The image at left is a comparison of the edges of a 1916 matte proof (left) next to a 1916 business strike (right) coin.
The edge of a matte proof will always be flatter, smoother, and more reflective then its more rounded business strike counterpart. A matte proof will stand alone on its edge very easily. Further,
the inside and outside edges of the rim, as seen in the images below with the matte proof on the left and the business strike on the right in each image, will be sharper and crisper. A matte proof will have its
inside edge drop off more steeply and therefore the coin will exhibit less of an inside curved dish than a business strike. A matte proof may also have a slight fin on the far outside of the rim around the coin
In general a matte proof coin will have the following surface and edge characteristics to help differentiate it from its business strike counterpart:
• More detail in the image and design elements.
• A surface matte appearance resulting from the blasting of the die surface. Wear and toning may result in this surface being lost.
• Flatter, smoother, and more reflective rims.
• Sharper and crisper edges on the outside and inside of the rim.
• Less dishing of the coin than for a business strike.
To be absolutely confident when authenticating a matte proof coin you must examine the die characteristics for that year as described below on the obverse and reverse for the 1916 matte proof.
Two die pairs were used in 1916. For die pair number 1 no die scratches appear in or around the 9 or 1. For the mid and late die states
there are die scratches inside the top of the 9 and from the middle of the 9 to below the 1. For die pair number 2 a small die gouge below
the top of the 9 in the date could not be found. Neither could many supposed die scratches running behind the head or through the TY of LIBERTY.
This indicates that this coin was minted using die pair number 1.
Two die scratches from the lower part of the right side of the 9 to under the 1. Die scratches from the bottom right of the 1 going to the
right and also under the 6 could not be found.
A die scratch between the U and S of TRUST.
A broken top right side of the O of GOD.
For the late die state three scratches through the middle of WE.
For die pair number 1 a die scratch above PLURIBUS. I could only see it above the S.
For die pair number 2 none of the following was detected:
- Doubled die reverse seen as extra thickness on the wheat stalks with splitting on the stems.
- Die scratch from the S of PLURIBUS to the E on ONE.
- Die scratch from the E of ONE to the top of the T of CENT
- Die scratch on the right side of the N of ONE
- Die scratch from the bottom of the right side of the N of CENT to the top of the T of STATES.
- Die scratch from the bottom crossbar of the E of CENT to the middle crossbar.