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Jeffersons & Full Steps

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From another post: To give P*GS some credit, I do agree that a FS Jeff is 5 or more steps,[..]


What do the other Jefferson collectors feel? Is 5 steps enough for a FS designation or should 6 steps be required?


I know many of these coins do not come with any steps, but is that enough reason to reduce the number of steps to consider them "full"? Would we have been OK with the grading services grading AU coins as MS just because MS coins don't exist? (Yes, I know that they do this now, but that's besides the point). wink.gif


Should NGC designate Jeffersons as both 5-step and Full Steps (denoting all 6 steps)?



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I personally think if they're going to use the term "Full Steps," then all the steps on the design should be on the coin. However, for some dates, I don't think any coins exist with six, uninterrupted steps. So really it's the personal preference of the collector. I personally like how ANACS does Jefferson Nickels. They note on the holder how many steps the coin has. Doesn't SEGS also give a detailed step count?

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I think I've talked about this some before, but here it goes.. . The original and all subsequent modifications to the reverse design of the Jeff nickel have been 6 steps in the master hub. However (to make a long story short) the hub of 1940 was used through 1970 for business strikes. This hub underwent some significant wear in that period of time. Add that to the fact that post-1947 (for some reason or another), the various mints had a desperate time getting the proper strike settings right on their coin presses. This means that (especially for fresh dies) there were few nickels impressed with a strike that imparted the full design of the reverse, especially including the steps of Monticello. Beginning in 1948, getting worse through 1955, improving slightly for 1956 and 57, improving more in 1958 and 59, then getting substantially worse from that point on, the steps of Monticello were impressed poorly on the vast majority of Jeffs.


5 or 6 steps? The 5 step standard was first recognized quite some time ago, but began to be popularized in the 1970s. 5 steps was recognized as "full" as an adopted standard, due to the fact that the relative rarity of 5 step nickels was high, especially for later dates, and 6 step nickels were simply non-existent for some dates. Couple that with the poor imago management on the part of the mint, and there is a sense of reasonable sufficiency that 5 steps on Monticello confers a full step design, albeit not the full intent of the originally implemented design. (Keep in mind that Schlag's original design was not at all like the implemented design). So, it is a matter of historic understanding and a sense of sufficiency that 5 steps is chosen as the "FS" standard.


Should NGC recognize full steps as 5 or 6? I'd say five and six. What's more, I think that NGC should step up to the plate and be explicit and detailed about the attribution as is SEGS. Why not be both the industry leader and implement the industry standard?


Does full steps mean full strike? No. The details of Monticello and the obverse can be significantly wanting and there can still be full steps. Also, a die can be quite worn, imparting significant orange peel, and still impart full steps.


tongue.gif Hoot.

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