Proof Platinum Eagles
Coin collectors that prefer to collect gold bullion coins with annually changing designs have many options such as the Australian Gold Kangaroos or the Chinese Gold Pandas. The same is true for silver bullion coins. However, not many coin collectors are aware of the fact that there is also a series of platinum bullion coins with annually changing designs. These are the proof Platinum Eagles that differ in their design from the standard bullion version of the American Platinum Eagle coins in almost every year since 1998, their second year of issue.
The issue of both proof and brilliant uncirculated American Platinum Eagles began in 1997. That year’s proof edition is one of only two that used the depiction of an eagle in flight on the reverse side of the coins in the same way as it always appears on the brilliant uncirculated coins in every year. The other year that was the case was 2017 when the American Platinum Eagle coin series celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In the years from 1998 to 2016, the proof Platinum Eagles displayed a different image on their reverse side in every year. Sometimes, that design was a one-off like for example in 2004 when the sculpture “America” that stands in front of the U.S. Customs House in New York City was depicted. In most of these years though, the reverse design of the proof Platinum Eagles was a part of a multi-year series. So for example during the years of the “Vistas of Liberty” series from 1998 to 2002, different landscapes that are typical for certain parts of the United States were depicted on the reverse of the proof coins.
Whereas it was always the reverse design of the proof Platinum Eagles that was changed annually until 2016, that policy was changed in 2018. Since then, it is the design of the obverse side that changes annually while the reverse side always depicts an eagle in flight that is carrying an olive branch. During a 3-year series from 2018 to 2020 that was inspired by the Preamble to the American Declaration of Independence, the obverse side design of the coins visualized the three guiding principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The current 5-year series that is inspired by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution started in 2021 and will end in 2025. The lifecycle of an oak tree from a seedling to a mighty tree is used as a metaphor to visualize the concepts that are expressed in this amendment. The first two obverse designs of the proof Platinum Eagles under this series visualized the concepts of freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech in this way. The second coin under this 5-year series was just released earlier this month and early sales were brisk. You can still order it directly from the US Mint’s online store as of now but you better hurry as it may sell out soon.