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Viewpoint: West Point silver Eagle a beauty

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By William H. Brownstein

Let’s go back to the question on the special treatment to the 75th anniversary of the West Point Mint silver Eagles and my thoughts on the set issue.

Having just seen the U.S. Mint website and the coins, I can honestly state that the enhanced uncirculated Eagle is a fantastic work of art that I believe provides the consumer with the epitome of beauty, quality and evidences the highest state of the minter’s art. I also believe that what is being produced could not have been achieved a generation ago, let alone when the Mint started manufacturing proof coins.

I believe that the treatment on the enhanced coin surpasses anything that I have seen from any other Mint and I am delighted not only with the Eagle, but with the treatment being given to the Five-Star General proof dollar and gold piece. The U.S .Mint didn’t have to resort to colorization to achieve its result and this doesn’t look like a cartoon token, as some of the issues by foreign mints have struck.

After all, the roots for producing coins was to be used in commerce. The Mint decided to sell specially struck versions of the regular coinage to meet the demand of collectors. The specially struck versions, nevertheless, were legal tender and could be spent.

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The Eagles fall within the fundamental values of coinage, even though their nominal value is nothing close to their intrinsic value. They are made of the exact same metals as the circulation coins, i.e., the uncirculated coins. They have the exact same amount of precious metals and unlike other mints that have resorted to colorizing coins, adding crystals, diamonds and other hype to a regular coin, the U.S. Mint by using the most modern technology to enhance what was already a beautiful coin has achieved its goal of providing the collector of a specially produced, extremely high quality gorgeous product that sticks with the same fundamental design and composition as the regular issue.

I question whether this is not really a reverse proof instead of an uncirculated coin as the U.S. Mint is advertising. In reality, I believe that since these are being made on specially treated blanks, are struck under greater pressure than business strikes, and they are being struck using special dies that they would technically constitute a proof, not a Mint State issue.

I love the coin; the short ordering period, the fact that the only way to get it is from the U.S. Mint and the fact that there are no discounts being offered to coin dealers and promoters.

I visited the U.S. Mint website and was pleasantly surprised to see that the price for the two-coin American Eagles 75th anniversary of the West Point Mint silver set was reduced to $139.95 from $149.95.

I believe that at that price anyone interested in coins can buy one or two of this beautiful set with little downside risk.

Depending on how many are sold between the May 9 through June 6 ordering period This may have the potential for a large profit depending on how many are sold.

This is a first year for at least the specially enhanced uncirculated coin. Adding to the desirability of this set is the fact that it is truly beautiful and a masterpiece of the mintmaster’s art.

One concern, however, is whether the U.S. Mint will find some excuse to issue more of these special issues once the ordering period is over. Hopefully we won’t see a repeat of what the U.S. Mint did under the auspices of the BEP special set with the 2012-S uncirculated Eagle.

This “Viewpoint” was written by William H. Brownstein, a hobbyist from Santa Monica, Calif.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to

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