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Frosting error found on $50

The first example of a frosted “Freedom” proof 2007-W $50 platinum American Eagle was reported June 18 as the result of a March 15 article in Numismatic News.

Based mainly on this report, which a reader found on the CONECA website that eventually linked him to the full report on the NumisMaster website, I can now state that this error, which is the third size, has finally been found.

A collector who had purchased three of the 2007 platinum proof sets directly from the Mint said it was the only coin out of the three sets that had the word “Freedom” (on the banner draped over the eagle) fully frosted and that it was the half-ounce size that we new existed but was not reported in March.

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Regular specimens of four platinum denominations from the one-tenth through one-ounce intended for release to collectors in sets show “Freedom” polished to a mirror finish.

The finder of this frosted piece wishes to remain anonymous but supplied the photo shown here and is sending the coin to Numismatic Guaranty Corp. of Sarasota, Fla.

NGC had announced Jan. 14 that it had certified a newly discovered 2007-W $100 one-ounce platinum variety and then Feb. 13 certified the same type of variety on a quarter-ounce $25 platinum coin.

The newly discovered $50 half-ounce coin also has the word frosted so that it blends in with the rest of the design.
Michael White of the Mint’s Office of Public Affairs confirmed the coins where not struck in error, but were what the Mint refers to as “pre-production coins” for review or what collectors might refer to as “patterns.”

According to White, “A small quantity of coins were struck and retained as ‘good product’ prior to production.
During the pre-production review process, we changed the frosting mask to polish the word FREEDOM, to make it more readable, and went into full production with the new dies.  We believe the frosted ‘Freedom’  coins, which were struck prior to production of the approved version, were inadvertently placed in the production stream while preparing for an internal audit.”

According to White, the total population of the struck frosted “Freedom” that could be in the public’s hands is:

1 ounce – 12 coins
1/2 ounce – 21 coins
1/4 ounce – 21 coins
1/10 ounce – none made

Do you own one of these rare pieces? Check your platinum sets now.

Ken Potter is the official attributer and lister of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collector’s Association of Die Doubling. He privately lists U.S. doubled dies and other collectible variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register. For more information on either of these clubs, or to learn how to get a variety listed in the Variety Coin Register, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope and 61 cents to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 0232. Contact Ken via email at Kpotter256@aol.com, or visit his Educational Image Gallery located at: www.koinpro.com.

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