That sums up California collector Lawrence B. Gratt’s quest to own examples of each of three proof platinum Eagle errors reported earlier this year.
The question is will he get that elusive third piece?
In February, Numismatic News reported a 2007-W $25 quarter-ounce proof platinum American Eagle that had the incuse word FREEDOM (on the ribbon that crosses over the Eagle’s breast) frosted. Later versions minted for the public had the word FREEDOM polished to a mirror-like finish.
At that time, the Mint had identified the frosted strike as one of 21 “pre-production strikes” that had been minted for review purposes only and “were inadvertently placed in the production stream while preparing for an internal audit” and then apparently released to collectors in error, according to Michael White of the Mint’s Office of Public Affairs.
White noted that pre-production frosted strikes were also made for the $50 and $100 denominations, but none for the tenth-ounce version.
In March I reported on the first $100 2007-W platinum “Frosted Freedom” Eagle coin found by Jason Fishman of which White noted only 12 had been minted. At the end of that article I posed the question as to where and when would one of the half-ounce $50 versions be found of which White stated 21 of these also were produced.
In June, as a direct result of my March report, the final denomination of the three pre-production denominations minted – the $50 half-ounce version finally surfaced in the collection of Gratt, who at the time preferred to remain anonymous. He said that he first had learned of the errors when he went on the Internet to check on the value of his sets and found a short teaser article in the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America website that linked to the Numismatic News story, which in turn prompted him to check his sets and find that one out of the three sets he owned contained the $50 Frosty (as he calls them).
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Now Gratt, whose coin was graded PR-69 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and designated as the discovery specimen for the $50 is attempting to own one example of all three of the possible “Frosted Freedom” denominations.
He was able to acquire the Fishman example of the $100 coin in a private treaty exchange that he stated amounted to $45,000 worth of coins in trade. Fishman’s $100 coin was graded by NGC as PR-70 and also noted as being the discovery specimen on the holder.
Gratt stated that his goal is to obtain one of the 21 pieces that was apparently released for the $25 version so that he can own the complete set. However, he said that even owning two of the three “represents a realization of my collector’s fantasy.”
I’d like to know of any other reports of these coins being found. Email me at Kpotter256@aol.com.