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Mexico $500 1988 Coin
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5 posts in this topic

I'd have to say that the coin pictured is circulated. Proof refers to a method of manufacturing of the coin such as using special polishes and dies to bring out the full artistic look of the coin. For those reasons proof coins are not meant for circulation.

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   I assume that what you mean to ask is how to tell a proof striking from a circulation striking in the case of a 1988 Mexican 500 pesos piece. The term "proof" refers to the method of manufacture of a coin, not its condition. Typically, a modern proof coin has mirror fields, frequently contrasting with frosted devices, whereas an uncirculated example of a coin made for circulation typically has a continuous frosty or flat luster and is seldom mirrorlike. Proof coins are usually better detailed than coins made for circulation, as they are usually struck multiple times on special presses. They also usually receive special, separate handling and so avoid the marks and abrasions usually found on uncirculated coins made for circulation, which are ejected from the press onto piles of other coins and then packed into bags of hundreds or thousands of coins.

   The coin in your photos has the dull, flat luster typical of a coin made for circulation.  I checked this issue in the Standard Catalog of World Coins and noted that while the circulation issue has a mintage of 230,000,000 pieces, only two proof strikings are known. The NGC World Coin Price Guide has the following photos of one of these proofs:

Mexico ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS 500 Pesos reverse

Mexico ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS 500 Pesos obverse

   The mirror fields and frosted devices of this coin are typical of a proof. Your coin is a circulation strike.

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On 8/13/2023 at 7:12 PM, edhalbrook said:

How can you tell a Proof from just a circulated coin? 

I think it was @J P M who posted that an old school check for proof or prooflike was you needed to be able to see the reflection of a #2 pencil in the fields and read the lettering.  That coin doesn't look very reflective at all.


On 8/13/2023 at 10:12 PM, Sandon said:

... only two proof strikings are known

Someone is on a rarity fishing expedition 😆 

Edited by EagleRJO
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