Die Trials are usually uniface (struck on one side) impressions using either the obverse or reverse die. These Die Trials can be from finished or unfinished dies. These are deliberate strikes to test a certain design or example. Sometimes hubs are used, rather than the actual finished die.
Metals other than the adopted composition are frequently used to strike hub trials and die trials. They are sometimes struck in copper and white metal. Other times they are struck in softer metals like tin or lead. There are even some examples struck in wax and on cardboard. Die Trials that are struck in gold are exceeding rare.
U.S. gold die trials are listed in the Judd reference book of patterns and die trials. Technically die trials and hub trials are part of the pattern family. However, in the last 5 years the coin market has drastically changed directions.
Many pattern enthusiasts have always wanted a die trial or a hub trial to go along with the specific type or denomination of pattern(s) that they collect. A new demand has emerged for die trials, hub trials and splashers. Collectors of major mint errors are placing these in their collections because they are unusual, exotic and unique.
Even though they are not mint errors, they are aggressively sought after by people who collect off-metals, broadstrikes, uniface strikes and coins struck on larger planchets. In addition, since many of these die trials, hub trials and splashers are struck from incomplete dies and hubs, the design may be only a partial portrait or with parts of the legend and date missing.
There is something really special about holding a gold die trial that is also uniface or on a larger planchet.
This unique, historical and museum quality set of gold Coronation Die Trial Strikes were just authenticated and certified by PCGS. It is amazing that after 500 years, this set of gold Die Trials remained together, intact and preserved in gem mint state condition. They are 5 or 10 Ducat size in diameter.
The Matthias II Obverse Trial Strike is the plate coin in Forschner, listed as #34.1 gold, with a diameter of 37 mm. The other Die Trial of his wife Anna, is also the plate coin in Forschner, listed as #34.3 gold, with a diameter of 36 mm. The Forschner numismatic reference book on medals is referenced by both PCGS and NGC for attribution and listing the Forschner # on the inserts.