Is there any difference between uncirculated and Burnished coins?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Luke1988, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Luke1988

    Luke1988 New Member

    Is there any difference between uncirculated and Burnished coins other then the mint mark?
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  3. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Based on your question I don't think you understand what burnished means. Burnished is just another word for polished. It's just that simple.

    That said, the reason people use the word burnished is to differentiate polishing that is done by the Mint and polishing that is done by somebody after a coin leaves the Mint.

    Now, a coin burnished by the mint can be uncirculated or circulated - either way it is still burnished. And it is worth noting that sometimes the burnishing is done before the coin is struck and sometimes it is done after the coin is struck.
  4. Luke1988

    Luke1988 New Member

    So there is a difference in the finish between bullion American Silver Eagles and the Uncirculated burnished coins that was sold on that mints web site?
  5. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I too am waiting to hear more on this subject. I was thinking of completing a coin set dated 2009 with one example of each denomination, material (silver/clad), finish (burnished/non-burnished), and manufacture (proof/business). I don't want to hijack this thread so I'll post another once I get the list together.
  6. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    All ASEs are burnished. Always have been.
  7. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Regarding the P&D cent through dollar coins- Are the mint set coins burnished & different from the business strike coins from the bank?
  8. Info Sponge

    Info Sponge Junior Member

    The mint has a product line confusingly called "uncirculated" which is sold direct, as opposed to the "bullion" silver Eagle which goes through the dealer network.

    The Mint site says "In a process similar to that used to create the magnificent American Eagle Proof Coins, American Eagle Uncirculated Coins are hand-loaded into the coining press, struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark of the United States Mint at West Point."

    So if the bullion coins have burnished blanks, is there a difference between "burnished" and "specially burnished"? In other words, do the coins the Mint calls "uncirculated" differ in anything other than handling and mint mark from the bullion coins?
  9. Luke1988

    Luke1988 New Member

    Yes, Mint Sets from 2005 and later have what is called a "satin" finish.
  10. Luke1988

    Luke1988 New Member


    I also wonder of there is any extra steps taking in handling the coins to prevent damage vs the one's made for bullion.
  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    No the Mint Set coins are not burnished. But they do have a different finish than the coins from the bank do. Mint Set coins all (those from 2005, 06, 07, 08, 09 & 10) have a satin finish. The mint has said that all Mint Set coins will have a satin finish from now on.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Not really. I think the planchets may be polished (burnished) just a little bit more, really I think it's more advertising than anything else when they say "specially burnished", but that's because when you look at the regular bullion coins side by side with the ones you can buy from the mint - you really can't tell the difference other than the mint mark.

    Just what they say - hand loaded into the coin press. All of the ASEs, AGEs and APEs are taken out of the presses by hand, always have been.
  13. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    I really wish the mint had not started calling the W mintmarked non-proofs "burnished" becaused it did nothing but create a lot of confusion. As Doug mentioned ALL ASE and in fact all planchets are burnished before striking. In order to strike up well the planchets have to be annealed to soften them. But the annealing process discolors the planchets and coats them with a oxide layer. In order to get that off before striking the planchets are cleaned and burnished.

    If anything the "burnished" pieces are a little whiter than the non-"burnished" coins. But I really think that is the result of a finer matte finish applied to the dies than anything the do to the planchets. And after they strike some coins that finer finish is dulled and they start looking the same. I think you would probably be hard pressed to tell them apart if you can't see the mintmark.

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