This unique and affordable 2020 25 cent collection showcases five different finishes the Royal Canadian Mint can apply to various coins. By using the well-known Caribou quarter design, attention is drawn to the coin finish which differs on each piece. The first three finishes shown include “Brilliant Uncirculated” as used for business strikes and numismatic uncirculated sets, “Frosted Proof” as appears in classic proof sets, and “Specimen” as appears in modern RCM specimen sets. While 2020 quarters with these three finishes may be possible to obtain in other collections, the set also includes two more finishes which are not normally seen on the 25 cent denomination. These are “Reverse Proof” and “Matte Proof”, and these unique coins will likely be the most sought after in the collection.
The different die polishing and coin striking techniques produce different coin finishes, which change the way light reflects off a coin’s surface. By creating the appearance of lighter (brilliant/shiny) and darker (matte) tones, an engraver can add dimension, depth or new meaning to any coin design – even a famous one like our caribou quarter. These are the finishes you’ll find on Canada’s coins:
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU): All shine and no frosting (matte/textured engraving). The “hot off the press” look of a newly minted circulation coin.
Proof: Like artwork on a mirror. Frosted relief (engraving) stands out against a high-shine field (background). You’ll find this prestige finish on most RCM collector coins.
Specimen: A mix of frosted and high-shine engraving on a lined/matte background. You’ll find this type of finish on our world-exclusive annual specimen set.
Unique to this Collection (for 2020 Caribou Quarters):
Matte Proof: A satin version of a Proof finish. The field still shines but it’s not as reflective. This gives the coin a slightly more aged appearance.
Reverse Proof: The opposite of Proof – a high-shine image on a matte background. Think of it as a portrait with all the light focused on the subject.