Late last week, the United States Mint began sales of the 2014 American $1 Coin and Currency Set. Based on the press release and initial product page, the set seemed to simply contain a regular uncirculated 2014 Native American Dollar and a $1 note. The Mint has now confirmed that the $1 coin carries an enhanced uncirculated finish.
At the start of sales, some readers noted the description of the coin as “2014 Native American $1 Enhanced Uncirculated Coin” shown on the image of the packaging. I had updated the post to highlight this observation and also reached out to the Mint for an explanation. This morning, the Mint provided details of the enhanced uncirculated finish created for the coin.
A wire brush was applied to both the obverse and reverse fields and artwork on the dies. Three distinct finishes are used across the obverse and reverse designs. The obverse contains elements shown in white with a standard uncirculated finish. The fields and elements shown in blue carry a standard frost finish.
The reverse design makes use of all three finishes. The elements shown in white carry a standard uncirculated finish with the elements in yellow carrying a light frost finish. The background fields shown in blue carry the standard frost finish.
Some readers who have received the sets in hand confirm the different appearance for the $1 coin included in the set. If anyone wants to share a photo to add to this post, please leave a comment.
In the regular weekly sales report, the Mint reported orders received for 9,720 units from the 50,000 maximum. This includes only sales through Sunday, November 23, 2014. Word of the special finish seems to have spread when the first sets started arriving on Monday, which may have contributed to an acceleration in the pace of sales.
On the Mint’s website, the American $1 Coin and Currency Set is indicated as “Currently Out of Stock”. This does not seem to be a sell out. Recall that at one point the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Clad Set was listed as out of stock, but sales were later resumed.
This represents only the third time that the US Mint has used an enhanced uncirculated finish. The first instance was for the 2013-W Enhanced Uncirculated Silver Eagle, and the second was the 2014-S Enhanced Uncirculated Kennedy Half Dollar. The 2014-D Enhanced Uncirculated Native American Dollar would seem to have the lowest mintage of the three at the product limit of 50,000 units.
Update: The Mint just provided the following additional details:
Being an Enhanced Uncirculated program, the base finish on the obverse & reverse was wire brushed. This was developed specifically for this program and implemented into production for the first time. This approach gives the coins a bright finish without appearing polished (like proof coins do).
On the obverse, standard laser frosting was applied to the field and particular elements of the artwork to accentuate the design. Specific elements of the artwork and all lettering are in the wire brush finish to further accentuate them against the laser frosted field.
On the reverse, standard laser frosting was applied to the field. A lighter level of laser frosting was then applied to particular elements of the artwork to enable it to stand out. Specific elements of the artwork, all lettering and the compass are in the wire brush finish to further accentuate the design.