I stumbled across this interesting discussion while doing a little research. It’s a very good distillation all the key elements surrounding Peace Dollar Proof Strikes. To the person that started the thread, they are very infrequently found. Reading about diagnostic features can leave one’s head spinning. There are key elements: does it look like a proof (NGC site is a great proof pics resource), and how full is the strike (hair details). Die polishing lines are very deceptive because unbroken dies were reused to make business strikes. Also, during the strike process, pressure from the press (a medal press) often varied, because the coin was experimental with the high relief features, and planchette and die failures were common in the beginning according to the mint. Attached pic is a coin recently purchased. It is not a proof, but an interesting strike. It has not been cleaned; I have access to a metallurgical microscope, so I can look a metal flow details from the strike process. This coin has a halo, meaning it was struck with such great pressure, there is a central indentation. Also, there is an obverse die crack between 6 & 7 o’clock running from the rim to the neck line of the bust (this die was breaking). However, with all that said, there is a rather obvious straightness of the motto device. The coin has all the swirling die polishing lines on the obverse portrait device and in the fields, as described by VAM as a proof die. This image was borrowed from the auction house. It does not really show Any of the coins great detains, or the really nice unique finish. BTW: unique is usually a bad indication that someone is faking a finish, hiding a cleaning, etc., but with the correct knowledge and equipment this can be ruled out. I’ve been intrigued by these coins for a number of years, done tons of research. This coin is not a proof, rather an interesting variation of a strike. Maybe the mint person had some extra time on hand and was experimenting. Who knows. Look at the Heritage auction archives and look at the proof auction descriptions in the coin write up. There is little consistency in the description of a “Proof” Peace Dollar or what makes a coin a Proof. Keep looking for a Proof, it’s a very fun endeavor!