What is a Reverse Proof Coin and Reverse Proof Finish?

What is a Reverse Proof Coin?

Reverse Proofs are becoming exceedingly popular these days thanks to the positive reception from the global precious metals market. A reverse proof coin is a coin that features an inverted proof finish, i.e. a mirrored design device on a frosted surface. If this definition just created more questions than it answered, let’s explore further!

What are Proof Coins? What is a Proof Finish?

Proof coins, like the Proof Silver Eagle coin, are usually early samples of a coin issue. Even though historically they used to be struck for simply checking the dies and archival purposes, mints today are issuing proof coins in greater numbers due to their popularity among both collectors and investors.

Today, proof coinage is defined by their method of manufacture. A coin struck in limited quantities using a more precise and careful striking process to impart detailed designs and a reflective finish is called a proof coin.

These coins feature more detailed designs due to higher pressure from the dies and aren’t intended for circulation. Since mints are extremely careful during the production of these coins, they usually display much more design detail and polish.

A proof coin has certain characteristics that makes it stand out compared to its commonly-found Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) counterparts.

  • More often than not, they have extremely small and limited mintages.
  • They have a mirror finish surface and a frosted design – i.e. the designs have a glazed, frosty look about them, while the surfaces of the coins are polished to mirror-like perfection. This is often called a proof finish.

What is Reverse Proof Finish?

As you might have guessed by now, an inverted proof finish is called a reverse proof finish. This indicates a mirrored design that sits atop a frosted surface.

[Image of Proof and Reverse Proof for comparison]

The rising popularity of this finish has prompted mints from across the globe to launch reverse proof variants of coins from various popular coin series.

What Does a Proof and Reverse Proof Coin Look Like?

Hopefully, this will help you visualize it more. The first  coin is a "regular" Proof Silver Eagle coin and the second coin is a "reverse" Proof Silver Eagle coin. 

Proof Silver Coin
Proof Silver Coins Example

"Reverse" Proof Silver Coin
Reverse Proof Silver Eagle Coin