Design for 2012 Platinum Eagle Revealed

The preliminary product page for the 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle has been posted on the US Mint’s website. Although there still has been no formal announcement, this reveals the design selection for the coin as well as the mintage and ordering limits.

The reverse of the 2012 Platinum Eagle represents the fourth in six year design series representing the principles of American democracy found in the Preamble to the Constitution. Previous designs have represented the concepts “To Form a More Perfect Union” (2009), “To Establish Justice” (2010), and “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” (2011). The design for 2012 features the concept “To Provide for the Common Defence”.

The reverse design depicts of minuteman from the Revolutionary War to represent the protection and defense of the country in its early days. The minuteman holds a rifle and a book with a stylized flag in the background. The American Eagle privy mark appears in the left side of the circular area carrying inscriptions. This privy mark has been used for each coin within the design series.

This minuteman reverse design had been recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee from the eleven candidates originally prepared. (Follow the link for images of the other candidates.) The Commission of Fine Arts had recommended an alternative design depicting a shield with an eagle atop and a ribbon carrying the words “The Common Defence”.

According to the preliminary product page, the maximum mintage for the coin will be 15,000. This is the same level used for the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle, which still remains available for sale and has sold 14,639 coins to date. Lower mintage limits had been used previous years with 8,000 for 2009 and 10,000 for 2010. Both of these issues had sold out in about a week.

For the current year offering, an initial household limit of 5 has been indicated. Pricing for the coin will be based on the average market price of platinum during the weekly period leading up to the release date of August 9, 2012.


Facebook Twitter Email


  1. says

    I just do not like this design as much as the one for last year’s platinum eagle. Definitely passing on this one. I would rather save my money for the AtBs and the (hopefully to come soon) palladium eagle.

  2. TJ says

    I like the design, a rugged individual with a gun (and ?B…?clinging?lol)
    It looks like an individual who defended our country. Its not some silly PC design like the first one in the series. many of the other designs were stern looking abstractions that were not that attractive except maybe #1.

  3. stephen m. says

    CO, The palladium eagle if approved should be out next year. Do you think it will replace the silver eagle?

  4. Louis says

    No, palladium would be not replace the ASE. It also will cost more than 20 times as much. Palladium is $600 an ounce.

  5. Louis says

    TJ- You think the image of Lady Liberty on the 2011 coin is a “stern looking abstraction”?

  6. says

    My favorites by far are the 2010 and 2011 designs….I really like the 2010 “Blind Justice” as well as the 2011 with the Harvest Goddess running through the fields ( or maybe it’s just lovely ladies that I’m atrracted to…lol)

    I like the 2012 design fairly well..(much better than the PC 2009) , but this coin could just as well have been the “Davy Crockett” commemoritive coin.

  7. Mint News Blog says

    I think TJ was referring to some of the other design candidates for 2012.

  8. Louis says

    OK, I looked at them, and for Lady Justice, I would tend to agree. This year’s may actually be the 2nd best of the 4-coin set.

  9. says

    Stephen m,

    I must echo Louis’ comments. No chance the palladium eagle would replace the silver eagle. It’s simply too expensive.

    It’s possible palladium could serve as kind of an “interim” choice between silver and gold. I’m expecting the proof palladium eagles to cost $800-$850 assuming prices hold.

    I am personally dubious palladium bullion will sell very well even if they adopt classic American coin looks. Platinum, which has been around for awhile now, still only has grudging acceptance as collectable bullion. Palladium is even more strange and new, and also pricy. Not many mints consistently produce platinum products (and I say this as someone who likes platinum as a potential investment), and even fewer are producing consistently palladium bullion. I think the only consistent palladium bullion product being produced is the Canadian palladium maple leaf.

    I personally plan to buy the presumed proof palladium eagle that is coming, but that is because I am a huge mercury dime enthusiast and not because I am really excited about getting a palladium coin. If it had an unattractive design, I would certainly skip it.

  10. ClevelandRocks says

    15k limit, mistake….should have made it 10k. Platinum is way out of favor and may never catch gold. Maybe I’ll pick one up in 2016 along with a 2011 proof gold Buffalo and some 2011 ATBs.

  11. VA Bob says

    The design isn’t bad, but come on Mint we just had a Revolutionary War minute man last year on the Army coin. The Spanish American War doesn’t seem to get any love… if it has to be a war theme. Space travel has been out for a long time, too.

  12. Shutter says

    It also will cost more than 20 times as much. Palladium is $600 an ounce.

    Bullion, yes. Numismatic version, a bit less than 20X. Keeping in mind that palladium is the only PM that is actually cheaper than it was 12 years ago. At some point, the Russians will have sold off their hoard, and the economy will recover enough to drive up industrial demand. A day may yet come when palladium again sells a decent premium to gold.

  13. EricTheRed says

    The design could have been more dramatic like Captain John Parker emerging from Buckman Tavern at Lexington and Concord’s on April 19, 1775 saying “Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” The mint needs to introduce more history into our numismatics. I believe that we are losing our collective common national history and through coinage we may be able to revitalize some of our seeming lost history.

  14. Tom says

    True Eric, it amazes me just how few Americans care at all about the many terrific American coin designs. They are oblivious and just don’t seem to care at all. A sad statement of where their minds are and the state of education.
    I do at least take some comfort, although limited(considering the limited interest in society today) …in the permenance of the Ideas of Freedom and the action of patriots to maintain it, this coin would seem to bolster such historic national sentiments, which is encouraging for the long term, other coins also reafirm these idea too such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as the Army Half and many others.

  15. Louis says

    @Shutter- We don’t know at this point what kind of premiums either version will have as they have not even completed the study. The coins will not even be made unless the consultants who did the study say it can be made at no net cost to taxpayers. As for palladium, I don’t remember what it was 12 years, but i do remember it was half of what it is today about 2 or 2 1/2 years ago when I picked up a couple ounces.

    As for the design, it’s okay, but it is just not very imaginative. I am all in favor of using designs that evoke our great history, but how about using something that has not been used instead if reusing the Minuteman that was used on the Army half and the bicentennial quarter. They could not use something about space on this because the law says it has to be about the common defense, but there are all kinds of possibilities, even some of the rejected designs were more interesting.

  16. Shutter says

    We don’t know at this point what kind of premiums either version will have
    True. I’m just going by types of premiums that US Mint typically charges. Bullion premiums are typically minimal regardless of the metal used. Since Pd is about 20X of Ag, it’s reasonable that that bullion prices would be proportionate to that. The proof Ag ASE was last priced at $60. Assuming today’s prices, I just don’t see $1,200 for a proof Pd. Do you?

    As for palladium, I don’t remember what it was 12 years, but i do remember it was half of what it is today about 2 or 2 1/2 years ago when I picked up a couple ounces.

    I can’t remember didly, so I look stuff up. Today Pd spot is $582. In 2010 it was between $405 and $797. So your memory is likely off by a year. In 2009 you could have bough Pd for half of today’s prices ( or even much lower), but if you had bought in 2000, you would have lost as much as 30%. It was then the most expensive PM.

  17. says

    Reverse design is mundane. The truncated musket looks awkward. The allegorical significance of the book is not obvious in the hands of a minuteman. Projected mintage of 15,000 way to high. The 2011 issue sold very slowly and will still be available when these new coins come out! Helloooooooooo! This series is my hands down favorite for the changing reverse designs coupled with the terrific investment potential as platinum bullion. Given the fact that platinum is cheaper than gold by 10%, I’ll catch mine from the mint during a price drop that occurred with the issuance of 2011 coins (got mine at 1692) and probably have a year plus to get a 1592 price or better. Household limit of 5 is meaningless at this point unless platinum spiked up quick.

  18. ClevelandRocks says

    Is Moderncoinmart a household? Can’t see any real household wanting more than 5 plats, let alone more than 1. What a joke. These won’t sell out for years with 15k limit.

  19. says

    Instead of the musket, a sword could have produced the allegorical effect of defense and it could have fit neatly within the circular confines of the coin. I suspect that the Mint’s marketing department automatically decided that guns are a better sell than swords in the heart and mind of America!

  20. says

    Lastly… There are only 12 stars of the flag. Hmmm! Potential “mint error”? Mint marketing department… take note! Opportunity knocks! Can be followed with a revised reverse design with 13 stars to make instant variety to offer in the Christmas catalog! 🙂 Seriously… there is plenty of room to add the 13th star to the random field of 12 stars, or maybe, just maybe… since Vermont WAS first a republic and not a state it is the omitted star? What think, Vermonters??? 🙂

  21. Rod says

    Where does one find “the preliminary product page for the 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle” on the US Mint’s website?

  22. Louis says

    Brooster- Exactly, and similar to last year’s Army half. Why not something new, different, and a bit more inspired and inspiring? I know the CCAC includes people who know American coinage, so it is puzzling. And if last year’s superb design and decent prices were not enough to sell out the entire mintage in a year, why do the same again? I know it’s required by law but they could tell the Congress a lower mintage is needed. 10K would make more sense to me.

  23. says

    NGC updated SF set submissions instructions:

    Remove the coins from the US Mint packaging and submit them raw in the capsules. Do not send the Mint packaging.
    IMPORTANT UPDATE: To receive the SAN FRANCISCO EAGLE SET pedigree, the Proof and Reverse Proof 2012-S Silver Eagles must be received in equal numbers on the same submission form. If the Proof 2012-S Silver Eagles are submitted without an equal or higher number of Reverse Proof 2012-S Silver Eagles, they will NOT be eligible for the special pedigree. All Reverse Proof 2012-S Silver Eagles will receive the pedigree by default

  24. Wylson says

    I agree with the comment above about the similarity to the bicentennial quarter reverse. Only the quarter looked better. Expenseive bullion this is.

  25. Louis says

    It’s a shame since low platinum prices and maybe lower next year with the economy possibly going back into recession would have spurred sales.

  26. T1 browserman says

    IMO the devices in the logos of the U.S.:

    Army (June 3, 1775),
    Navy (October 13,1775),
    Marines (November 10, 1775) and
    Revenue Cutter Service or Coast Guard (August 4,1790)

    should have been used in an elaborate pattern either intertwined or overlapped to give credit where credit is due for providing for the common defence and what would have been befitting a platinum offering.

    This reverse design is borderline comical.

    Even Design 2 as Louis suggested in Coin Update on Feb 20, 2012 would have made a better choice; with 11 votes as the runner up it should have been given further consideration.

  27. Louis says

    Thanks, T1. The more I think about it and look at it, the more I am disappointed by this rather mundane design. There is so little detail on the Minuteman design. I like your idea of some kind of image that displays the various branches of the armed services. Do we need to outsource this to some European coin designers who work with lots of detail like at the Austrian Mint? Is this the best we can do for such an important coin? I mean, seriously, the common defence? That opens up so many possibilities, and all they could do was go back to some dude holding a gun from the Revolutionary War? This is why Heidi Wastreet of the CCAC is so concerned that no one is even teaching today’s art students how to do medallic sculpture. It is becoming a lost art form.

  28. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Louis Some 2-3 weeks ago, I had come across this article discussing how the Royal Australian Mint is working cooperatively w/ a local university to identify and cultivate potential future coin designers in their own back yard. A very interesting concept that very well could identify that next, great numismatic artist.

    The one down side of this article is that it did not provide examples of the participants’ works submitted so far.

    Within our own US Mint, I fear that the true creativity of some of our more talented artists – Iskowitz, Everhard and others – will always be constrained by the edicts (legislations) of our Political Machine, but especially in those instances where the edicts are so very detailed, and very overwhelming, about what should be portrayed.

  29. William says

    Any word on the Alice Paul gold coin?

    The mint is no longer providing a yearly guidance sheet about which coins will be produced. Release dates for their individual coin production would be useful.

    With the price of gold and silver so high this information would make it easier for me to decide how to budget my annual coin purchases for the year…

    Lack of Mint information may be negatively impacting my coin collecting ability.

  30. Dan says

    When the Platinum Eagles first came out, I started collecting just the 1/2 ounce proofs, and when the Mint stopped them, I stopped collecting Platinum Eagles. I suspect that Proof and Bullion platinum fractional versions never really caught on like they did for the Gold Eagles, but I am hoping that the Mint starts making at least the 1/2 ounce version or when they make the next Reverse Proof Platinum that they do it in the 1/2 ounce version. If not, I am just as content to not add platinum to the collection. Wondering if the Palladium version will be offered in fractional amounts as well.

  31. Hidalgo says

    To change the subject…

    The US Mint’s product schedule shows that the 2012 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin will be sold on August 2, 2012.

    And one of my favorite sets is coming back.. The United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set will be available on September 6, 2012. I have the dollar sets from 2007 and 2008. Adding the 2012 set will be a welcome addition to my collection.

  32. Louis says

    @VAB- Thanks for the article. You are right. Our universities are not even offering programs to train medallic artists. If they did, and were cultivated as the Aussies are doing, we might even see another Mercanti or Iskowitz some day, or at least better-quality designs. Compare most of our stuff from the past 10 years to coins from other world mints and you will see ours just don’t have the same level of engraving detail. The coin above is a good example. This may have a lot to do with why numismatic sales are declining. Our classic stuff like Morgans were way better too.

  33. Hidalgo says

    @Louis – I am not so sure if it’s a matter of a lack of deisgners/ artists. There are plenty of talented artists in the USA. I think the problem is that many of the choices made for our coins are based on politics or what is politically correct. Or at least that plays a role in the chosen designs.

  34. ClevelandRocks says

    You don’t mean the “no white guy” ’09 proof plat (no secondary market interest either) or the “girl on the Boy Scout coin”, also with no secondary market interest. I’m actually surprised the Mint hasn’t put the leftover Scout coins back on sale again!

  35. Hidalgo says

    @ClevelandRocks – with most new releases, demand is high soon after an item’s introduction. Afterwards, demand drops and so do secondary market values. If you look carefully at ALL of the US Mint’s products, you’ll find that high secondary market values tend to be the exception rather than the rule. You might be able to make some bucks if you flip (that’s the reason why flippers are out there) — or you may not.

    Anyway, you should buy coins because you enjoy them — not to resell. If a coin you really like does well, then you can be pleased with its appreciation. If a coin’s value tanks, at least you’ll have a coin that you really enjoy (regardless of its current cost).

  36. ClevelandRocks says

    @Hidalgo – I do collect only what I like, that’s why I never purchase poorly designed PC coins.

    I’ve never sold a coin ever (that may change soon), but I have zero tolerance for being mislead by the Mint like they did on my subscriptions (I have none now) or this 220th anniversary scam. Also you have to ask yourself, should you buy annual and mint sets (clad) even though you enjoy them, but are always priced to gaurantee losing value?

  37. says

    What frustrates me about this design is that I know we can do better. Look at the Medal of Honor and last year’s platinum coin. Nearly any one of the other submissions would have been better, even the shields.

  38. Shutter says

    I’m actually surprised the Mint hasn’t put the leftover Scout coins back on sale again!

    What leftover Scout coins?

  39. Louis says

    Of course, people should buy what they like. That is obvious, but no one likes to lose money, so I prefer to look for items that I both like and that I think will hold their value or increase. I think the vast majority of collectors and buyers do the same thing. But it’s not easy to do apart from melt value changes.

  40. Hidalgo says

    @ClevelandRocks – I thought I saw a post from you that said that you sold an AGE coin. Or am I thinking of someone else?

  41. Tom Dvorak says

    Another Minuteman? Just last year (2011 50c Army Commemorative) we had one and there was the Lexington Commemorative of 1925 . . . you would think they could come up with something else.

  42. VA Bob says

    Dang they did it again!!! First the Infantry coin now this. Is it me or does this Minuteman look like he is clutching his gun in one hand and purse in the other? It hardly looks like a book from lack of detail. Maybe if it appeared like writing was on the cover or pages on the edge. If Michael hadn’t described the coin I’d never have known. The folks that mentioned the lack of artistry on our recent coins are dead on. There should never be a US coin open for interpretation as to what is on it, or in need of a written explanation. It’s not like this is a tiny coin.

  43. Dan says

    On the chance that the US Mint reads this website, do you think there is any chance that the Mint starts offering 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 ounce Proof Platinum coins again? It would make it possible for more collectors to purchase Platinum Eagles.The ones that want the 1 ounce versions (those with deeper pockets) will still be there.

  44. says

    I am glad that there is a release date for the fourth in the Platinum Series—-the Preamble to the Constitution. I am okay with the design but I did like a few other designs better. Has anyone heard from the Mint that their Silver two coins series is ready to ship? I keep checking everyday and nothing! I ordered the first day!

  45. VA Bob says

    Dan – I don’t know, but the Mint seems to have a hard time selling fractional gold coins (the quarter and half oz. sizes never seem to sell out), let alone platinum. They have to make it worthwhile to acquire the blanks and fire up the presses. Smaller coins carry larger premiums. IMO the numbers just aren’t there, as there will never be more platinum collectors than gold. For a government entity, the Mint is all about making a profit, and its track record of accommodating the few is not that great. I’m amazed they haven’t found a way to cancel the FS program. I believe if it was their program, and not passed by law, it would have been scrapped by now. I feel your pain, you make a great argument, but I don’t see them moving on that front. The 1oz. is the most popular size and they can’t seem to unload those.

    I know this probably not what you want to hear, but an alternative for you might be to pick up some of the smaller credit suisse/pamp suisse pt. bars in the matching serialized cards. They are attractive, high quality, hold a nice premium on par with coins, are relatively easy to liquidate if one needs to (easier than many foreign coins of the same metal fineness). Not a US coin, I know, but it might fit the bill for those that want to stack some platinum while prices are low.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *