2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle Depicts ‘Life’ and Launches Today (Updated)

by Darrin Lee Unser on January 25, 2018 · 34 comments

A three-year series expressing core American principles debuts today at noon ET with the U.S. Mint’s release of the 2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle.

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle, Coin, Case and Certificate

Shown: 2018 Preamble to the Declaration of Independence ‘Life’ Platinum Proof Coin – Obverse, Presentation Case and Reverse. A black velvet satin-lined presentation case with outer box and sleeve accompanies each coin, along with a Certificate of Authenticity.

The new proof platinum coin series celebrates the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence with design themes centered on Life, Liberty and Happiness.

This series is a continuation of the U.S. Mint’s 1-ounce .9995 American Platinum Eagle coin program which was introduced in 1997. In a reversal from past coins, the three from 2018 to 2020 feature different obverses (heads) against one common reverse (tails). (See their original line art designs.)

2018 American Platinum Eagle ‘Life’ Designs

The theme of ‘Life’ appears on the obverse of this year’s coin. It shows Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. A sword she carries is meant to symbolize the power to defend life with furrowed earth representing the forethought and labor required to sustain life. Nature is represented by the mountains, tree and stream suggesting the need to be good stewards of the environment.

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse, Life

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle – Obverse with ‘Life’ Design

Inscriptions include "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "2018," "LIFE" and the artists’ initials.

Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Justin Kunz created the design and United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill engraved it for use on coinage.

Created by AIP designer Patricia Lucas-Morris and engraved by former United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, the coin’s revere depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. This same design will also appear on reverses of the 2019- and-2020-dated platinum coins.

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Reverse, Eagle

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle – Reverse with Eagle Design

Inscriptions around the eagle include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "1 OZ.," ".9995 PLATINUM," "$100," a "W" for the coin’s production facility at West Point, and the artists’ initials.

Coin Specifications

Denomination $100
Finish Proof
Composition 99.95% Platinum
Diameter 1.287 inches (32.70 mm)
Weight 1.0005 troy oz. (31.120 grams)
Thickness 0.094 inch (2.39 mm)
Edge Reeded
Maximum Mintage 20,000
Mint and Mint Mark West Point – W
Obverse Design Justin Kunz / Phebe Hemphill
Reverse Design Patricia Lucas-Morris / Don Everhart


Price, Mintage and Ordering

The new proof Platinum Eagle will be available for $1,420.00, although that price is subject to change weekly based on the U.S. Mint’s precious metal coin pricing policy.

No more than 20,000 sold, representing a 10,000 mintage increase over last year’s coin. In addition, an initial household order limit of one is in place.

Order the collectible straight from the United States Mint via this online product page.

Sales Update (Jan. 26)

First-day sales of the new proof Platinum Eagle rang in at 4,420 coins, U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White told CoinNews in an email Friday, Jan. 26.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Bustywidow January 25, 2018 at 8:51 am


Mage Lee January 25, 2018 at 9:30 am

High mintage but pretty design

Seth Riesling January 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

Darrin Lee Unser –

There is an error in your “Coin Specifications” table which lists the mintage of this coin as 10,000 instead of 20,000.

A high mintage for sure for a platinum coin!


Mike Unser (CoinNews.net) January 25, 2018 at 10:57 am

Seth, thanks. I fixed the error.

lonnie January 25, 2018 at 11:09 am

beautiful platinum coin on the obverse and the reverse. great job u.s. mint.

chuck January 25, 2018 at 11:19 am

How many will sell? At least you might be able to complete the series unlike the 2015-2016 series that started out with such a small 2015 mintage. Thought the mintage would have been no more than 10,000.

Seth Riesling January 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm

chuck –

At a high mintage of 20,000 coins & a premium over spot price of platinum of $394, I feel this might not sell out soon even as a Proof quality & beautiful coin IMHO. But, it is a popular series overall since 1997, & I buy it every year out of habit! Lol

Happy collecting chuck!


chuck January 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Seth Riesling,
Agree it should “not sell out soon”. Just hope the mint does not do what it also did with the 2009-2014 series when they limited the 2014 to around 4,000 and all the other years had 8,000 or more. Do not like smaller numbers at the start 2015 (2015-2016) nor at the end 2014 (2009-2014).

Seth Riesling January 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm

chuck –

Agree totally. That 4,000 very low mintage in 2015 was way too low for any U.S. Mint coin! I almost missed getting that one due to high demand & very quick sellout. They should stick with about 10,000 for the $100 Proof Platinum Eagle series.


chuck January 25, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Except for many of the spouses!

Chas Barber January 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm

The eyes “closed” Platinum coin! Yiou buy it & close you eyes to the price above spot & 20k mintage, maybe no aftermarket leg$ on this puppy!??

Adam January 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm

I bought one because you never know how many were actually made. Could sell out at under 10,000. Maybe they put high mintage so peaple wouldn’t overload there website haha…why else put a limit of 1 per household could have been easily 3 I would think. Premium over spot does seam more that 2015-16 coins. I was debating whether I should just buy proof 70 but I messed up in 2014 and didn’t buy right away. Ended up paying $2950 for that one in proof 70 ultra cameo at the world fair of money Anaheim. Guy was asking $3450 not early release. My 2017 I got graded on-site in Denver show came back PF69 but I did get the first strike and special label. And I think the eye appeal is better than my 2014 PF70 I really wish the grading company would give a report why it didn’t met the criteria for PF70 though. I also submitted a silver show panda that came back PF 70 with show label. Those are the only 2 coins I have ever had graded. I usually buy graded or just leave it. I like the feel in hand in OGP packaging anyway. Holders scratch way to easy in my opinion.

Seth Riesling January 25, 2018 at 7:29 pm

chuck –

Thanks for reminding me of those very low mintage First Spouse $10 gold coins! I only bought a few (about 10) over the 10-year series & only in Proof. I wish I could have afforded the entire series in Proof & Unc. since they are nice & the lowest mintage of any coin series I can think of by the Mint. I guess most collectors were in the same boat not wanting to buy about 80 gold coins in 10 years to have a complete set.


chuck January 26, 2018 at 9:29 am

We have discussed the First Spouse several times. Still find it hard to believe the total for “Nancy” was under 5600 (proof and unc). They had put limited of one each- wrongfully thought it would sell out. Yes, would be nice to have set but only bought a few. Again it is a set that may never be completed (shame that the law was not so that they made it possible to buy others who are still living). However, still expect someday one will be offered for them too. If so, will be interesting to see demand on them. Could be big impact on this series. But, as long as we have Presidents guess the series will not end.

Agree with Adam and you, Seth, doubt 20,000 were made. Based on past sells 10,000 would likely have been about right for the 2018 Proof. Limit of one does not make sense if 20,000 is correct.

jim January 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Only spouse I bought was Alice Paul who not only wasn’t a spouse but also was only a baby when her “president” died.

20,000 vs 10,000 – the mint obviously has nobody in charge of market research (really, really needing an MBA for this position) since it took you guys only a few minutes to figure out that not that many platinums are sold in a year. This is just another example of an over-reaction stab in the dark by a typical seat warmer incompetent running the mint instead of a director who takes responsibility for their decisions and is proud of their efforts in running the largest mint on the planet.

Mike Unser (CoinNews.net) January 26, 2018 at 1:05 pm

I’ve added the coin’s first-day sales at the bottom of the article. Have a great weekend!

T January 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

The flippers and investors are in absolute dark on this one! Amount sold may end up very low due to announced mintage limit and household limit. This may be a big fish for collectors who value the coin itself rather than solely turning a 50%+ profit on a shipment they never intend on opening. I like this flip on a mint coin.


Chas Barber January 26, 2018 at 2:11 pm

The Plat HH cap is 0FF…..just got 17…..jus kidding Lucy…….20k mintage will = no legs & will be on sale for awhile, flip who wants to pay $2k for this when you can get 15 or 16 or 17 w/like 20% or so of the 20k mintage of the 2018…..

chuck January 26, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Mike Unser,
Thank you for sales info.
Strange HH cap taken off on day “2”. So, did they strike to many?

T January 26, 2018 at 4:06 pm

I think the palladium coins are taking away from platinum coin sales. If I had enough money to throw around I’d get both. The US first issuing of a proof palladium coin is the winner for me.


Seth Riesling January 26, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Due to very low first-day sales of this $1420 platinum coin with an ultra-high mintage of 20,000, the Mint got scared again & lifted the 1 coin per household limit within 24 hours! They simply have no clue & never learn from their mistakes & missteps at the largest Mint in the world which has not had a Mint Director in 7 years! Unreal! Sad! – (As Trump would say).


T January 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I don’t understand the 20k mintage amount at all. I can’t imagine there are enough buyers for that amount even at 2 per collector. I guess they can just melt down the remains. Maybe they didn’t use all the blanks.

I think they were expecting the varying obverse to be a big draw. It would be if a palladium proof wasn’t introduced this year.


chuck January 28, 2018 at 10:15 am

The palladium coin is a sore subject with me. The mint issuing it last year to the “bullion dealers” before to collectors was “sad”. Just shows who the favorite few are. Perhaps the HH limit was taken off too so that those dealers could save hundreds on shipping i.e. buy 100 or ? at a time.

Millhouse January 28, 2018 at 10:55 am


The 2017 Palladium eagle is a bullion coin. Just like gold, silver, and platinum eagle bullion coins, they are only released to authorized purchasers to be distributed to the dealers. Although we collect bullion coins, they are not collector coins. They are bullion coins, intended for investing in precious metal. There were plenty to go around if you acted early. I got 3 MS70 FDIO for $1300 each. Of course they are well over $2K for the same coin but that has nothing to do with the mints distribution of bullion coins.

The mint does a lot of things wrong. I think the bullion distribution is actually one thing they do right. Now, if you take a look a the same gold or platinum coin in proof condition at $300-$400 premium over spot, I think the mint is taking advantage of the collector with ALL of it’s collectable coins. The bullion coins are always reasonably priced if you purchase at the time of release from a reputable dealer.

chuck January 28, 2018 at 4:05 pm

The point is the Palladium coin (2017 bullion) was the first (palladium coin) issued by the mint. In my opinion, a proof should have been issued first. Also, if my memory is correct, the study they conducted indicated the mint might turn a “profit” on the proofs but not on bullion ones. (So, why not the “proof” first?! Certainly with the mints mark up on proofs versus bullion coins they would have made more!)
As to the bullion dealers remember what the mint had to do to them when the first 5 oz ATB came out in 2010? All I’m saying is when there is a “first” it would be nice if the mint remembers collectors first.
Yes, one could have picked one up at a somewhat “fair” price; but collectors should be remember too. There will always be a missing year for the collector palladium coin!

chuck January 28, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Finally, at least the mint did do collector ATB the first year in 2010. Sad they failed on the palladium one!

Millhouse January 28, 2018 at 9:19 pm


I completely agree with you on the ATB coins. I was one of the, I don’t know how many, trying to get them from the dealers and it was the dealers that were ripping off the collectors/investors. One dealer had the audacity to force me to purchase a random year American Eagle in order to purchase one ATB coin back in 2010. I reported that dealer but it makes no difference. They all get away with murder at our expense. Not sure the mint can do anything about shady dealers.

I actually don’t think the mint had time to produce a 2017 proof palladium eagle since the bullion was released so late. The bullion version usually comes first except for platinum, not sure why. And how about the mint’s initial price on the ATB coins at $279 each? Really???? $279 for 5oz of silver in a cardboard collectors box. They should be ashamed of themselves. I thought only gas stations price gouge. Oh well this is what our hobby has become.

Tinto January 29, 2018 at 12:32 am

Wondering why the Mint couldn’t have just issued a proof Palladium coin first in 2017 .. I mean they had such a paltry production in the first place. .. 15,000 .. and I think they struck it in high relief probably took extra care to do it .. so why did they give the AP’s first crack at it, other than to give them more opportunity to make more money off the collector who would want to have the first year’s issue and with a great design and a small production run ..

Tinto January 29, 2018 at 12:37 am

@Seth Riesling

It seems like the inmates have been running the Mint since Moy left and no one replaced him for 7 years …

Joe Brown January 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

If i’m wrong, then i’m wrong, but i cannot help but think, every since Mr. Moy left town, there’s been nothing but insider trading going on, Moy bow’d out gracefully for a nice job, but is that ”real” reason why?

chuck January 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

Seth Riesling,
Mike Unser,
Do you know whether there will be a 2018 palladium bullion coin issued by the mint? A collectors one apparently will be sold in the “fall”.
Wonder too what the mintage might be. Any word on this?
Will it be a repeat of the 2015 platinum eagle when no bullion coins were made and less than 4,000 proofs were sold.
Hope the mint will limit the HH limit to one at the start and have a “fair” number made.

Millhouse January 29, 2018 at 11:56 am


The plan is to have both but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s going to depend on how many blanks the mint can secure for both the proof and bullion coins. At this point I would bank on the proof coming out in the fall but not sure if/when the bullion will come out.

I’m in for both though, as I feel this is perhaps the most beautiful coin the mint has ever produced. It blows away the platinum and silver eagles and the gold eagle would be first if it weren’t for the eagle on the reverse. I’ve never been a fan of that eagle. The palladium eagle is my new favorite coin. I will be purchasing this coin every year going forward.

chuck January 31, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Received today nice coin.

Dan February 7, 2018 at 11:10 am

why did the price on the platinum coin not drop? Price of platinum is below $1000 now, when do prices get updated for precious metal products

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