For a period of three years, the United States Mint offered an additional numismatic version of the American Platinum Eagle. These coins were referred to as collectible uncirculated or “burnished” Platinum Eagles and carried some of the lowest mintages in the history of U.S. coinage.
The American Platinum Eagle coin series had initially launched in 1997. That year, the United States Mint offered a range of four different sized coins in bullion and collectible proof versions. All coins featured the same design featuring a portrait of the Statue of Liberty on the obverse and a soaring bald eagle on the reverse.
In the following years of the series, the bullion coins continued to feature the original design, while the collectible versions of the coin carried an annually rotating designs. The new designs typically followed a multi-year theme.
The Burnished Platinum Eagles were introduced in 2006. These coins were struck on specially burnished blanks and carried the “W” mint mark. Four different sizes coins were offered, which included one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. The coins were sold as numismatic products either individually or within a four coin set.
Since the US Mint continued to offer the bullion and traditional proof versions across same range of four different sizes, collectors were faced with a multitude of options. At the same time, the price of platinum had risen to new all time highs. The multiple options and high cost, served to dampen sales and result in historically low mintages. An ultimate low mintage of just 2,253 pieces occurred for the one-half ounce 2008-W Burnished Platinum Eagle.
The Burnished Platinum Eagles were canceled after 2008 resulting in just three years of issue for the numismatic product. Collectors now pursue these issues for their beautiful designs and capitvatingly low mintages.