What Are Proof Coins? A Comprehensive Guide

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 17, 2023

Are you intrigued by the world of numismatics or perhaps considering investing in precious metals? Proof coins are one of the most popular forms of precious metals to add to your collection or investment portfolio. Keep reading to delve into the unique features, value and rich history of these special coins and help you discover the best ones for investing. Let's get started!

What Are Proof Coins?

Proof coins are specially made coins with distinctive characteristics that set them apart from regular circulation coins. These coins are struck using polished dies and planchets, resulting in a mirror-like finish and sharp relief. They are also often stamped twice to create especially bold ridges. Proof coins are typically produced in limited quantities, which contributes to their rarity and appeal among collectors and investors.

Proof coins are primarily created for investors and collectors and are not intended for general circulation. They often come in protective cases or display boxes, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the mint that produced them.

How Are Coins Graded?

Coin grading is the process of determining the condition and quality of a coin. It plays a significant role in evaluating a coin's value and its appeal to collectors. The Sheldon Scale, ranging from 1 to 70, is the most widely used grading system for coins. A coin with a grade of 70 is considered to be in perfect mint condition, while a grade of 1 indicates a coin that is barely recognizable.

Proof coins are usually assigned a grade with the prefix "PR" or "PF," indicating their proof status. The higher the grade, the more valuable and sought-after the coin. These coins should be handled carefully and stored in protective cases to maintain their condition and value.

The History of Proof Coins

The production of proof coins dates back to the early 18th century when they were struck by mints to test and showcase new coin designs. Originally, these coins were used as presentation pieces for monarchs and other high-ranking officials and were not available to the general public.

Over time, proof coins gained popularity among collectors, and mints began producing them in larger quantities for the numismatic community. Today, they are minted by various countries and are highly sought after by collectors and investors for their unique features, limited availability and potential for appreciation.

Best Proof Coins for Investing

Now that you know the benefits of proof coins, here are some of the most popular gold and silver proof coins from the U.S., Canadian and British government mints.


1. American Gold Eagle Proof Coins: A popular choice among investors, the American Gold Eagle Proof Coin is struck in 22-karat gold and features a stunning design by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is available in various denominations and is backed by the U.S. government for weight and purity. They are offered by pretty much all gold and silver dealers, including Advantage Gold, Red Rock Secured and the others listed below.


2. American Gold Buffalo Proof Coins: The first 24-karat gold coin offered by the U.S. Mint, the American Gold Buffalo Proof Coin showcases James Earle Fraser's iconic design. This coin is valued for its purity, limited production and exquisite craftsmanship. Advantage Gold and Red Rock Secured both have American Gold Buffalo Proof coins.


3. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Proof Coins: Struck in 0.9999 (and sometimes 0.99999) fine gold, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Proof Coin is renowned for its purity and iconic design. The Royal Canadian Mint produces these coins in limited quantities, making them an attractive investment option.


4. British Silver Britannia Proof Coins: The Silver Britannia Proof Coin, minted by the Royal Mint, features a beautiful design of Britannia, the female personification of Britain. These coins are struck in 0.999 fine silver and are available in various sizes, providing investors with flexibility in their investment choices.

How to Buy Proof Coins

Proof coins aren't as common as regular bullion or circulated coins, but they are offered by a wide range of great precious metals dealers. A few of the best that offer many if not all of the most popular proof coins are Advantage Gold, Red Rock Secured, American Hartford Gold, Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group.

You can buy proof coins with these platforms to be delivered directly to you, or you can get the tax benefits of an IRA. If you already have an IRA that you might want to roll over, Advantage Gold is well-known for its expertise. It only takes a few minutes with Advantage Gold to complete your rollover, depending on the broker you are transferring from.

You might also consider using Patriot Gold Group if you want to invest in gold, silver or try a precious metals IRA. The company has a robust knowledge center that can help answer your questions, or you can speak with their customer service team to learn more.

Oxford Gold Group makes it easy for you to get the information you because you can schedule with a gold expert right from the homepage. Plus, you can check out educational articles, read current news articles, review precious metals charts, track prices and even take delivery or schedule the storage of real gold and other precious metals.

Those who try Lear Capital can speak with an expert if they want to learn more about their precious metals investments. With more than 25 years in the business, the firm also offers the Lear Advantage IRA for those who want to save for the future.

Are Proof Coins a Good Investment?

Proof coins can be one of the strongest options for investors looking to buy precious metals. They aren't always the best choice for everyone, but they are often the cleanest and best-looking forms of precious metals on the market. They are also easy to buy and sell because of their popularity.

About Henry Stater

Henry is an expert in all things crypto. He stays up to date with all the latest coins, platforms and technologies in the field. He has particular expertise in the burgeoning decentralized finance ecosystem and loves trying out all the new platforms. He also always follows major events in other financial markets and geopolitics as a whole, especially when an event’s effects ripple through the crypto market.