The proof version of the American Silver Eagle bullion coin has the same weight and purity as the regular ones, and the same legal tender guarantee from the United States government. However, these coins are struck from special dies that are carefully examined under a microscope and hand-polished using three different grades of diamond dust and a rotary tool.
Once these detailed dies are installed the minting press, blanks that have been carefully washed and polished are hand-fed one at a time into the press. Each coin is struck multiple times to produce extra-sharp frosted features on a mirror-like field. They are removed by white-gloved Mint employees, then packaged in a special presentation box with certificate of authenticity.
Current-year Silver Eagle proof coins can be purchased at the U.S. Mint, while back-dates are available from major coin dealers such as Gainesville Coins.