This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation announced Jan. 13 that it has certified a newly discovered platinum Eagle variety.
The latest oddity to surface in the Mint’s American Eagle Bullion Coin series is a 2007-W platinum $100 proof that displays a die-polishing error.
This popular coin type, which features a facing eagle with wings outstretched, also includes a shield on the eagle’s breast. Draped over this shield is a banner inscribed with the “W” mintmark at left and the word “FREEDOM” at right. On dies having a normal polishing pattern, this incuse word displays the same brilliant finish as the coin’s fields, thus standing out within the frosted banner. The newly discovered variety has the word frosted so that it blends in with the rest of the design.
Presently unique, the coin has been certified by NGC as PF-70 Ultra Cameo, and it’s also identified on the label as “Frosted Freedom” and “Discovery Specimen.”
The 2011 edition of R.S. Yeoman’s A Guide Book of United States Coins illustrates this coin type with a U. S. Mint-generated rendering that shows the word “FREEDOM” frosted as on this error coin, but that illustration is believed to be a conceptual drawing that predated actual production, according to NGC.
With ever more of the Mint’s die preparation becoming automated, it’s likely that this die simply missed the step that normally would have polished the incuse lettering to a mirror finish, NGC said.
Though the coin is the first example found with a uniformly frosted finish to the banner, NGC says it’s likely that others must have been struck and urges collectors to examine their 2007-W proof platinum $100 coins for additional specimens.