What Does Proof Mean on Coins?

Irainvesting proof coin story collectors have asked me this question, what does the proof really mean in coins, they see proof coins and say “hey I know what that means but it doesn’t mean anything!” Well, let me tell you, I didn’t learn about proof coins until years later when I was a novice collector. Years of collecting coins and doing research never led me to understand what does proof really mean. I did find out one interesting tidbit of information however, which is that in the case of reinvesting proof coins, proof was used to determine whether or not the coin was forged.

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Proofing is determining if a coin is real by comparing it to another similar coin that has its age verified by a specific reference. The reference used in the case of reinvesting is the finish of the coin, how the surface has been cleaned, how well the surface has been buffed. You see proofing is a very important coin inspection procedure because it determines the coin’s age, how well it was made, how well it was manufactured, what quality it had when it was manufactured and who manufactured it. It can also reveal the errors that may have been made during production. Without proofing the coin, there would be no way to determine what year the coin actually was.

So how do you determine if your coin is a fake proof? The best method of forgers to fool other collectors is to not proof the coin, just put it in a wallet and forget it. Another method forgers are to put a small piece of tape on the inside of the coin, to make it impossible to prove that the coin exists without it being proven. This is also why it is extremely important to know all of your coins’ markings so you can spot the difference between a real proof and a forgery.


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