This post is written in response to requests asking us to explain what The Perth Mint means by ‘specimen’.
We use three classifications to describe our precious metal coins – proof, bullion or specimen.
The very highest quality coins produced by The Perth Mint feature a proof finish. The coin table (background) is highly-polished and mirror-like.
Traditionally, design elements are delicately frosted. However, as an alternative, we colour some or all design elements on many of our proof quality releases.
Because of the time and skill involved in creating proof quality coins, this finish is reserved for our most limited, highly-prized numismatic (collectable) issues.
Bullion coins are made for the purpose of investing in precious metals. They are mass produced to keep the price as close to ‘spot’ as possible. As a result, the finish on many bullion coins issued worldwide is uniform with no distinctively polished or frosted areas.
The Perth Mint takes a different approach. Our bullion coins feature a frosted table and a shiny design (the opposite way round to proof issues). The quality of each strike means that our bullion coins are sometimes referred to as “reverse proofs”. Indeed, we would claim they have the best quality bullion finish in the world.
(Visit The Perth Mint Bullion website.)
A Perth Mint specimen coin is a limited collectable release.
Akin to a bullion coin in so far as it has a frosted table, it also features one or more special numismatic treatments – including a coloured design, gilded design or a gemstone insert.
Specimen is also the classification we use for standard bullion coins released in limited presentation packaging for collectors.