phase, the Commission of Fine Arts had recommended an alternate version of the design without the three gears in the background, while the Citizens Coinage Advisory had recommended the version with the gears. The authority to make the final selection rested with the Secretary of the Treasury, who opted for the gears design.
While the addition of the gears makes for a much busier design, it does seem to more closely represent the narrative which inspired the coin. The designs for all releases of this series are indicated as inspired by narratives prepared by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, which provide interpretation and color on each concept. The narrative for “To Promote the General Welfare” appears on an inner section of the tri-fold binder containing the coin, and can actually be read by using the zoom feature for the image included on the product page.
Previously, I had suggested that the design might work better if the US Mint utilized their new laser frosting technology to use a different level of frosting for Young America and the gears. The images do not seem to show any differentiation, however the US Mint’s product images haven’t really provided a reliable indication of how coins will look in hand. Shown above is a side-by-side of the 2013 5-Star Generals Silver Dollar product image and scan of an actual coin.
Back to the coin at hand, the 2013 Proof Platinum Eagle carries a maximum mintage of 15,000. There is an initial ordering limit of five coins per household.
The maximum mintage is established at the same level used for the 2011 and 2012-dated releases. Lower limits of 10,000 and 12,000 pieces had been used for the 2009 and 2010-dated releases. Currently, the 2012-dated coin remains available and has sold 9,595 out of the 15,000 limit.
Pricing for the coin is $1,800, which is based on an average market price of platinum within the $1,400 to $1,449.99 range. This price may be adjusted as frequently as weekly based on the market price of the metal.