The US Mint today released the 2009 American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin at an inaugural issue price of $1,792.
The coins each contain 99.95 percent pure platinum, are limited to a maximum mintage of 8,000 and have a order limit in place of five per household.
The 2009 Platinum Eagle features a new reverse or tails side design emblematic of the principle "To Form a More Perfect Union," the first of six principles of American democracy found in the Preamble to the United States Constitution.
This year’s theme depicts the diversity of the nation with four faces on the left looking towards the right, hair and clothing weaved together. The weaving completes a circle where within the concept is inscribed. It was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
Also added is a new American Eagle "privy mark," based on an original "coin punch" identified at the US Mint at Philadelphia.
Annually changing reverses are not new for American Platinum Eagles. They have featured a new design since their introduction in 1997. The obverses, however, have always been an image of the Statue of Liberty designed by United States Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti.
Collectors of the coins will note that the 2009 packaging is different from prior years. The Mint has moved to tri-fold packaging. The center features the coin, the right side includes the certificate of authenticity and coin specifications, and the left has the To Form a More Perfect Union narrative by Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr.
The Platinum Eagles may be ordered directly from US Mint’s website (www.usmint.gov) via the:
Orders can also be placed using their toll-free number at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT.
The price of the eagles may change weekly, and is determined by US Mint coin pricing policy which uses an average of the weekly London Fix for platinum.
Future American Eagle Platinum Proof coin reverses will feature the following themes:
- 2010 – To Establish Justice
- 2011 – To Insure Domestic Tranquility
- 2012 – To Provide for the Common Defense
- 2013 – To Promote General Welfare
- 2014 – To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity
Themes for the reverse designs in the new series of American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins are inspired by narratives prepared by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., at the request of the United States Mint. The following is the "To Form a More Perfect Union Narrative:"
When the thirteen American colonies issued their Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776, they recognized that the success of the American Revolution depended on unity in opposition to British rule. As the Revolutionary War progressed, those thirteen fledgling entities agreed, through "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union," to establish the United States of America. The Articles of Confederation proved inadequate, however, in creating an effective national government. After the Revolutionary War, the states convened a constitutional convention in Philadelphia to reconsider the terms of their confederation. During that fateful summer of 1787, America’s leading statesmen drafted the Constitution of the United States of America with the avowed objective "to form a more perfect Union."
John Jay, who would later become the first Chief Justice of the United States, joined James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in authoring a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to urge the citizens to support ratification of the Constitution. In The Federalist No.2, Jay explained that the Constitution’s promise of "a more perfect Union" rested upon a unity of distinctly American ideals, interests, and experiences that joined the people of the United States together as one nation.
Jay noted that "independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories," but rather was "one connected, fertile, widespreading country" with "a variety of soils," "innumerable streams," and a "succession of navigable waters" that "forms a kind of chain round its borders as if to bind it together." Jay also recognized that "Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people" who, "by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence." He discerned a connection between the land and the people:
This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.
John Jay believed that this "band of brethren" found unity in the English ancestry, heritage, and customs that many of the citizens of his era shared. But history has shown that the Constitution’s aspiration of "a more perfect Union" rests more fundamentally on a unity of common beliefs that Americans of all backgrounds throughout history have embraced. As the United States has expanded across the continent, overcome internal conflict, and welcomed new states, the nation has found enduring strength in its people’s diverse origins and perspectives. The United States remains perpetually united by a shared dedication to the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. Through those shared ideals, each new generation has sustained the Constitution’s promise of "a more perfect Union."
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