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What is the difference? We get this question many times and find the answer can be hard to explain. Basically, a proof coin has a mirror finish background with the raised surfaces of the coin in a matte finish. An uncirculated coin is a “normal” coin that has not been in general circulation with a complete matte finish.
Originally, “proof” coins were the coins made by the printers for approval. As these coins became more collectable, mints began creating them especially for collectors. Today, mints use a different set of dies and blanks to create this very collectable, beautiful coin.