Frequently Asked Questions

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What's the difference between bullion, proof, uncirculated, and circulating coins?
Answer ID: 101

Bullion Coins: Are precious metal coins intended for investors. They are:

  • Valued by the weight of the precious metal, which fluctuates based on its daily price.
  • Not sold to the general public through the United States Mint. Instead, these coins are sold through dealers located throughout the United States.

The remaining qualities of coins are sold directly by the United States Mint to collectors and others as gifts and keepsakes. They are:

Proof Coins: Are the finest quality of coin produced by the United States Mint. The term "proof" refers to the coin's finish. Proof blanks are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice. The coins are then carefully packaged to showcase and preserve their exceptional finish. These coins:

  • Are struck at least twice, which gives the coin a frosted, sculpted foreground for a glamorous shine; defined, intricate design; and mirror-like background.
  • Come with an official Certificate of Authenticity.
  • Are encased in a protective capsule.

Uncirculated Coins: Are hand-loaded into the coining press and struck on specially burnished blanks, yet have a soft, matt-like finish appearance. These coins:

  • Are made like circulating coins (which are used everyday as money), but with a special process that produces a brilliant finish.
  • Come with an official Certificate of Authenticity.

Circulating Coins: Are produced for circulations, but those sold directly by the United States Mint are never released to the Federal Reserve Bank. These coins:

  • Are typically offered by the Mint in rolls, bags or boxes, which do not include Certificates of Authenticity.
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