As mentioned in previous posts, the United States Mint plans to issue an individual 2013 American Gold Buffalo Coin with a reverse proof finish to celebrate the 100th anniversary of James Earle Fraser’s design.
Reverse proof coins carry a finish that is the opposite of the traditional cameo proof, generally with raised design elements appearing mirrored against frosted background fields. The finish has been used by the US Mint on a number of occasions across several different series. Reverse proof Silver Eagles have been included within special sets issued in 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2013. A reverse proof Gold Eagle was issued in 2006, and a reverse proof Platinum Eagle was issued in 2007, both as included within special multi-coin anniversary sets.
In this post, I wanted to share some images of the upcoming coin. Click on any image for a larger version.
Starting with 2013-dated coins, the US Mint altered their photography style for proof (and reverse proof) coinage. Since the mid-1980’s they had used a full or partial black background to distinguish mirrored features of a coin. With the improvements in photographic techniques and equipment, they decided to stop using the heavy black shadowing on proof coins. According to the Mint, “Digital photography capabilities have improved to the extent that we can now distinguish between the mirror-like background of a proof coin and the finish of an uncirculated coin without manipulating the image with a shadow.”
The US Mint recently displayed an actual example of the 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo coin at the ANA National Money Show held in New Orleans from May 9-11, 2013. Scott Barman, the author of Coin Collectors Blog, captured the following images which are represented here with permission.
These images more clearly showcase the different finishes and provide a much better idea of how the coin would actually look in hand.
The US Mint has not yet indicated the release date for the 2013-W Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo coin. They have confirmed that it will be offered individually and the packaging will consist of the same wooden box as the standard proof coin, but the outer box will be differentiated with a leather-like material.
Within a press release and other communications, the Mint has indicated that pricing for the offering will be determined under the pricing grid for gold and platinum coins available at this link. It is still unconfirmed whether the price of the reverse proof will be taken from the same “American Buffalo 24K Gold Proof” column that is used for the regular proof, or whether a new column will be added with different pricing. If the prices of the two products are identical, demand is sure to be high for this special reverse proof anniversary coin, likely cannibalizing some of the demand from the regular proof issue.