1999-W $100 Statue of Liberty, DCAM PR70DCAM Certification #30672962, PCGS #99776
Eagle above southeastern wetlands, Mercanti, mintage $100 PR 12,363. John M. Mercanti (obverse), John M. Mercanti (reverse). West Point Mint, .9995 platinum, $100 - 1.0005 oz (31.120 grams; 1 oz actual platinum weight), 32.7 mm diameter. Average spot price of Platinum in 1999 was $377.93. The bold obverse design is a full close-up of the Statue of Liberty's face, entitled "Liberty Looking to the Future." The reverse is an "Eagle Above Southeastern Wetlands." The 1999 alligator crawling out of the swamp and the 2001 Saguaro Cacti in the desert are my favorite two coins of the entire series due to the photographic beauty of the vista sculpture. This year was the second of the five-year "Vistas of Liberty" series from 1998 through 2002. The five Vistas are Northeast, Southeast, Heartland, Southwest and Northwest of America. "The Vistas of Liberty designs will profile the unique character and charisma of our nation's diverse landscapes, capturing the spirit and strength of America and its people." The Proof has a special design of incuse sculpting, that is below the surface plane of the coin, reading E Pluribus Unum, obverse, and fineness, reverse. Quotes per Edmund C. Moy's American Gold and Platinum Eagles book (c) 2014.
Mitch SpivackAs many of you who will read my commentary on the various proof platinum Statue of Liberty coins will soon discover, I am a huge fan of the entire U.S. proof platinum complex. The mintage figures for proof platinum are among the lowest of any mintages for proof type coins since 1915. And, what is cool about these proof platinum coins is that each and every year is a separate reverse design making each coin a "one-year type" coin.
Currently, there are at least (3) popular ways to collect a coin such as this one. First, some collectors enjoy collecting this coin in its original government packaging. There is also some demand for these coins in that format coming from self-directed IRA related activity. I will discuss this development in future commentary on this series.
Second, some collectors enjoy collecting this coin in a lovely PCGS-PR69DCAM holder, which is often a beautiful piece and high enough grade for the vast majority of collectors out there to fully enjoy. It is not uncommon for collectors to pursue the entire 1997-date $100 proof 1 oz. platinum series in PCGS-PR69DCAM grade as their modern eagle collection of choice. And, with the current price of platinum, that collection can keep most collectors busy for a very long time as they collect all of the dates!
Third, a coin such as this is collected in "PCGS perfect" PR70DCAM grade. I have met quite a few collectors pursuing this coin in PCGS-PR70DCAM grade (one of the toughest actually in the entire $100 series thus far to obtain in top grade) and some collectors even seek the "most perfect" of the "perfect" specimens for their sets; those coins with meticulous surfaces even free from planchet imperfections of a pre-striking nature that, in some cases, may not technically affect the "70" grade. It is not uncommon for proof platinum planchets (and especially those from the earlier years) to have pre-striking issues, such as minor pitting, very tiny pinpricks, minor metal flaking, etc. In some cases, these coins are graded PR70DCAM as it is determined that these pre-striking issues with the platinum planchet do not technically affect the grade of the post-struck coin. Collectors should carefully study these coins to fully grasp this issue.
I expect this series to gain popularity in the years ahead. These are some of the most beautiful modern coins ever struck by the U.S. Mint and the super low mintages should catch the attention of many collectors as the "word gets out"!
John M. Mercanti/Al Maletsky
The United States of America
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