Go Back in Time with the 2017 20th Anniversary American Platinum Eagle

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In June 1997, the United States Mint debuted the American Platinum Eagle coin. The first major expansion of the American Eagle Series, which previously featured only the American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle, the Platinum Eagle coin made waves when it was first introduced. First and foremost, with its introduction the American Platinum Eagle coin became the highest denomination legal tender coin in the US with a face value of $100 (USD).

More relevant over the course of time though is the design of the Platinum Eagle. While the obverse design elements have remained the same on both the bullion and proof versions of the coin, the reverse has a yearly alternating design. This fact made the Platinum Eagle the only US bullion coins to change reverse designs with each passing year.

Fast forward to 2017, and the United States Mint is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the American Platinum Eagle in the only fitting manner. The 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle coin, for the first time in its history, will repeat a design element on the reverse face by bringing back Thomas D. Rogers’ original Eagle Soaring Above America design. Check out more on the American Platinum Eagle below.

The 2017 Design

Although it’s a familiar design, as it remains the stalwart obverse and reverse combination on the bullion version of the coin, the 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle’s design is worth a second look because it was the first-ever design in the proof version and marks the first-ever reuse of a design in the proof collection.

On the obverse of the coins is the image of Liberty created by former Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, John Mercanti. The man behind the heraldic eagle design on the Silver Eagle, Mercanti’s obverse design for the Platinum Eagle is known as “Liberty looking to the future,” and captures the face of the Statue of Liberty in a bold, up-close portrait as she gazes out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Mercanti’s design has been in use on the obverse of both the bullion and proof coins since 1997. Engravings on this face include “Liberty” interspersed within the spikes of Liberty’s crown, as well as the year of issue “2017” and the national motto “In God We Trust.”

Flip the 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle Coin over and you’ll find the original design from the proof collection. Created by Thomas D. Rogers, this image still appears on the bullion version of the coin and makes its return to the proof in honor of the 20th anniversary. It features an American bald eagle with its wings spread wide as it flies over the continent with the rising sun framing it from the background.

“United States of America” is engraved above the eagle, with the purity, metal content, and weight of the coin engraved to the right side. Just off the eagle’s wings on the right is the “W” mint mark of the West Point Mint. The face value of “$100” can be found in the bottom of the design field.

About the 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle

The United States Mint offers the 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle coin for purchase inside of its traditional, beautiful display boxes. Coins ship with a Certificate of Authenticity, and the maximum mintage established by the US Mint for the 2017 issue of the coin is 10,000 units in total. Each coin contains 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum with a legal tender face value of $100 (USD).

Background on the Designer

Thomas D. Rogers is a former sculptor and engraver with the United States Mint. He started his career at the Philadelphia Mint location in 1991 and, though he retired from the min in 2001, he continues to work with the US Mint on a contract basis design coins. For example, he was the designer of the reverse side of United States gold dollar coins, the Sacagawea dollar, from 2000 to 2008.

Rogers created the eagle design for the reverse of the American Platinum Eagle in 1997 at a time when the future of proof designs was uncertain. In the intervening 20 years, the Proof Platinum Eagle has featured new designs every year, with the vast majority coming as part of a planned series theme. Rogers’ original design is one of only a few to exist outside a planned theme.

Rogers also developed two further Proof Platinum Eagle designs:

  • 1998: A bald eagle flying over the New England landscape at night under a moonlit sky. This was the first design in the Vistas of Liberty series.
  • 2001: A bald eagle flying over the Southwest, the bird is seen overhead a group of giant Saguaro cacti in the state of Arizona in the second-to-last release of the Vistas of Liberty.

Proof Designs Over 20 Years

The United States Mint has issued the vast majority of its Proof American Platinum Eagle designs over the past two decades as part of themed series. Following the inaugural release of the Platinum Eagle, the following coin themes were introduced for the series:

  • 1998-2002: Vistas of Liberty captured the bald eagle in flight over various regions of the United States.
  • 2006-2008: The Foundations of Democracy series included three designs representing the three branches of the American federal government: Judicial, Legislative, and Executive.
  • 2009-2014: Preamble to the United States Constitution featured designs exploring the core concepts of the American democratic system as developed through narratives written by Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts.
  • 2015-2016: Torches of Liberty showcase some of the US Mint’s up-and-coming artists developing new-age interpretations of Liberty.

Brief Mintage History of the Proof Platinum Eagle

The American Platinum Eagle coin series has not experienced the same solid production and demand of the Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle. Both the proof and bullion versions debuted in 1997 with fractional weights of 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, and ½ oz available, but those options were abandoned by the mint in both versions starting in 2009.

Proof Platinum Eagle mintage has never surpassed its 1997 sales figures, which is not uncommon in collectible coins. Often the first release year is the most successful. However, there have been positive spikes in demand, such as 2011 when 14,790 coins were eventually sold. The 2016 coin had a mintage cap at 10,000 coins as well and sold out its entire allotment.

During its first day of sales, the 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle sold more than half its allotment with 5,230 coins sold. It’s opening 11-day sales total hit 8,044 coins for a total of 80.4% sold.

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The 2017 Proof American Platinum Eagle is selling out, but it’s not gone yet. JM Bullion still has the coin in stock for you to add to your collection today. As always we encourage our followers to stay tuned to our blog each week for fun, informative posts, newsworthy updates, and weekly looks at exciting, upcoming releases.

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