2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle ‘Life’ Photos

by Mike Unser on February 23, 2018 · 31 comments

This article presents photos of a United States Mint’s 2018-W $100 Proof American Platinum Eagle.

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle, Certificate and Case

This CoinNews photo shows a 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle in its black-velvet presentation case along with the included U.S. Mint Certificate of Authenticity and box that holds the case

Released on Jan. 25, the 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum coin is the first release in a three-year Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Series that celebrates the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse and Reverse

These two photos show the platinum coin’s obverse (heads side) and reverse (tails side)

The new series is a continuation of the U.S. Mint’s American Platinum Eagle program that launched in 1997 with proofs featuring annually changing designs. Until this year, the coins had varying obverses and a common reverse. Switching it around, coins in 2018, 2019 and 2020 have unique obverse designs and the same eagle-in-flight reverse design.

2018-2020 Proof American Platinum Eagle Designs

Original U.S. Mint-published line art images of the three obverse and common reverse designs for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 proof American Platinum Eagles.”

Created by Justin Kunz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, this year’s obverse features "Life" personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. In the background are mountains, a river running through fields and a large tree — all symbolizing life. The word "Life" is written in script in the field by Liberty’s shoulder.

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse, Life

A view of a proof Platinum Eagle within its protective capsule (obverse ‘Life’ side shown)

Proof coins are minted for coin collectors and as the above photo shows they feature sharp design detail, frosted foregrounds, and mirror-like backgrounds.

Kunz also designed the obverses in the upcoming 2019 "Liberty" and the 2020 "Happiness" coins.

Here are four more photos of the 2018 coin’s obverse, including three close-up photos:

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle Standing in Presentation Case

A proof 2018 American Platinum Eagle in the presentation case’s coin stand

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse, Life-b

A larger view of the ‘Life’ platinum coin

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse, Life-a

Another view of the coin

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse, Life-c

One more photo of the coin’s ‘Life’ design

Proof Platinum Eagles reverses for the next three years show an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. Patricia Morris created the design and Don Everhart sculpted it.

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, Eagle

This photo shows the proof Platinum Eagle in its protective capsule with the reverse eagle-in-flight design. This same design will be used on coins in 2019 and 2020

The West Point Mint strikes all American Platinum Eagles. Proof editions carry the facility’s ‘W’ mintmark on their reverse.

Finally, here are four more photos of a 2018 Proof Platinum Eagle’s reverse:

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, b

A larger view of the Platinum Eagle’s reverse

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, a

Another view of a reverse

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, c

One more photo of a revere

Photo of 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, d

A final photo of a reverse


Order the proof platinum coin from the United States Mint via this online product page. No more than 20,000 will be sold. It sales through Feb. 5 totaled 8,316 coins.

Its price can change weekly depending on the trending value of platinum. It launched at $1,420 but as of this writing is at $1,370.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Mouse February 23, 2018 at 7:35 am

The reverse on this coin is stunning. Job well done.


jim February 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

A little unnatural I think. The eagles wings show it is preparing to land but is carrying a branch and not landing on a tree. The bird would normally just drop the branch and keep flying.

Mouse February 23, 2018 at 11:03 am

Hi Jim – I was raised on the West coast / pacific ocean and have watched many a Bald Eagle hunt prey. I have seen many a Eagle drop what they are carrying (stick for a nest) in their talons to engage a food source. They did not drop it until over their prey as not every dive is a guarantee. Truly a sight to behold. Hope one day you get a chance to witness it.


Nels February 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm

The reverse is beautiful!

Kahoola February 23, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Features look like they are enhanced. Have not noticed it before, or at least not as pronounced, in previous proofs. Nicely done, wonder if the Mint will be doing this with more proofs.

Old Collector February 23, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Question for all. Am I seeing things or is Lady Liberty in fact packing a sword that is partly visible half-way behind her hanging from her belt? If it is indeed a sword that she is carrying I am seriously perplexed as to how that in any way relates to “Life”.

Gary Lomax February 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Weapons have been used to protect life since the dawn of man. She is in the field with her young child. Surely a knife to protect them from beasts or scoundrals is appropriate.
Police use weapons everyday to protect the community.

This coin is stunning. Really want to purchase it but a bit out of my current price range. Much more in the spirit of the true origins of Liberty than the hideous rendition and cultural misappropriation of Lady Liberty on the 1/10 oz gold coin.

Mouse February 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Old Collector – the Obverse of the coin has a very European flavor to it and in my option very appropriate. Early settlers were all of European decent.The sword is a good touch (some what hidden and not a focal point) as I myself carry a knife when hiking in the rocky mountains for safety – needed to protect the life of my son and myself if we ever have the misfortune of coming across a grizzly. One thing I have learned in this life – ‘never mess with a mama bear” lol and in the case of this coin design – that goes for human as well lol.



Old Collector February 24, 2018 at 9:34 am

Gary Lomax & Mouse,
Now I understand the illustration on the coin much better. At first I was a bit thrown off by the seemingly unwieldy juxtaposition of the very peaceful, bucolic nature of the surrounding scenery and the surprising presence of an instrument of violence. However, after reading your viewpoints regarding the idea of “just in case” self-protection the collective scenario makes a heck of a lot more sense to me. Thanks to you both for clearing up the confusion for me, and happy collecting!

captainrich February 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Sorry, but it looks like the eagle is pooping initials.

a Bob February 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm

Not a fan of what they are doing with proofs. The multilayered frosting is not for me. Nice design that we will not see in uncirculated.

Old Collector February 24, 2018 at 10:44 pm


Those aren’t initials…that’s eagle poop for sure.

morgan February 25, 2018 at 12:42 am

Early settlers were not all of European decent. They were all of Asian decent. Europeans came thousands of years later.

Old Collector February 25, 2018 at 8:38 am

Which reminds me of that priceless, unforgettable and painfully hilarious Steve Martin line from the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, to wit, “Those aren’t pillows!” 🙂

Dan February 25, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I only started collecting these platinum proofs back in 2015. I am trying to go back and collect some of the previous years. Which designs do you like from the previous years, going back to 1997? If people have a top 3, i’d be interested to hear

Mouse February 25, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Dan – as i do not collect Platinum coins I still have and always will follow their designs / works of art. I would suggest you take a look at – and if able – purchase (the premiums are gonna be crazy – just a heads up – even if you can find them)

Years: – 1997 – (stunning design)
– 2013 – (stunning design)
– 2010



CoinsA-Z February 25, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I agree with the general sentiment of most here….the reverse (Eagle) side is absolutely stunning. The obverse is pretty lame in my view.

I’d really love to see this eagle design become the new American Eagle design if and when the US Mint ever changes that 30+ year old design. The US Mint would re-invigorate the weak demand for American Eagles with a new eagle depiction like the one we see on this coin.

Joe Brown February 26, 2018 at 2:24 am

Old Collector – what’s up! I sea the kid of *lady *liberty sowing seed*s, that *sword is her share cropper* for all they have sowed*, in the big open field of crops in the background. *just*me*maybe. Hey!Mouse! go for the jugkala of yogi*bear with your pocket knife*, don*t miss! he’ll be real pissed, stand your ground lake *Dan *Boone. >Lomax>>>>>> look in the mirror, >UHIDEOUS< LOL!!!!!*peace*smile*all*.

jim February 26, 2018 at 6:31 am

a Bob –
I guess you see value in uncirculated versions of coins – I don’t, myself. In my opinion they should stop making uncirculated collector versions of coins altogether. Back in the old days when mirror and frosted combinations didn’t exist, maybe, but not now. Looking at mintage counts proof is far the more popular and probably at least half of the uncirdulated are also bought by the proof collectors just to keep collections complete. I wonder how many collectors would seriously object to the elimination of uncirculated coins.

Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 7:39 am

Truth be told, I far prefer the exceptional naturally beautiful depiction of Lady Liberty on the 1/10 ounce gold coin to the version of her as portrayed on the $100 Platinum “Life” coin, especially since the latter makes her look too much like a typical Aryan propaganda poster vision of motherhood.

Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 7:41 am

Joe Brown,
I’m happy to see you’ve got your ever-faithful and trusty bs detector running at full steam; high five!

Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 7:50 am

It happens more than just occasionally that an uncirculated coin or set of coins may end up being more valuable than the same-year proof version precisely because initially many more collectors and/or investors tend to purchase the proof version. As time passes the consequently scarcer uncirculated versions subsequently become the more desirable iteration of the coin/coins due to their having yielded lower mintage figures. Predicting future coin value is indeed a very tricky game.

Joe Brown February 26, 2018 at 8:10 am


Mouse February 26, 2018 at 9:01 am

Joe- I carry a tool much greater than a pocket knife lol As a Born and raise Canadian / born and raised in the heart of the rocky mountains, I am no stranger to the wild life in my back yard. My blade (or pocket knife you called it lol) is a KA-BAR “kill a bear” / superior tool and is issued and utilized by your US army/ marines – I also carry a tomahawk / designed and purchased in Manitoba. When it comes to my child’s safety and a bear – I will fight to the death. Daddy did not raise a coward.

And one thing about bears, loud noise will tree brown and black bears / grizzlies stalk their prey and are easy to detect as the put off the smell of a wet dog. they can be smelled a mile away. The stick is out of this world. If a person were to accidentally come across one, a hunting rifle is also a great equalizer. I have not nor will I ever hunt any bear so when I catch their scent / stink / I remove myself and my loved ones from the area fast.


Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 10:56 am

Joe Brown – Double Ditto 🙂

Mouse – You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that you would vacate a bear’s territory long before you would even think about or consider doing it any harm. You’re a genuine scholar and a true gentleman! 🙂

Joe Brown February 26, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Mouse – your right! you did say knife not pocket knife, good choice *ka-bar – knife, made in *u*s*a* i, hope, they branch out overseas in past years, but they do still make here, for a small cost more. Nice brand tomahawk, good tace! same here tho! I’ll be a male*Loin*, for a grizzly, and go for the throat, to protect first or my last option for my cubs and their *den., always*like u* *Mouse to *Lion, & back again.smile*. i do be leave its all happening at the *zoo!woo!wOO!WOOO!

Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 2:06 pm

jim – That’s a good question, and I have heard voices from both sides of that “divide”. Some collectors believe that only uncirculated coins are closer to being “real”, i.e., circulating, coinage than are proof coins, so that makes them more “authentic.”In fact, I have also heard this sort of disagreement regarding silver versus clad coins, regardless of whether they are proof or uncirculated. Some folks claim that since our circulating coinage is all clad now, so should be the collector grade coins produced by the Mint. As is so often the case when effectively you have as many discretionary opinions as there are people involved, each to her or his own.

Old Collector February 26, 2018 at 8:49 pm

morgan – You are absolutely correct in this regard: Waves of Asian migrations came over the then-existing land bridge to North American continent over ten thousand years ago and gradually worked their way down to the tip of South America. When the European settlers first arrived here there was already a complete Native American population in place from coast to coast and from pole to pole. Essentially the Europeans were at first intruders, then squatters and finally displacing conquerors.Shortly after their arrival the interlopers began importing kidnapped Africans to do the heavy lifting while their white master set about arranging a comfortable life for themselves. To maintain the lifestyle they had grown accustomed and therefore wanted to maintain they made sure that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution specifically applied only to male caucasian landholders (many of them slave owners themselves) and not to females, African Americans or the destitute landless (indentured servants and such).

Old Collector February 28, 2018 at 10:27 am

One thing that can be of reassurance to anyone who doesn’t like change…it’s pretty much the same now as it ever was, and most especially so since the clock is currently being wound backwards.

Joe Brown February 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

Old Collector* – One+Hour=Forward! March*11*2018, lets all* not walk back! >TheyThey< who change*+*ahead*one hour to start*will!*SMILE* & don*t look back.*smile*

jim February 28, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Old Collector –
I understand the argument about collector versions of circulating coins and I kind of agree with that. But we have the uncirculated coin set (due out in spring 2018 – and don’t get me started on why the mint can’t publish dates for the entire year) which satisfies this argument. All of the remaining coins the mint produces are not for circulation but for collectors only and do not fit the argument. So why uncirculated versions of any of the other coins that are not “circulated”, especially silver eagle and commemorative coins (gold, silver and clad)? At least the gold and platinum (and palladium?) eagles don’t have uncirculated versions minted.

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