Business strike coins that minted early in a die's useful life are sometimes so nicely struck they can look prooflike.
When one encounters a beautifully struck coin that has some wear, it can be a dilemma deciding whether or not the coin is really a proof or just an exceptionally nice business strike.
Proof coins have usually been made specifically for sale to collectors, but some have been produced as presentation pieces to government officials or foreign dignitaries.
The rim of a coin is the slightly raised border around the outermost limits of a coin's field. The field is the flat surface on obverse and reverse. The rim surrounds the fields if the coin is normally struck.
Malaysia proof coins made from since 1969 typically had frosted devices and mirror-like fields. Such frost and mirror features can be lost if the coins circulate or are mishandled.One also has to be careful that a mishandled coin hasn't been altered into appearing to be a proof by sandblasting the devices or polishing the fields.
Proof coins are usually well-defined with raised devices because they are struck more than once. Therefore, any weakly-struck coins that are touted as proofs have to come under suspicion as normal business strikes that may have been altered. But remember that striking quality varied from year and among different designs. One must do a little research on the particular coin and year of mintage to know exactly what a "normal" proof from that year and type looks like.
One way you can distinguish normal die polish from "whizzing",in which an abrasive is used to polish impaired proofs,is to study the line you see under magnification.True die polish lines should be raised in slight relief above the rest of the coin's surface.In contrast,whizzing produces hairline scratches that cut into the coin's surface .Also,a whizzed coin will be scratched all over,while a genuine proof exhibiting die polish will show those polish marks only where it has been done on the die.This means that mirror fields will be polished,while frosted devices will not be.
If you have more money to spend, and even if you don't, you should be very selective in choosing your proof sets. Look for sets in which all of the coins are untarnished and in pristine condition. You may even decide to assemble your modern sets by piece, with an eye toward matched sets.
Silver, however, has its own appeal and a daily base price established in the bullion market. This means a .925 Silver silver proof coins will now sell for a lot more than the initial issued price.
Topical collections of proof commemorative coins include animals on coins, famous rulers such as Queen Elizabeth II, or issues marking the Olympic Games. Since they are abundant, any of these world proof coins are excellent coins for a long-term proof collection project.
The quality of world proof coins varies from country to country, but you can expect to see nice proofs from major nations and many smaller countries, which often contract established mints in Canada, France or Great Britain to strike their coins. each country has its own standards for quality control, and by studying these characteristics one can learn what average and better-than-aver-age specimens look like for a given country and time period.
Some of the older foreign proofs were sold in special felt-lined display boxes. A collector should always try to obtain these original packing boxes along with the coins when they are available. Although original
packaging adds to a coin's value, it might be wise to remove the coin and place it into an inert Mylar coin holders for better protection from the atmosphere and mishandling.
Handling Proof Coins
Proof coins should be handled on top of a flat, soft, clean surface - ideally a felt pad like those sold in jewelry supply stores or in coin shops. Proof coins, like all collectible coins, should be handled only at their edges and never touched on the flat surfaces.
Try not to breathe directly on a proof coin, and of course don't cough on it. Dust can be a problem when it gets on a proof surface. Resist the temptation to wipe it off with a towel. Try to blow dust off with an air syringe or canned compressed air like the kind sold in photography shops for cleaning camera lenses. If you rub dust particles across a proof coin's surface, you're likely to cause permanent scratches. Neutral solvent coin dips can remove dust from a proof coin, but acid dips - even mild ones will damage the coin's surface permanently.