It was way back in 1997 when the Proof American Eagle platinum coin was first introduced, but the coming 2018 will showcase new obverse and reverse designs.
The 2018 issue inaugurates a three-coin issue dubbed the “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series.” The Proof 2018-W American Eagle platinum coin will be offered by the U.S. Mint. The obverse designs for the Proof 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum $100 coins for 2018, 2019 and 2020 were rendered by Justin Kunz. The common eagle reverse that will appear on the reverses of all three issues for the three-year program was rendered by another AIP artist, Patricia Lucas-Morris.
The inaugural obverse showcases a portrait of liberty that was rendered by the then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti. The Soaring Eagle reverse was executed by the then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers Sr.
Beginning in 1998, while the obverse remained the same, a new reverse design was introduced. The Mercanti-Rogers design combo was retained for the bullion version and will continue for the future American Eagle platinum bullion coin releases. For the 20th anniversary of the platinum Proof American Eagle in 2017, Rogers’ original Soaring Eagle reverse was resurrected for the Proof 2017-W platinum coin.
Kunz’s obverse designs are meant to reflect the artist’s interpretation of the core American principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as espoused in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. 2018 reflects “Life, personified by Liberty teaching a child how to sow seeds in a farm field.
According to the U.S. Mint’s narrative, the sword carried by Liberty signifies that she has the power to defend life. And the furrowed Earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of an environment that sustains life.
The 2018 obverse was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna, Kunz’s 2019 obverse design showcases Lady Liberty keeping a watch at prairies, lakes, and mountains as pioneers head westward. In the background, a wild terrain is featured and it evokes the quintessential American spirit to go after life fearlessly, pursuing new thought processes and new ideas of life. While in the foreground, Lady Liberty’s lips are parted, suggesting freedom of speech. Her torch is an emblem of the guiding light that liberty provides, while the book represents the rule of law and its equal application.
Sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, the 2020 obverse design depicts Lady Liberty along with a young girl is harvesting the fruits of her labor. The overflowing cornucopia symbolizes the physical, intellectual and spiritual gifts Liberty is rewarded with. The home, orchard, and silo represent American hopes, values, and aspirations and bring to a close the narrative told throughout the backgrounds of the series.
Lucas-Morris’ common reverse features an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. The common reverse design was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II before his July 31, 2017, retirement.