U.S. Platinum Eagle
In 1997, the U.S. Mint introduced its first-ever platinum coin – the stunning Platinum Eagle coins struck in 99.95% pure platinum. Platinum is one of the world’s rarest precious metals. It is about 15 times rarer than gold, and it has been said that if all the platinum ever mined was placed in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it would barely be ankle-deep.
What’s more, just a fraction of the platinum has been used for coinage. Much of it has been used for fine jewelry – and for good reason! Known as a “noble” metal, it’s a beautiful silvery color and is legendary for its durability and resistance to corrosion. For these reasons – and the fact that it almost unreactive to water and acids – it’s also used widely in electronics, catalytic converters, and medical supplies and equipment.
There is a virtually perpetual worldwide shortage of platinum, which is why the U.S. Mint is one of the few mints in the world to strike platinum coins. Platinum is also exceptionally hard to work with, making it challenging to strike coins.
2016 One-Ounce Platinum Coin: SOLD OUT at the U.S. Mint in 56 Minutes!
On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Mint released the 2016 edition of the Platinum Eagle coin. Since 2009, there has been just a single coin – the one-ounce coin – and it is issued only as a proof; it has a $100 face value, the highest face value of any U.S. coin. Each Platinum Eagle is struck multiple times to create the design.
Due to the rarity of platinum, each year’s coin is a strictly limited mintage … so there is a very short window of opportunity to acquire it. Despite platinum’s rarity, the one-ounce Platinum Eagle generally sells for just a small premium over the one-ounce Gold Eagle.
All Platinum Eagles feature the Statue of Liberty’s face on the obverse, but the reverse changes each year. For 2016, the design shows a full figure of Liberty in a dramatic dance-like movement. She hold a torch of enlightenment in her right hand and an olive branch (representing the 13 original states) in her left hand to symbolize peace. A flying bald eagle beside Liberty completes the design. Overall, the design celebrates America’s core values of liberty and freedom.
The 2016 Platinum Eagle had an edition limit of only 10,000 coins, and the edition completely sold out at the U.S. Mint in only 56 minutes. A few coins are still available from secondary sources, but it is likely that they will disappear quickly. Finding a 2106 Platinum Eagle will only get harder in the future, so it’s a good idea to pick one up whenever you have the chance!