PCGS Set Registry®
schdy2greenbelt - 19th2010 YN
GPA with Top Bonuses
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The first of the platinum proofs and the only one to copy the soaring eagle from the uncirculated set. The sheer brilliance of reflected light from a platinum proof is second to that of no other metal. The same can be said of the frost of it's deep cameo. For anyone who is a lover of the spectacular nature of a proof coin in deep cameo, the platinum proofs lead the pack!
Who cannot have their breathe taken away when viewing the eagle soaring in the sky, high above the beautiful scenery on the ground, on the reverse of this coin? This is the original, the "first" of a series of new designs on an issue of American coinage that preceded even the state quarters. It's fitting that the most precious of all coinage metals would lead the way in this regard. This is a superb coin and I'm hard pressed to see why it made PR69DCAM instead of perfection.
I think this year's coin has the most artistic of all the eagles in the series. The majesty of the bird as it soars in the air, leaps off the coin. I am impressed with the strike and cameo on the 1999-W. It is very difficult to find the reason as to why it is not a PR70DC but, if you look very closely, under 10x, there is the slightest and smallest of marks on the reverse, directly under the "m" of "unum." Let me quote Maxwell Smart, "missed it by that much."
In 2000, the reverse comes as close as it is possible to being half proof and half deep cameo of all the coins in the series. In the proof area, I am able to see more than 6 inches of a reflected ruler. The strike on both sides is razor sharp as is the luster. A pin's point of distraction at 8 o'clock on the obverse is all that I see keeping this from being a perfect coin.
Perfection! I knew it when I first laid eyes on it and it was confirmed by 5x, 10x and 20x magnification. I buy 3 coins a year and pick the best one for submission. Every year when I buy the 3 coins from which I pick the one to submit, I spend a great deal of time deciding which is the best coin. Not this time, as it was obvious that this was "the one." Everything about it, strike, luster, cameo etc. were all there and then some. Right before my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we spent time in the area represented on the reverse. It reminds me of the happy times we had before the darkness that was to come. This is a coin that I will never sell because of what it means to me.
The platinum proof series is highlighted and uniquely expressed by the reverses of each year. It's easy to get swept up into them while, largely, ignoring the obverse. The 2002-W obverse is one of the strongest, laser quality strikes that I have ever experienced on a coin. The cameo is so well defined that you can even see the pupils of Miss Liberty's eyes. Again, another proof that stands up and reflects 6 inches of a ruler. The reverse contains one of the most beautiful of all those in the series. I imagine the land area to be one of tranquility and blissful personal peace.
If there were one reverse that I believe should have been considered for the obverse, this is the one! The complete and total majesty of our national bird is in full vigor. Beginning in 2003, it appears to me that the Mint began going the extra mile to assure the very sharpest of strikes and deepest of cameos on every platinum proof. Every person that I've shown this coin to has said "wow" and wonders how it isn't perfect until I explain to them about the small "dot" on one branch of the reverse.
The rarest of the platinum proofs to date brings us the "dual design" on the reverse. As it takes over so much of the coin, it's mind numbing to consider what effort and artistry went in to making such a superb cameo effect. While this is not a reverse proof, I believe this coin set the stage for the reverse proofs that have been put out in recent years as the complexity of the cameo on the reverse required, I believe, as much detailed work as the future reverse proofs that have been released. I cannot, to this day, even under 20x find a reason why this is not a PR70DCAM?
I realize that platinum coins, particularly platinum proofs, are among the most costly for the modern collector to acquire. However, the 2005-W provides the reasons why they are worth the work, effort and sweat to get one. The obverse contains Miss Liberty at her finest and most radiant. The reverse is the perfect balance and centering of the frosted eagle against a near perfect proof background.
What a cameo on the reverse! Stunning, breathtaking, patriotic and so much more. I think of this issue as the "Fourth of July" issue of the plat proofs because I can't look at it and not feel as proud as I can be to be an American. It's expressions of Miss Liberty and the eagle are so incredibly moving. The artwork is worthy of a gallery.
I am going to speak about both the 2007-W and the 2008-W in this comment as it is not possible, yet, to include the 2008-W in the registry. Let me begin with the 2007-W. Again, I have been graced by a perfect PR70DCAM coin! The Mint must put it's best people in every department to work on the platinum proof series because it seems like every issue is an incredible improvement over its last predecessor. There is an art deco feel to the reverse that almost seems to be in honor of the eagle on the Connecticut classic silver commemorative that my father has in his registry type set. This is artistry worthy of being exhibited. The luster, strike, story of the reverse and so on, of the platinum proofs, I believe is unique among the coinage of our country. Let me, briefly address the 2008-W that I have. It is also a PR70DCAM and a First Strike! Among perfect coins it is very difficult to ever say that one is better than another. However, in this situation, I believe I can make a strong case for saying it. The mirrors are more than 6 inches deep. They are black ice in quality. The cameos are like ice. I put this coin under 50x with a microscope and could not find one flaw. The story behind the reverse is also so moving and inspiring as part of our national history.
I knew the moment I looked at this coin, without even a loupe of any power: 5x, 10x or 20x that it was a strong candidate for designation as a perfect coin within its class, namely, PR70DCAM! Still, you never know until you receive the coin back from being graded. Turned out, I was right. It also received a coveted First Strike designation as a bonus. Unfortunately, this perfect MS70 First Strike coin, by set registry rules, will not officially be added (computed) into my total score until 1/1/09. However, when it is, my set again will rise in the top ten rankings. I can patiently wait!