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65-67 SMS Sets

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After reading the threads attached for the 98 SMS Kennedys', I still can't determine if the SMS sets produced from 65-67 are considered proofs (pf) or circulation strikes (ms).


Are SMS 65-67 coins allowed in the 20th Century Type Set?


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The 1965-67 SMS coins are listed in their respective proof sections of the NGC Census Report. This is because they are clearly coins made with extra care and not intended for circulation. They were introduced early in 1966 as a mediocre substitute for true proofs, coinage of which had been suspended due to the nationwide coin shortage. While the 1965 sets varied in finish from satiny to fully prooflike, the 1966-dated coins were almost uniformly prooflike, though with occasional contact marks not seen on proofs. The 1967 coins are actual proofs in everything but name, typically being superior in sharpness and finish to many of the 1968-S proofs.


Since these are listed alongside proofs in the NGC Census Report, they are not eligible for the 20th Century Type Set registry, which is for non-proof coins only. Perhaps we'll add an all-proof type set in the future.


Some interesting trivia points about the SMS coins: The 1965-dated pieces were all made during the first seven months of 1966, while the 1966-dated coins were made from August through December of that year. The 1967 issues were coined on a normal calendar-year basis. All SMS coins were struck at the San Francisco Assay Office, as it was then called. This activity gave the SFAO the experience it needed when the coining of actual proofs resumed in 1968. In its enthusiasm, however, the SFAO tended to overpolish the 1968 proof dies, leaving many of the coins quite indistinct. This seems to have been a particular problem with the quarters, and I personally prefer the 1967 SMS coins to 1968-S proofs.

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