Hand-signed label by Ed Moy, 38th U.S. Mint Director
In 2006, the U.S. Mint released new “uncirculated” or “burnished” Gold, Silver, and Platinum American eagles. Struck on specially burnished blanks, the American Eagle Uncirculated Coins feature a finish similar to their bullion counterparts but carry the “W” mint mark reflecting their striking at the United States Mint at West Point. The American Eagle Gold and Silver Uncirculated Coins bear the same designs as their bullion and proof counterparts.
For the first three years, the U.S. Mint released the Burnished Gold Eagles in 4-coin sets containing 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz coins.
The US Mint ended up canceling production of the coins in 2009 and 2010 as it diverted available blanks to the production of the bullion Gold Eagles which it was required by law at the time to strike to meet demand. In 2011, the Burnished production resumed with a 1 oz piece only and has been struck annually ever since.
What does Burnished mean? Burnished describes the coin manufacturing process. The process starts with the blanks being tumbled with tiny beadsized steel balls before heading to the coin press. The burnished coin blanks are then hand-fed into specially adapted coin presses one at a time. The unique manufacturing process gives the coins a stunning, matte-like finish.