• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

1964 SMS Jefferson nickels (et al.)

3 posts in this topic

Howdy - a question for Dave Lange and any other researcher/knowledgeable individual there:


In recent auctions, three of the 1964 SMS Jefferson nickels traded hands. This has my curiosity peaked and so I began looking around for information. Two of the places that I looked were the population reports of NGC and PCGS. Interestingly, NGC lists the coins as SP (for specimen, apparently) and PCGS lists them as SMS. Oddly, PCGS also differentiates between those with full steps and those without, although they don't do that for the subsequent years. (That's an oddity that I've never quite understood, as it makes sense to provide the designation for ALL the SMS Jeffersons.)


Anyhow, can someone provide an explanation beyond the simplistic of why the difference in how the coins are viewed: SP vs. SMS. (It's my understanding that the coins are similar to the [early] 1965 SMS issues.) Also, for the consistency of the series, should we not use the 5FS and 6FS designations for all the SMS coins? (After all, those coins were only struck once, unlike proof pieces.)


Lastly, is there a body of reliable information available regarding the production of 1964 SMS coins, when they were made, which Mint made them, and who they were distributed to (and why those people)? How did they make their way into collectors' hands and why does there appear to be a newly emerging interest in their existence? Is the providence of the coins well known? Is there anything new (in terms of knowledge) about their existence?


These may be the rarest of the entire Jefferson nickel series - business strikes, SMS coins, brilliant or matte proofs - you name it. Any information is fascinating.


Thanks, Hoot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

No documentation is known regarding the production of these coins. They surfaced as complete, five-piece sets in several Stack's auctions during 1993-94 and generated little notice at the time. I wrote a feature article for Coin World that made the front page of the September 11, 1995 issue when NGC became the first grading service to certify these coins.


In talking to the people at Stack's, I was informed that these came from the estate of a deceased employee of the Philadelphia Mint, and I speculated that they were made there during 1965 as a prototype for what would become the SMS issues.


They bear only a superficial resemblance to the SMS coins dated 1965 and none at all to the 1966-67 issues. Their surfaces are satiny and are a closer match to the commemorative set nickels dated 1994-P and 1997-P. For that reason NGC uses the same terminology: SP instead of SMS. Whether or not NGC will designate these as either 5FS or 6FS is a question I'll leave for the graders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DWLange has given the best history of this coin so far. As relayed to me by a fellow FS Jeff collector in the mid 90's, many of these SMS coins came through Stacks although I was told they were stolen from the US Mint and hush was the word to keep about these coins. ANACS certified one back in or before 1996 and labeled it as a Satin Proof and a 67. I passed on a chance to buy a NGC PR67 coin for $1700 while at an Indianapolis, Indiana CSNS coin show back in the late 90's. The coin was a very nice example of the 1964 SMS coin. If I could find away to literally kick myself for not buying that coin, I would certainly do so!



Link to comment
Share on other sites