1922 Sandblast proof Peace dollar
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8 posts in this topic

Here's a link to a really nice 1922 sandblast proof Peace dollar. The coin shows subtle adjustment made by George Morgan to improve the strength and clarity of Anthony de Francesci's 1921 version.

The holder and original post perpetuate the misleading and duplicative description of "matte." Also, the Stacks-Bowers quote includes a false statement. The red text is incorrect. Proofs were struck once in a medal press, not multiple times.

Per Stacks Bowers auctions:
“All Proof 1922 high relief Peace dollars were produced in the same manner, struck multiple times on the Mint's medal press to bring up even the most intricate elements of the design. Once struck the coins were sandblasted in the Mint, this type of finish being popular at the time in production of high quality medallic and coinage works of art. These coins are often referred to as "Matte Proofs," or being of a "matte finish," although they are more accurately described as Sand Blast Proofs in keeping with the method of manufacture.”

Link: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1079273/1922-peace-pr67-matte-cac

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I still am a bit confused over how "sandblasting" -- I presume that is hitting the coins with micro-particles of sand -- was able to not ruin and actually improve the coin's features or appearance.  I didn't think the technology for this was even around until a few decades ago.

Time to hit FMTM again I guess. :)

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/31/2022 at 12:38 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I still am a bit confused over how "sandblasting" -- I presume that is hitting the coins with micro-particles of sand -- was able to not ruin and actually improve the coin's features or appearance.  I didn't think the technology for this was even around until a few decades ago.

Time to hit FMTM again I guess. :)

Sandblasting was done very carefully and at low pressure. This was common treatment for medals at all the major world mints. The work rearranged surface metal slightly, resulting in lowered detail; however, it also enhanced the perception of relief giving the coin or medal a more sculpted look than absent the sandblasting. Medals (and some Peace dollars) were also antiqued to further emphasize relief.

The very best detail for proofs was striking the coin on a medal press from new dies, then doing nothing else -- that was a satin proof.

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[I think we ought to refer to one as satinized, and the other as satanized.  Skeptics, or sticklers for formal terminology may prefer to refer to either as sanitized.

Sandblast carries with it the suggestion of damage.]

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It looks like the edges of the rims are still shiny. Did they mask off the edges somehow? It may be just the way the photo looks.

 

I may have to experiment with my beadblast cabinet. :whistle:

Edited by MorganMan
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On 7/31/2022 at 12:57 PM, RWB said:

The very best detail for proofs was striking the coin on a medal press from new dies, then doing nothing else -- that was a satin proof.

Got it.....and the Satin Proofs were the closest thing to today's Mirror Proofs, right ?

I think you said mirror proof technology came in the late-1930's or 1940's, right ?

What causes the mirror-like finish and reflectivity in today's proofs vs. those 70-100 years ago....is it polish, better dies, improved metallurgy ?

I do realize that you had a mirror-like finish on the 1907 EHR Saint-Gaudens but that was a result of the annealing process which left gold on the surface and removed copper.

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On 8/3/2022 at 1:01 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I do realize that you had a mirror-like finish on the 1907 EHR Saint-Gaudens but that was a result of the annealing process which left gold on the surface and removed copper.

No. The surface had most copper removed by annealing between the 7 blows. the Color was almost that of 24k gold. I said nothing about mirror-like finish.

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On 8/3/2022 at 12:01 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Got it.....and the Satin Proofs were the closest thing to today's Mirror Proofs, right ?

I think you said mirror proof technology came in the late-1930's or 1940's, right ?

What causes the mirror-like finish and reflectivity in today's proofs vs. those 70-100 years ago....is it polish, better dies, improved metallurgy ?

I do realize that you had a mirror-like finish on the 1907 EHR Saint-Gaudens but that was a result of the annealing process which left gold on the surface and removed copper.

There are fully mirrored Proof coins from roughly 100 years before the dates you mentioned (“1930’s or 1940’s”). And that includes a small number of gold coins.

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