Proof, in the field of coin collecting, is a coin that has been ‘proofed’ – that is, it has been subjected to an inspection by a competent and trusted coin dealer before being placed in the market for public sale. Proof coins can bear both the marks of the mint and of a highly skilled mint defects if these defects are properly spotted. Proofing also allows the coin dealer to determine which varieties and strike levels each variety belongs to thereby place it into his or her lineup. If proofing is not done, the coin may not sell for what it is worth or it may be given away as a curio instead of a coin.
Is What Does Proof Mean In Coins Worth [$] To You?
There are two types of proof: spot proof and double proof. A spot proof shows the appearance of the coin right after the coin has left the mint. Such proofs are very valuable. As for the double proof, the coin is thoroughly cleaned (including the mint markings), then the surface is gently rubbed with an abrasive material such as cobalt blue) so that no evidence of tampering or anything else can be seen. After this process, the coin is inspected once more by a qualified coin dealer who will confirm that the coin is in fact, a proof.
In the past, the coins in circulation were inspected by the dealers, either individually or in pairs. As the popularity of the coin collecting hobby grew, more dealers started to specialize in certain areas of coin collecting. They began to offer specialized classes for those interested in learning how to identify a proof coin. These specialized classes, which are conducted over the internet, are especially helpful for those who have a general interest in coin collecting but are unsure about how to recognize a proof coin.